The World Health Organization tracks the leading causes of fatalities worldwide. A consistent reason is road traffic accidents that have led to the death of almost 1.3 million people. Approximately 47,000 out of that number happened in the U.S. in 2017.
We can prevent any more accidents from occurring by practicing safety and awareness while we’re on the road. However, it’s unlikely for us to stop them entirely from happening, given how that there are external factors that we can’t entirely control.
Some of these factors can cause minor injuries, resulting in the need for proper post-crash care and the aid of an auto accident attorney in Kent or other areas to settle any disputes. In some instances, the scenario can be worse. Here are a few risk factors to note of.
Following traffic laws is one of the best ways to impede any possibilities of crashes happening. But we also need to take into account the drivers who don’t do the same while they’re on the road.
Speed limits are enforced on every road, but the level of the number is dependent on the location itself. Highways tend to have higher limits than suburban areas, given the lack of pedestrians and cyclists on the road.
Regardless of the number, all drivers need to take note of these limits and shouldn’t go above or below since they will disrupt the flow of traffic. Those who are speeding, in particular, can also cause extreme harm to others in the event of an impact. In 2017, speeding caused almost ten thousand fatalities on the road.
Driving Under Influence
Substances like alcohol and illicit drugs inhibit both our reflexes and judgment, which is why we should never drive if we have partaken in either. That is because driving under the influence not only risks our lives but countless others on the road as well. DUIs were the cause of more than 10,000 fatalities in 2016.
A way to reduce this number is by looking into alternative means of transportation before going to social events. One that is commonly used these days is the numerous carpooling services on the market.
Non-Use of Safety Tools
Wearing your seatbelt is a basic rule that must be followed upon riding a vehicle. However, many people neglect to do so that the authorities had to enforce seatbelt laws to get citizens to abide by the simple rule. For drivers and front-seat passengers, this is especially important to follow since seat belts help reduce impacts incurred in the event of crashes.
Eating, drinking, applying makeup, and texting — these are some of the activities that we should never do while we’re behind the wheel because they take away our attention from the road. With our attention divided, it’s more likely for us not to notice things like cars changing lanes or pedestrians crossing. In 2017, drivers who were guilty of distracted driving claimed over 3,000 lives on the road.
Other risk factors include the weather and unsafe road infrastructures. These are elements that are out of the driver’s control. However, what we have power over is the safety of the people around us, including ours.