There were 40,100 Unites States vehicle deaths last year, according to the National Safety Council. These figures were very slightly less than 2016 figures, but significantly up – a 6% increase—over 2015 figures.
“We’re treading water, essentially,” said National Safety Council spokeswoman Maureen Vogel. “We’re not making progress.”
The continued prevalence of death from injuries sustained on roadways- the fifth leading cause of death worldwide—have led some policymakers to regard traffic deaths as a public health crisis. Injuries, disabilities, death: traffic crashes cause massive economic and social harm. Globally, the loss of 3% of gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to be lost due to traffic crashes.
Now consider that automakers are producing the safest vehicles ever. Seatbelts have long been mandatory, as have been driver side airbags, but today’s vehicles sport passenger and side-impact airbags, high tech collision avoidance systems like lane warning signals and even automatic emergency braking. So why is the number of crashes staying even at best, and at worst actually increasing?
Below are the most common causes of car accidents in the United States.
Distracted driving grows larger each year as a threat and is absolutely the leading cause of car accidents now. Driving is a full-time job, and that means while driving no calls, no texting, absolutely no full-on internet browsing, no eating, reading, grooming or makeup application. Watch the road and avoid a deadly distraction.
This is very common in South Florida. The number of traffic tickets issued is down—way down—but that lack of enforcement doesn’t mean people aren’t driving too fast for road conditions and aren’t exceeding posted speed limits. Speeding is the second most common cause of accidents, so stay legal and stay safe.
Drunk driving is dangerous and deadly. It’s been proven time and again. If you have had anything to drink, take a taxi, Uber or Lyft. Have a sober friend drive. Spend the night where you are if you have to—but please do not drive while intoxicated. It could mean your life.
More than just being careless, reckless drivers will change lanes too quickly, tailgate, or otherwise “…drive(s) any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property…” according to Florida Statute §316.192. So take your time. Don’t be careless. And don’t be something even worse: reckless. It’s a crime.
Running Red Lights
Especially in more urban and developed areas, red light running is rampant. It’s easy: red means stop. Even if it seems that no other cars are coming if you run a red light and cause an accident you are likely to be found liable for that accident. You may even kill someone. There’s no excuse for it.
Have you or a loved one been injured in a roadway accident?
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