According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), traffic accident fatalities spiked by 7.2% from 2014 to 2015, which highlights the importance of road safety tips that can help curb the tide of deaths from car crashes. (1)
Despite the prevalence of safety technology such as collision avoidance and lane-departure warning, driver behavior can override most safety features and lead to devastating fatal accidents.
Therefore, it is vital that drivers first understand what are the most deadly crash risks, then follow road safety tips that can lower the chances of being involved in a car wreck.
Distracted Driving Statistics
By now it has become common knowledge that taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds can lead to a car accident. This behavior is known as distracted driving, and it occurs when activities such as texting, talking, eating or chatting with passengers in a vehicle takes a driver’s eyes off the road.
In fact, distracted driving statistics highlight the dangers when drivers don’t pay attention to the road.
The NHTSA reported that 3,477 people died and 391,000 drivers were injured in 2015 due to distracted driving, which is the last year for which statistics are available.
On an average day in the U.S., an estimated 660,000 drivers use mobile phones, creating the perfect storm for avoidable accidents.
Texting is by far the most dangerous type of driver distraction, because it can take your eyes off the road for as many as five seconds at a time.
While that may not seem like a long time, consider that if you are driving at 55 miles per hour, five seconds of distraction is equivalent to driving “the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.” (2)
Furthermore, young drivers under the age of 25 are three times more likely than older drivers to text and drive, which is significant, because distracted driving is a major contributing factor in 20% of all motor vehicle accidents.
But it is not just the fact that millions of drivers are driving while distracted, they are also not practicing enough safe-driving habits that can help tcounter the risks of dangerous driver behavior.
Safe Driving Practices
One of the main contributors to fatalities in auto accidents is the fact that millions of drivers and passengers do not wear safety belts. The NHTSA estimated that nearly 14,000 lives (age 5 and older) were saved in 2015 because of seat-belt use. But 2,800 more lives could have been saved in 2015 if passengers had worn their safety belts. (3)
This points to wearing seat belts as one of the most important safety driving practices that motorists can follow.
“We know that wearing safety belts is a key factor in driver survival,” stated Amy Witherite, partner at the law firm of Eberstein Witherite, LLP. “Even when drivers practice dangerous behavior, safety belts can be the great equalizer in whether an accident victim lives or dies.”
Other important safe driving practices include: (4)
- Avoid distractions such as talking on a phone, texting or applying makeup
- Do not exceed the speed limit
- Drive with a defensive mindset that keeps you aware of how other drivers are behaving on the road so you can take immediate, evasive action
Avoid tailgating by driving several seconds behind the car in front of yours
- If you have to eat, pull your car over to do so, because eating is a major distraction to driving
- Avoid reaching for items on the floor, as this takes your eyes off the road
- Avoid driving when you are tired, because drowsy driving can cause your eyes to close, even if it’s for only a few seconds
Recovering From Car Accident Injuries
Road safety tips can help prevent a devastating wreck, but there are still situations that you can’t avoid, and once that happens, recovering from car accident injuries can be a long, painful process. That’s why it’s so important to secure the services of a personal injury law firm like the team at 1-800-Car-Wreck that has a proven track record of winning settlements.
“What we have discovered is that many of our clients did their best to avoid distractions, but were still victims of a car wreck caused by another driver,” stated Amy Witherite. “In these instances, our job isn’t simply to get you a fair settlement, but it’s to make sure that we keep life running for you and your family after this type of life-changing event. That helps our clients regain confidence, and restore their peace of mind.”