Over the last decade, you've likely seen an increase in the number of public health campaigns. These ads have asked drivers to do everything from paying more attention to their surroundings in an effort to start seeing motorcyclists to securing a sober ride instead of driving while intoxicated.
But despite the best efforts of state and federal governments, we continue to see a large number of fatal accidents every year. In fact, according to the most recent data available to the Centers for Disease Control, the United States ranks first on a list of 10 high-income countries for having the highest number of fatal motor vehicle crashes in 2013.
Where does the problem lie?
The problem in our country lies in a number of things drivers are still doing behind the wheel despite public knowledge of how dangerous these actions truly are. Some of the mostly likely to cause a fatal accident include:
- Drunk driving
- Not using seat belts, car seats or booster seats
- Distractions behind the wheel (including talking on the phone and texting and driving)
What does that data say?
According to the CDC's most current data:
- Intoxication accounted for more than 10,000 accident deaths
- Driving faster than the posted speed limit led to more than 9,5000 deaths
- Failing to use seat belt restraints, car seats and booster seats resulted in more than 9,500 crash deaths
- Distracted driving contributed to more than 3,100 deaths (according to a 2013 U.S. Department of Transportation data sheet)
What should people do to reduce the number of fatal accidents?
It's common sense to say that most accidents are avoidable, but it requires the effort of every driver to make this a reality. Simply knowing you shouldn't text and drive or operate a vehicle after drinking alcohol is very different from actually avoiding these types of dangerous and negligent behaviors behind the wheel. If each person makes the conscious effort to make a change, then change will happen and we may see less fatal accidents down the road.