The average person in a developed country has a 1 in 100-lifetime risk of being killed in a road traffic accident and a 1 in 3-lifetime risk of being injured in the same. These statistics are part of the motivation behind the ambitious goal set by the United Nations in its 2015 Agenda for Sustainable Development to halve the global number of deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by the year 2020. Sadly, we are not meeting this goal on a national level in the United States, and we have even seen some increases in traffic accident fatalities over the span of these years. For example, there was a 5.6% jump in road crash deaths from 2015 to 2016. However, there are many individuals and communities working hard to improve the safety of our roads. By practicing defensive driving, maintaining our vehicles, and demanding better of our communities, cities, and states, we should be able to reduce roadway fatalities and finally make good progress on our Road to Zero.
If you have been in a serious car accident or have lost a loved one in a tragic crash, there are resources available to you. Working with an experienced car accident attorney during this challenging time can be a tremendous help. There is so much to handle in the aftermath of a deadly accident. Medical visits for injuries of survivors, vehicle repair or replacement, funeral arrangements, and taking care of your family all take tremendous time and energy. Working with a professional accident attorney can relieve you of some of these responsibilities. The experts at Thompson Law can provide legal guidance, assist you in navigating the process of treatment, and help you make the insurance demands associated with your claim. If it comes down to it, Ryan “the Lion” Thompson is prepared to fight your battle in court to make sure you receive your maximum just compensation for your ordeal.
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How Individuals Can Reduce Car Accident Fatalities
Drill Defensive Driving:
Defensive driving skills are a collection of habits that reflect safe and thoughtful choices on the road. The practice has been popularly described as “driving as if everyone else around you on the road is drunk,” and this idea can really inspire a driver to give the road their full attention! There is not a settled list of behaviors that define defensive driving, but a lot of the following habits are typically included:
Watch Your Speed
Watch your Lane Position and Lane Changes
Watch Out Especially for Pedestrians, Bikes, Scooters, and Children
Do Not Tailgate and Follow the “Two Second Rule”
Look for Assured Clear Distance Ahead
Do Not Drive Aggressively
Watch Out For Red Light Runners
Be a Courteous Driver
Essentially, defensive driving includes safe, law-abiding behavior and common sense. Stay focused, drive cautiously, obey signs, and encourage this behavior to your friends and loved ones. If we all consistently did these things, there would be far fewer roadway deaths every year.
Wear Your Seatbelt – The number one step that can be taken to reduce your chance of being killed in a car accident is to always wear a seatbelt. Estimates at an increased chance of survival due to proper seatbelt use are 45-65%. Anytime you are in the car you should be belted and do make sure anyone else driving with you is also wearing his or her belt. Seatbelt laws fall under the Primary Enforcement category in Texas, meaning you can be stopped by a police officer for this offense alone, and you may be dealing with up to $200 in fines and court costs. It is illegal to ride in the front or backseat of a car without a seat belt, but beyond just risking a ticket or citation, you are risking people’s lives when you drive this way.
Ditch Dangerous Driving:
Drunk Driving – Drunk driving is the number one cause of car accident deaths. Never drive while you are under the influence, and don’t let your loved ones take this risk either.
Drowsy Driving – Driving while you are extremely fatigued and in need of sleep is an extremely risky behavior. This danger is frequently associated with truck drivers who are pressured to cover as many miles as possible, as fast as possible. Pushing past your limit can have terrible consequences, and studies have shown that being awake for just 17 hours can have a similar effect on your body to a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.05%
Distracted Driving – Texting and Driving has been a growing problem in the past few years, especially with the increasing ubiquity of the smartphone. Drivers distracted by their messages, apps, maps, and music cause over 1.6 million crashes annually in the US. Texas alone had 404 fatalities in 2017 caused by texting and driving.
Be Careful in Dangerous Conditions – Bad weather is a contributor to 11% of fatal traffic accidents. But snow and thunderstorms, with their poor visibility and slick or icy roads, are not the only contributors to treacherous conditions. Construction can kick up debris, add chaos to your surroundings by confusing other drivers, demand unexpected slowing or stops, or divert lanes. Heavy traffic is another factor that is cause for concern. The stress of the situation and the saturation of vehicles can bring out aggressive and reckless tendencies in some drivers that can result in crashes.
Get Regular Inspections – Keeping your car in ideal working order through regular professional check-ups can help prevent dangerous and deadly mechanical failures. Heed warnings and recall notices that you receive about your car. Recall information can be found simply by searching your car’s VIN. Cars are expensive, powerful, heavy machinery, and if yours is not operating properly, you are endangering yourself and those around you. Do yourself a favor by taking the time and taking the care to properly maintain your vehicle in good, safe working order.
Maintain Visibility – Beyond professional inspections, take your own steps to ensure that your call is well-maintained. Avoid being in one of the 3400+ accidents that occur in Texas yearly due to impaired visibility. Keep headlight and taillight bulbs lit, replace worn out wiper blades, and keep windows and mirrors clear of obstruction. If you have safety systems built into your car, take advantage! Back up cameras and sensors, blind-spot mirrors or other specialty technology should all be kept in good working order to boost your ability to see all of your surroundings while you drive.
What We Can Do on a Community, City, & State Level to Reduce Road Fatalities
- Improve Signage – City Planners, Engineers, and other construction professionals are responsible for designing and building successful city infrastructures. Small neighborhood streets may require only foot-long street signs and notices of bicyclists or children at play. Major interstate highways need much larger signs that are visible far enough in advance for drivers to react accordingly, and to direct people unfamiliar with the road to the proper lanes in plenty of time. Confusing merges and intersections should be assisted with sign communication to help drivers safely and efficiently navigate the area. Proper signage warning drivers about the road environment can save lives.
- Improve Design for Roads and for Cars – Vast technological and engineering improvement has occurred in both roads and cars in recent years, but there are always potential updates for antiquated designs and technological innovations to be created. One study presented research showing that road crash deaths might be mitigated by as much as 20% of all vehicles were fully in compliance with national safety recommendations. In addition, it supported that lowering bumpers on cars and creating “home zones” where roads are uniquely equipped with lower speeds and non-motorist safety measures particularly for non-motorists, could also greatly contribute to the avoidance of injury and fatality by a motor vehicle collision.
- Improve Emergency Preparedness – The vast majority of motor vehicle accident deaths occur in the hour immediately following the crash – so on the scene or on the way to the hospital. Cities and hospitals are constantly working to improve the efficiency of their emergency response, but there is still improvement to make. Training first responders in techniques to reach the scene and address the situation as quickly and successfully as possible is paramount in eliminating those critical minutes victims spend waiting to reach an emergency room.
Have You Lost a Loved One in a Tragic Car Accident?
Get the Help You Deserve from an Exceptional Car Wreck Attorney Today.
Tragically, despite our best efforts to make safe choices on the road, deadly accidents do still happen all the time. This is especially true in Texas, which accounts for about 10% of the traffic fatalities in the entire United States every year. After losing a loved one in one of these accidents, it is important that you receive justice for your suffering and loss, and compensation for your troubles and challenges.
Reach out to an experienced car accident lawyer who is dedicated to fighting for justice after a wrongful death. Thompson Law’s track record of success shows the passion that Ryan Thompson and his team have in fighting for their clients. After a terrible loss, focus on your health, make time for the people you care about, and leave the hard work of fighting insurance companies and those at-fault to The Lion.