March 4, 2018
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people under 24-years-old and the second-leading cause of death for people over 25. Even though some car crashes aren’t preventable, many of them are. By taking precautionary measures and committing to driving responsibly, every person can help lower his or her chances for being involved in fatal or injury-causing car accidents.
Technology is constantly changing and evolving – but just because many different car models come equipped with modern safety features doesn’t mean that drivers don’t have to pay attention when they’re behind the wheel. Distracted driving, drowsy driving, speeding and driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol are all common culprits in automobile accidents – and are all entirely preventable. When a driver is under the influence, driving erratically or is drowsy or distracted it puts all other drivers on American roadways at risk.
Distracted driving is anything that takes a driver’s attention away from his or her surroundings and the task at hand. Some common examples of driver distractions are:
- Making a phone call;
- Eating, and:
- Looking for something, such as an item in the glove compartment or center console;
The NSC estimates that 3,000-4,000 people die and more than 390,000 others are injured in crashes resulting from distracted driving every year. Teenagers may be especially susceptible to distractions behind the wheel, so the NSC advises that parents and caregivers discuss the importance of driving responsibly as well as to set a good example for all safe-driving behaviors. A good rule of thumb is to disallow the use of all technology while driving, and to consider the car a “distraction-free” area. The NSC even created a “safe driving pledge” that adult and teenage drivers can take to lower the likelihood of deadly accidents.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that as many as 1 in 25 drivers have fallen asleep behind the wheel in the last 30 days of driving. It may come as no surprise, then, that the centers also estimate that as many as 6,000 fatal crashes annually are related to drowsy driving. The CDC finds that some of the most at-risk individuals for falling asleep behind the wheel or driving while fatigued are:
- Individuals with undiagnosed and/or untreated sleep disorders;
- People who are on medications that can cause drowsiness;
- Night shift workers, long shift workers and commercial drivers (such as truck or delivery drivers), and:
- Are sleep-deprived
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) says that adults need anywhere between 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night – and teenagers need even more. Individuals who take medications that can cause drowsiness should talk to their doctor about the risks of operating a motor vehicle. With an array of transportation options available – like public transportation, walking, biking or taking an Uber – there’s really no excuse to drive drowsy.
Thousands of fatalities – as well as hundreds of thousands of injuries – are the result of speeding or driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 10,000 individuals were killed in speeding-related car crashes in 2015 – and CDC data confirms that more than 10,000 were killed in alcohol-impaired crashes that same year. Ensuring that drivers obey posted speed limits, cracking down on aggressive driving behaviors (like tailgating) and increasing enforcement and ticketing efforts are all ways to limit these kinds of accidents.
One of the first lines of defense against distracted or drowsy driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs as well as speeding is to be aware and drive responsibly – far too many people are killed or injured in preventable motor vehicle accidents. Even though driving becomes commonplace for many individuals, it’s crucial to remember that every time a licensed driver is behind the wheel of a car, it’s a big and important responsibility that needs to be taken seriously.
Allentown Car Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Represent Individuals Injured in Automobile Accidents
If you were injured in car accident, please contact the Allentown car accident lawyers at Galfand Berger. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.