Every year, there are tens of thousands of auto accidents that occur which result in serious injury or death. The possibility that these accidents could have been prevented may stem from the behavior of the person behind the wheel. Either through impaired driving from drugs or alcohol, or distractions involving mobile technology, or some other form of irresponsible operation of a motor vehicle, the consequences can be devastating.
To be clear, the overall trends regarding motor vehicle accident injuries are improving thanks to improvements in car safety and developments in technology. Yet despite an increasing number of people turning to added safety ranging from Low Cost Interlock devices to apps for shutting off phones while driving, many deaths on the road continue to be a result of driving while under the influence or through distractions.
Safer Vehicles Does Not Equal Safer Drivers
Auto safety has been a major concern for the manufacturers of vehicles and has influenced the way that vehicles are designed and produced. New safety measures, improvements to the physical form of the vehicle, and even the onboard computer software capable of making driving decisions automatically for drivers have been developed. This slight disconnect may influence the amount of awareness that drivers have on the road thus adding to the possibility of accidents.
Humans are still able to make decisions. This is where deaths by car accidents really start to increase based on these poor decisions. Accidents from speeding and careless driving have increased four percent in recent years while the amount of people choosing not to wear a seatbelt has also increased. Driving while tired or drowsy contributes to the accidents that result in fatalities as more people are driving with less sleep.
Recent tech and avoidance of texting have shown a decrease in accidents from distractions as drivers are now making a point not to text and use their devices while driving. New console inclusions in the dashboard make it possible to do some of the functions of their devices while driving without having to lose focus on the road. Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, apps for fighting distracted driving are also available, which essentially prevent phone use while in motion thanks to GPS.
The generation of drivers in the 65 plus year range is steadily increasing with each decade having older geriatric drivers who may no longer be qualified to drive but have valid licenses that expire several years from this point. Drivers in this age range may have health related issues that make it dangerous for them to drive and they do have fatal accidents not attributed to distractions or driving under the influence.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
More than 90 percent of serious accidents in the past three years have been attributed to drivers under the influence or speeding resulting in crashes. This includes the use of alcohol, improper use of prescription drugs and illegal drug use. With nearly 40,000 yearly deaths from car accidents, a fourth of them are from drunk driving alone.
Use of marijuana has shown an increase of three percent of accidents in states where the recreational use has been legalized. Studies have shown that the increase of accidents doesn’t actually correlate with an increase in deaths linked to marijuana but it does increase the danger while driving under the influence of the drug.
Interpreting the data on accidents caused by being under the influence of drugs or alcohol shows that it is still the most prevalent danger to those on the road, sober or not. Trying to avoid drivers who are under the influence is not something that most drivers are prepared for. The erratic and unpredictable nature of those who are not 100 percent under control of their actions due to intoxication really increases the possibility of a fatal accident.
Road safety technology
It is amazing how much technology is nearly touching every aspect of our lives. This even expanded to maintaining road safety on that road which could eventually participate in reducing the number of car accidents. Apple and Google have joined the trend through their CarPlay and Auto, respectively.
Apple’s CarPlay is available on a select of cars, allowing you to use your iPhone in a safer way while driving. It does that by taking the things you want to do with your iPhone while driving and puts those on your car’s built-in display. For instance, it allows you to get directions, make calls, and send and receive messages in a way that keeps you focused on the road!
Auto is available on a select of cars, and has been designed in a way that takes safety in mind in addition to minimizing distractions, allowing you to remain focused on the road. For instance, similar to CarPlay, Auto allows you to make calls and receive messages while focusing on the road.