Numerous parties have an influence on the likelihood of a fatal crash occurring. Those that design vehicles and plan roads can potentially save lives with innovative safety features. Lawmakers put traffic rules in place to promote safety on the roads, and police officers actively enforce traffic statutes when they see people breaking the law.
However, the safest vehicles possible operated on well-designed streets can still end up involved in fatal collisions when motorists don’t prioritize safety. The efforts of all the other parties involved pale in comparison to the influence that a motorist has when it comes to their own safety.
There are many different factors that contribute to the likelihood of a serious car crash occurring and the three detailed below are some of the most significant that are within the control of a driver.
1. Avoiding intoxication before driving
When looking at the causes of fatal collisions that occur in the United States each year, chemical intoxication remains one of the most common factors. A large number of deadly collisions involve at least one motorist under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Impairment at the wheel affects decision-making ability and reaction times and drastically increases the likelihood of a crash. Prescription medication, street drugs and alcohol can all lead to impaired driving ability.
2. Abiding by the speed limit
It is common practice for people to treat the speed limit as a suggestion or as a mandatory minimum speed on a stretch of road. However, the speed limit is actually the maximum legal speed that applies when road conditions are optimal. Excess speed is dangerous whether people exceed the posted limit or they don’t adjust their speed to reflect weather conditions. Vehicles traveling at higher speeds cause worse collisions, and higher speeds also affect a motorist’s ability to stop or maneuver rapidly.
3. Remaining focused on the road
Distraction is a serious safety concern for people of all ages. While many associate distracted driving and especially texting while driving with young adults, professionals and stressed parents also text and email while driving. Distraction of any type is dangerous, especially if it takes someone’s hands off the wheel and their eyes off the road. Drivers should do their best to remain alert and focused, which may require that they plan ahead by turning off the ringers on their phones.
Making a few small changes to daily habits can potentially help people reduce their personal risk of causing a fatal motor vehicle collision.