When it came to the number of vehicle related fatalities in the United States, there was a slight improvement in the year 2017. However, 2017 was the second year in a row in which there were 40,000 or more fatalities on our roads. This staggering number is highlighting the fact that additional measures must still be implemented to keep our roads as safe as possible. It is well known that automotive manufacturers have done their part to keep passengers safe, introducing advanced safety features that drivers of the past could’ve only dreamt of. These features include collision warning systems, multiple airbags, and blind spot monitoring. With these improvements within the automobiles that we use, we should surely see a drastic improvement in the number of roadway fatalities, right? Well as mentioned previously, that is simply not the case.
When it comes to the alarming number of deaths that are still occurring, the root cause has been narrowed down to distracted driving and disobeying speed limits. These are all issues that can easily be addressed with a conscious effort of our drivers.
When cell phones were introduced to the roadways, distractions while driving reached an all time high. That level of distraction seems to be rising as our society becomes more and more dependent on smartphones as a whole. The most important action that any driver can take to do their part in protecting the public on the roads is to put down their cell phone. At a minimum, hands free options for calls should be utilized while driving.
Let’s say you’ve had a “rough” morning and are running a couple of minutes late to work. You probably think to yourself “If I just go 10mph over the speed limit, I can make up some time and still arrive safely.” However, when we increase our driving speed from 60mph to 70 mph, the total stopping distance that we require increases by 75 feet. Meaning we need approximately an entire football field to come to a stop. We must remember that all speed limits were set for a reason, and they must be followed.
While the implementation of self driving cars may one day help keep us safe, it is not an immediate solution to this issue. In the meantime, we must all make conscious efforts to protect ourselves and our neighbors on the roads.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident, contact an experienced attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 800-594-4884.