Traffic accidents and fatalities are up after years of declining. A recent article in Consumer Reports entitled “Crash Course on Car Safety” indicates that accidents and fatalities are continuing to rise.
The Consumer Report article reported that the number of death and injuries in motor vehicle accidents in 2012 saw a 5% rise after over 5 years of declining numbers. It reported that in 2012 there were 12,872 deaths where the deceased was unbelted, 9,944 deaths where speed was the main factor in the accident, 9,878 deaths of occupants of motor vehicles where the driver’s were intoxicated, and 3,331 deaths identifying distracted driving as the major cause.
There were suggestions as to what could be done to bring these numbers down. Most are just common sense, but it did suggest that advances in motor vehicle safety technology can go a long way in reducing the numbers i.e. speed sensors in motor vehicles, ignition interlocks, cars with easy to use and good control systems, and improved voice-command systems. There are of course some simple things we all can do such as slowing down, wear your seat belts, wear a helmet when on a motorcycle, don’t drink and drive and don’t use hand held phones while driving.
The article also suggested five easy ways to drive defensively to avoid dangerous drivers:
1. Be ready for the unexpected.
2. Give other drivers plenty of space.
3. Hone your driving skills.
4. Avoid driving at the deadliest times.
5. Report erratic, dangerous driving behavior.
The best advice is still buckle up, where a helmet when on a motorcycle, slow down, don’t drink and drive and don’t be a distracted driver.