There are more vehicles on the road than ever before, and sadly that also means too many senseless vehicle accidents. In particular, the number of car crashes appears to remain as big a problem as the number of related deaths; for example, in California alone, it is estimated that nearly 3,000 people die in car crashes each year.
While you may be driving safely along highways and byways, too many drivers end up sideways, sidelined by their carelessness and carelessness. This car accident was caused by a number of reasons; some of them may actually surprise you.
By looking at what the causes are, hopefully they can be mitigated or avoided altogether.
Driving Too Fast
Speeding continues to kill. It doesn’t change. To this day, driving too fast causes too many people to lose their lives. Pedestrians minding their business and walking along the sidewalks find themselves suddenly pushed up into the air or knocked to the ground by some drivers who feel the need to act like the characters from “Fast and the Furious”. The Association for Safe International Road Travel says nearly 2.5 million people are injured or disabled in vehicle accidents every year.
How many of these people would you bet to be part of these statistics for speeding? No need to guess, because the National Transportation Safety Board conducted a safety study which found that for the period between 2005 and 2014, well more than 110,000 deaths related to speed, or 31 percent of all traffic-related deaths. That’s embarrassing.
Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol
Drunk driving is a widespread problem. Even with organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the fact remains that some of the worst accidents stem from drivers who are too drunk to be behind the wheel but feel as though they are OK to drive. As of 2013, estimates show someone dies in one of these types of accidents every 52 minutes.
Think of the number of lives that could be saved if only drivers had decided to do so get Uber or Lyft home instead or ask a friend to take them where they need to go.
Driving While Distracted
You could almost predict distraction would be a key factor in vehicle accidents. With seemingly everyone, especially teenagers, carrying around a smartphone or tablet or some other type of mobile device, it’s bound to spell disaster when it comes to responsible driving.
Too many drivers insist on talking on their cell phones, and not just when the traffic light is yellow or red, but even when the light is green and even while driving at high speed. Phone conversations aren’t the only thing to blame.
Texting is a non-stop problem; somehow people are trying to take over the wheel and at the same time use the keypad to reply and send messages. The results are all too common: they lose control of the wheel and veer into other vehicles or pedestrians, with fatal consequences. Really, any activity poses a high risk while driving, including eating or putting on makeup or repairing clothes.
Drivers’ eyes must be kept on the road and their hands on the vehicle’s handwheel, and if there is any doubt that distraction is the enemy, research has shown that it is right behind distracted driving as a cause of car accidents.
Driving without wearing a seat belt or a passenger not wearing a seat belt
If you hear that there are 43 percent of children under 15 years injured in a car accident, how do you feel? Now what if you discovered that the statistics pertained not only to children who were injured but to the number actually killed? That’s right. There is more.
This statistic is specific to the number of people who died because they were not wearing seat belts. You’d think that by now everyone would be getting the message that seat belts are an absolute necessity. Why risk your life by going without wearing them?
Avoiding Senseless Accidents
Many lives could be saved each year—and many people would stay out of hospital—if more drivers today made the conscious decision not to endanger public safety by engaging in the reckless acts discussed.
Everyone benefits from a responsible driver who follows the rules of the road and respects his fellow citizens.