The United States saw a 31% reduction in vehicle-related fatalities from 2003 to 2016. This data from Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention comes with a bit of bad news, though. Compared to other high-income nations in its league, which boasted of a 56% improvement, the U.S. did poorly.
Is there a need to raise greater awareness on safe driving in America and other countries? To this end, here are the most common causes of road mishaps and how to avoid them:
1. Distracted driving. Staying alert and safe entails paying attention to the road, but complacent car owners try to do multiple tasks behind the wheel. Grooming, answering texts and emails, and eating should be out of the question. Even listening to music and talking to passengers while driving can be dangerous.
2. Driving under the influence. In 50 states, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is at .08%. The standards are more stringent for commercial drivers whose limit is set at .04%. Avoiding DUI is as simple as taking a cab home after a night out or handing over your car keys to a sober companion.
3. Teenage Driving. Vehicular crashes for young drivers are on the rise. In fact, there is a zero-tolerance policy on drinking under the influence for drivers under 21. This means even the slightest indication of alcohol in the blood will result in a DUI arrest. Lack of training on defensive driving is also a common problem among younger drivers.
4. Passing through or within construction sites. Maxisafe.com.au highlights the importance of road safety equipment, such as signs, cones, boom barriers and personal protective equipment.
5. Driving through the rain, at night or while sleepy. Poor weather conditions, such as dense fogs and heavy rain, put drivers at great risk. So does being exhausted or sleep-deprived. You must know when it is best to pull over to take a rest or wait for the conditions to improve.
Some 37,000 people perish in car crashes annually. This means over-confidence is a common mistake among drivers or vehicle owners. It is anticipation, however, that saves lives. Drive carefully, be alert and responsible and stay safe on the road.