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We’ve become a commuter culture. Most households in the United States have at least one car. Families frequently have a car for every driver in the house. The technology used by automakers makes the cars we drive safer and more sophisticated with every passing model year. In 2008, the United State had the lowest accident fatality rate ever recorded in the automobile age. To put this in perspective, in 2008 there were still six million car accidents in the U.S. that led of more than 37,000 deaths. It should also be noted that the leading cause of death for people between the ages of three and 34 in the U.S. is car accidents. That said, most accidents are caused by preventable human error. By practicing safe driving habits, you can do your part to reduce the number of fatalities from accidents in our country. And who knows, the life you save may very well be your own.
The number one tip for safe driving is pretty obvious. Do not ever get behind the wheel of a car (or truck, or motorcycle, or scooter, or bicycle) if you have been drinking alcohol or are otherwise impaired whether it is from prescription medication, over the counter medication, controlled substances or lack of sleep. More than 30% of all fatalities from car accidents in the U.S. come from accidents caused by impaired or drunk drivers. 11,773 of the 37,000 car fatalities in 2008 are from drunk drivers. These are all tragically avoidable deaths. It is a simple concept – never ever get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you have been drinking. Call a friend. Call a cab. Take a bus. But do not drive your car. In this age of cell phones, you truly have no excuse for not finding another way home.
Speeding may be fun and exhilarating but it is also a leading cause of accidents in cars and other vehicles. Research has shown that for every mile per hour you travel at, the likelihood of an accident increased by 4-5%. The higher the speed, the more that risk catapults higher and higher. In 2008, speeding was a factor in 31% of all fatal crashes. 11,674 of the 37,000 car crash deaths were from speeding. This is also completely and totally preventable. Between drunk driving and speeding, 2/3rds of the auto accident fatalities from 2008 are covered. Both are preventable. Driving is a privilege. Treat it as such by following the rules of the road.
Adam Kutner Las Vegas