According to the National Safety Council, more than 40,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2017. If these numbers are accurate, 2017 is the second year in a row with over 40,000 crash-related deaths. These high figures have prompted officials to call our nation’s vehicle death toll a public health crisis.
Even so, authorities and policymakers have an uphill battle to climb if they want to create laws that will actually improve the current situation. With ever-advancing vehicle technology and an increase in new laws aimed at keeping our roadways safe, one would think that vehicle fatalities would drop. However, reckless driving is at the core of many of these fatalities. Unfortunately, reckless driving is hard to solve with laws and technology alone. A Boston car crash attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence.
What is Considered Reckless Driving?
The term reckless driving doesn’t only apply to speeding down the road in the wrong direction with no lights on. Even not wearing a seatbelt is a form of reckless driving. The most common examples include:
- Distracted driving: About 64 percent of all traffic accidents in the U.S. involve a cell phone, and 421,000 people are injured in distracted driving-related accidents annually. Shockingly, texting and driving is six times more likely to result in an accident than drunk driving.
- Speeding: Excessive speed is involved in one-third of all crashes and about 33 percent of all fatal crashes. Approximately 13,000 die annually because of speeding.
- Drowsy driving: According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 64 percent of drivers admit to driving while drowsy in the past year, and 37 percent say they’ve actually fallen asleep behind the wheel.
What’s the Solution?
Designers of self-driving vehicles are under an increased sense of urgency with the rise in traffic deaths. But self-driving cars are a long-term solution. What can be done today to stop this deadly problem? A MA motor vehicle accident lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured in a crash.
Until self-driving cars are as common as cell phones, we need to utilize safe driving practices at all times if we want to avoid becoming a statistic. To protect yourself, your family and everyone with whom you share the road, follow the safety tips below:
- Never use your cell phone or any other hand-held device when behind the wheel. If your smart phone has a driving mode, use it when you are en route to avoid getting texts and other alerts. If you absolutely must make a call or send a text, pull over in a safe location before doing so.
- Always wear your seatbelt.
- Don’t speed.
- Don’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Ever.
- If you feel tired, pull over and take a power nap. Avoid driving for long stretches – especially late at night – if possible. Check any medications you are taking to see if they cause drowsiness.
- Avoid driving in inclement weather if possible.
- Allow ample space between you and the car ahead of you, and avoid driving aggressively.