Across the globe, roads are shared by pedestrians, cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, animals, and others. To ensure road safety is, in fact, a social duty for all who share a common space to commute towards each other. Negligence, distraction, or influence are reasons why serious car accidents occur around the world and in the United States. The US stands third amongst the countries with the greatest number of road accidents in relation to their total population. These road accidents involve all kinds of motor vehicles, from motorcycles to cars and pickups to lorries.
Road Accidents in the US: The Trends
By watching the road accident trajectory over the past century, it has been observed that mishaps on the road have surged more than 800%. From 4,200 people killed in road accidents in 1913 to over 39,404 deaths in 2018, the US has witnessed a sharp elevation in road fatalities. Even today, road traffic crashes stand as the leading cause of death for people up to 54 years of age in the US.
Around 6 million car accidents are reported each year across the country. There are also specific periods with dense statistics of active car accidents. It goes without saying that vacations, holidays, and national festivals are the deadliest days in terms of reported road accidents. Out of these 6 million accidents, more than 3 million people sustain injuries of different levels of severity. These can include injuries ranging from minor bruises or wounds to fractures and fatal internal injuries too. Combined statistics from public administrative authorities and healthcare services demonstrate that out of the 3 million victims who sustain injuries on the road, 2 million people suffer from injuries entailing permanent aftermaths. Such injuries may include permanent disabilities, long-term trauma, the affliction of psychological injuries, or ever-lasting mental incapacity.
Reportedly, out of all the accidents that occur, 72% of the happenings inflict some kind of property damage to the people involved. These property damages mostly pertain to external deformities or vehicles being completely totaled in serious accidents. These may also include damages suffered by people owning properties on the roadside and pavements.
The Fatality of Road Accidents
From the 2018 casualty-ratio in road accidents above-mentioned, it can be inferred that the latest statistics would indeed be deadlier. More than 90 people lose their lives to on-road tragedies every day, a number plainly subject to surge during peak rush periods on roads.
Major Causes of Deaths in Road Accidents
The majority of the times, casualties in road tragedies can be attributed to a handful few reasons that are undeniably known to make disasters worse. Driving under the influence leads to almost 40% of all accidental deaths on the roads. More than 30% of these deaths are due to speeding and losing control of the vehicle from over-speeding. People driving recklessly also pose significant harm to themselves and those around, causing 33% of deaths. It shows that none of these causes are natural or arise out of factors not under human control. In fact, all three of them are either created by or taken up deliberately by the perpetrators.
Use of Seatbelts
Statistics on road calamities are alarming and need to be appropriately addressed at a public level. Regardless of all traffic laws, rules, and the sanctions they entail, road safety can only be observed by transforming people’s attitudes towards it. Realizing how your actions impact others’ safety and the importance of using safety equipment and gears might help bring in a positive shift in these stats. A person not wearing a seatbelt is twice as likely to suffer from serious injury than a person who has fastened a seatbelt. Moreover, in an accident, a person not wearing a seatbelt is 30 times more likely to be ejected from the vehicle. Hence, a seatbelt helps reduce the risk of death by 45%, all such reasons compelling 6 out of 7 people in the US who regularly use seat belts.
Using Mobile Phones While Driving
Studies suggest that a cell phone may be the greatest distraction while driving. The habit makes the person behind the wheels focus on something not even remotely similar in importance and severity than its own life and that of people around. Using a cell phone while driving reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%, diverting all attention in that bracket to a trivial activity at hand.
Playing your part to prevent calamities on the road is a responsibility owed by all towards all. Drivers should ensure that they use seatbelts at all times, disregarding how short the journeys be. Even apart from the drivers, passengers on all seats should buckle up for safety in case of any mishaps. Young passengers, including children and babies, should always be fastened in belts of appropriate lengths and sizes into proper safety gears attached to the seats, booster seats, etc. Children should necessarily be buckled in the back seats of the vehicle only.
Avoid driving and prevent others from doing so under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Always avoid traveling with a visually impaired driver, and avoid driving if something obstructs clear vision, such as fog, smog, or rains.
It goes without saying that speed limits and traffic rules are supposed to be followed and respected for the greater good of all. To make sure you’re driving safe for yourself and others, try to avoid anything that acts as a distraction. It could either be calls, texting, scrolling through social media, or even listening to the music at loud volumes. Motorcycle and bicycle riders must wear helmets at all times and all safety gear necessary for their specific journeys.
Even pedestrians should demonstrate cautiousness to contribute their part. People walking should use the designated tracks and pavements to walk and not obstruct the way for motorists. Streets and roads must be crossed carefully, utilizing zebra crossings, overhead bridges, and traffic signals for pedestrians.
Ensuring that roads are a safe space for all is a collective duty that needs to be addressed. Not many organizations work to educate people about the recommended conduct on the roads. Recognizing that traffic rules are now an unrealized and essential part of our much faster lives, consciousness towards these should be brought in from within individually.
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