24 Mar Risk Reduction In Your Car
The best outcome of a car accident is that everyone walks away uninjured. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. In fact, for the past four years in the United States, approximately 40,000 people have been killed in car accidents, a statistic that has dropped from 50,000 per year and more in the early 1960s. Put another way, 90 or more people (on some years the average has been above 100) die each day from car accidents in the United States. In addition, 3 million people are injured each year in U.S. car crashes, and approximately 2 million on average suffer from a permanent injury as the result of a car crash.
In one of the saddest statistics, about 250 people each year in the United States die because of an accident caused by taking a “selfie” style photograph while driving a car. A “selfie” is a common occurrence that most often indicates the photographer was in a good mood or a boastful mood, attempting to capture a good feeling or a good moment in their lives. Hey, time for a selfie! But this moment of would-be glory turns out to be the trigger that leads to their mortality.
When you set out to research how to reduce the risks of death and injury from car accidents, you run into two things you can do: You can buy a safer car, or you can change your behavior to avoid accidents.
Many behavioral changes are well known and widely publicized. It is still valuable to review these items from time to time. Some of these are subconscious habits, behaviors you might already know are unsafe, but you tend to gravitate towards them, anyway. Here are a few to review:
Driving too fast is in the top five behaviors that lead to automobile accidents. In addition, driving fast on compromised road surfaces (during wet or snowy conditions) only adds to your risks. Insurance companies, for example, often have stipulations that you drive under the speed limit when it rains – let alone when it snows.
Driving under the influence
Under the influence could include alcohol, marijuana, street drugs, prescription drugs that compromise your alertness, reaction time, vision, or hearing.
One of the most overlooked causes of traffic accidents and injuries is driving too close to the vehicle in front of you. A safe distance between you and other cars is vital to preventing accidents.
Unless you are on a race track in a sanctioned event of some kind, you have no business racing to the next light or pulling away from a stop fast just to compete with another car. Always drive your own pace within the limits of the law. Don’t ever get goaded into competing with another car because of some latent urge to compete.
A Safer Car
Certainly, modern cars have safety features that are lifesavers. Seatbelts are responsible for saving tens of thousands of lives, as are airbags, anti-locking brake systems, and inspection laws. Bald tires are a good way to invite added risks in a car.
Follow the rules. Keep the safety features of your car in working order. Drive slow and don’t tailgate. After all, the idea is to get safely home.