Motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. According to the CDC, more than 2.3 million adult drivers and passengers were treated in emergency departments as the result of being injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2009.
While the rates of fatal car accidents have decreased in the past decade, drivers have more reasons than ever to be distracted.
What are the most dangerous things drivers do?
1. Driving Under the Influence: A majority of traffic-related deaths are caused by drunk drivers. Even if you are below the legal BAC limit (.08), drinking can impair your driving. Additionally, many people claim that they “drive better high,” but drug influence also impair drivers. Calling a taxi is so much more worth it.
2.Speeding: Speeding is the second leading cause of traffic-related deaths. Drivers that travel above or even much below the posted speed limit put themselves at a higher risk of getting into an accident. A speed limit exists for a reason, and when drivers all travel at relatively the same speed, there are less surprises on the roadways.
3. Texting: Distractions in general have become a huge problem, especially when drivers feel so connected to their phones. Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%. Essentially, when you have your mind somewhere else, you can’t react to changed on the road and you pur yourself and others in danger.
4. Drowsy Driving: After a long day at work or night with little sleep, we all find ourselves yawning at the wheel, struggling to keep our eyes open. Give yourself plenty of time to wake up in the morning, and if you notice that you are losing focus, pull over. Even though you may drive the same commute everyday, you never can know what to expect. If you’re especially tired, it’s almost equivalent to the impairment caused by drugs or alcohol.
5. Tailgating: Driving behind an extra slow driver is never fun, but following too closely can get you into trouble when it comes time to make a stop. Additionally many drivers like to drive close behind tractor trailers because smaller vehicles can draft and increase fuel economy. However, truck drivers can’t always see behind their big rig, and sudden stops can get you into a whole lot of trouble.
We are all prone to making mistakes on the road, but taking some extra precautions can be the best way to avoid an accident. Instead of becoming another accident statistic, reward yourself for making safe decisions on the road.