If you’ve got a license and are out on the road regularly you have probably broken some traffic laws subconsciously. Have you ever rolled through a stop sign because no one else was around? Or speed even five miles over the limit? Ever checked your phone or sent out a quick text while at the wheel? These are only a few of the many causes of car accidents in the U.S. Small road violations can lead to big accidents, even if you think no one else is around. Safe driving is important even when no one else is looking or the violation may seem small.
Here are some eye-opening statistics regarding vehicle accidents in the United States:
- 40,000 accidents result in death each year
- 90 deaths per day
- Accidents resulting in permanent injuries reaches 2 million a year
- Fatal injury accidents happen more on the weekends
- 1,600 kids under the age of 15 die every year in some sort of vehicle accident
These high numbers mean that you could be a part of these statistics. We share this information not to scare you, but to help protect you and your loved ones.
Safe Driving Tips
We’ll start with the obvious – wear your seat belt! The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 15,000 lives were saved in 2017 because drivers and passengers made the smart decision to click their seat belt.
Everyone should know that if you are using your phone behind the wheel, you’re not driving safely. In most states, it is illegal to even be on your phone while behind the wheel of a vehicle. Of all the accidents that occur each day, the National Safety Council reports that 1 in every 4 accidents is caused by a driver distracted by his or her cell phone.
Another important safe driving tip – never get behind the wheel when you have been drinking or may be under the influence of any kind of drugs or alcohol. This is also important for those times when you may be on a new medicine.
Age Can Be a Factor
Another important thing to note is that people between the ages of 16 and 19 are at a much higher risk of being in an accident than those who are older. About 8,000 young people are killed in auto accidents between the ages of 16 and 20. One of the most terrifying moments in a parent’s life, but exciting for most teens, is the day they get their license and are finally able to hit the open road without a parent or guardian in the front seat next to them. This is why it is extremely important to go over road safety if you have a teen receiving their license.
Tell your kids to wear their seat belt, put their phones down, and never, ever get behind the wheel if they have consumed any amount of alcohol or drugs, even if they think they are “okay to drive.” Hopefully, they will pass along the lessons they learn to their friends, too.
Next time you get behind the wheel, remember these statistics and remind yourself that safe driving takes priority over speed and convenience. If you have been involved in an auto accident, Gerling is here to help.
Gerling Law is a leading personal injury law firm dedicated to providing aggressive legal representation to individuals and their families. With over 50 years of experience, Gerling Law has helped thousands of people in Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in a wide variety of personal injury and consumer protection cases, including trucking accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, and social security disability. Gerling Law takes pride in the fact that we have never represented insurance companies, hospitals, or large corporations and that we fight against powerful companies for our clients.