Driving is a normal part of everyday life for most Americans. Many of us live in places without accessible public transportation. We can't hop on a train and read the paper on my way to work. We have to drive.
But, facts are facts. Car accidents happen. Driving is inherently dangerous, but that doesn't mean we should ever stop trying to make it safer.
So, why do fatal car accidents happen?
What Causes Death in a Car Accident?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 1.25 million people around the world die each year as the result of car accidents. In the United States, more than 32,000 die annually and 2 million people are injured due to car accidents.
Yes, this is horrible. That's not debatable. What is and what should be discussed globally is why is this happening? Why are cars so deadly?
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reviewed the statistics and took note of what many of these drivers were doing minutes and seconds before the accident that took their lives. Many of them were distracted or impaired. Here's what they were and weren't doing at the time of their crash:
- They weren't wearing their seatbelts. 9,500 car accident related deaths were contributed to the fact that the person wasn't wearing a seatbelt or they weren't strapped in properly to a booster or car seat.
- They were drunk. Drunk driving was the cause of 10,000 crash deaths in the United States in 2013. One in three crash deaths were the result of drunk driving.
- They were speeding. Nearly one in three of crash deaths included a driver who was speeding at the time of the car accident. Speeding contributed to more than 9,500 crash-related deaths.
- They were distracted. 8 people in the U.S. die every day and 1,161 are injured because they're involved in a car accident with a distracted driver.
- They were fighting with another driver. Road rage is prevalent in the United States.
- They were impaired. Many people depend on prescription medication. These medications help them get through their lives, but they can also make it unsafe for them to drive.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reported that there were 243,316 injuries related to car accidents in Florida and 2,939 crash deaths in 2015.
What Can be Done to Reduce the Number of Fatal Car Accidents?
These statistics are awful, but what can be done? What can we do to lower the risk of death on our roads and highways?
All of us, the people, the drivers need to do more to lower fatal crashes. Here's what we can do to stay safe and avoid deadly car accidents:
- Always wear your seat belt. This is easy to do, but still, people avoid it. You're not tough if you don't wear a seatbelt. We need to take all precautions to stay safe when we drive.
- Read and re-read your child's car seat manual. If you're struggling to understand how to set-up your child's car seat, know that you're not alone. Those things can be tricky. Don't be afraid to ask your parents, a cop, or firefighter for help if you don't know how.
- Don't drink and drive. Don't do it. No, it's not OK to have a couple of drinks and then hop in your car. Drunk driving kills.
- Put your phone away. Put your phone on silent and put it in a place where you can't touch it. Trust me, your friends and family won't be offended.
- Notify your doctor immediately if you experience side effects from your medications. Prescriptions can be powerful. Many of them can impair your driving, especially if you mix them with alcohol and other drugs.
- Take a deep breath. You didn't lose anything if you let someone cut in front of you at a known merge area. You won't impress anyone if you don't let them in. Be courteous when you drive and take a deep breath when you get angry.
- Keep an eye on your speed. Many car accidents wouldn't be deadly, but for excessive speed. Better to get there a few minutes late than not get there at all.
Who Can You Contact if You're in a Deadly Car Accident?
In 2015, an estimated 96 people died every day in the United States because they were involved in a deadly car accident. That's one person every 15 minutes. That's way too high!
When you're on the road, focus, and be alert. Yes, driving is dangerous, but it doesn't have to be deadly. If you're involved in a car accident, contact Lowman Law Firm. They'll be there for you when you need them most.