We learn in drivers’ education – the road can be a dangerous place. We are taught to be conscious and aware of our surroundings, always on the look out for potential danger, ready to react to anything. When we first get behind the wheel at age sixteen, many of us are incredibly careful. We always use our turn signals, always break fully at stop signs, and never drive too many people in our cars. We NEVER use cell phones while driving and we definitely never drive under the influence. Though this is not true for every new driver, many of us start out driving with extreme caution. And those is, again, not true for every experienced driver, many of us lose some of that caution as we become for practiced. Some of this is natural, but some people take it to far. Though many accidents are caused by weather conditions or things out of the driver’s control, many are due to distracted driving or driving under the influence as well. From semi truck accidents to passenger car accidents, there are over one million motor vehicle deaths every single year.
No matter whether we talk about semi truck accidents or whether we talk about an accident between two passenger cars, distracted driving is becoming a huge issue. Distracted driving refers to when a driver is distracted by something other than the rode. Usually, the distracting object is a cell phone. Texting and driving has become hugely problematic, and talking on the phone while driving remains and issue. Many trucking accidents and car accidents alike could be prevented with the reduction of distracted driving, but it currently causes around 10% of deaths in car accidents.
Drunk driving as well as driving under other forms of intoxication is also a huge issue. Many semi truck accidents, for example, could also be prevented if drivers did not drive while intoxicated. While this most often means drunk driving (and over one million drunk drivers get stopped and arrested every year), this can also mean stimulants truck drivers sometimes use to stay awake and alert on the road. In fact, over 20% of semi truck accidents were found to be caused in part by the driver driving too fast, particularly for the road conditions at the time of the accident. Truck drivers also drive when very over tired, and being stuck behind a semi truck in the middle of the night can sometimes be a nerve wracking experience.
No matter what the accident cause, there are things we can do to drive more safely. It’s important that we never drive while under any form of intoxication and that we keep our cell phones stowed away while we’re on the road. We must also be vigilant and aware of our surroundings and exercise caution while driving. These simple things can prevent accidents and save lives. A car crash can be devastating to all parties involved, and it’s in all of our interests to prevent as many as possible.