Cars are wonderful conveniences, but no technology, perhaps, can protect us from ourselves. Unfortunately, while vehicle safety features have improved over past years, that does not always translate into safer driving. Experts note that many car accidents each year are highly preventable and are caused by mistakes that can easily be foreseen and avoided. Avoiding these common driver mistakes means fewer car-related burn injuries, spinal cord injuries, trauma, and fatalities:
1) Drinking and driving. Despite numerous education campaigns, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that 15% of adults admitted to driving after drinking at least once over the past year. Researchers also attribute 32% of car accident fatalities to drunk drivers.
2) Doing something besides driving. According to a poll conducted by Nationwide Mutual Insurance, over 80% of drivers admitted to doing something other than driving while driving. Activities ranged from painting toenails to applying makeup to reading, shaving, eating, or text messaging. All these activities remove focus from the road and can prove deadly. According to research completed by Virginia Tech University and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSA) 80% of car accidents occur while a driver is distracted.
3) Not wearing a seatbelt. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSA), there would have been 5,024 fewer car accident fatalities in 2007 if everyone wore seatbelts while in a moving car.
4) Driving while tired or sleepy. According to the National Sleep Foundation, driving while tired can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Tired drivers have slower response times and have even been known to fall asleep at the wheel. Since there is less dishonour in driving tired, however, more people do so, putting everyone on the road at risk.