The cars we drive are safer than ever, the new roads we use are engineered with every safety precaution and yet new statistics show the largest percentage increase in motor vehicle deaths in the past 50 years.
Take a look at this overview of the recent National Safety Council report on roadway safety.
Statistics on Driving Safety Reported
Newly released car crash statistics indicate that:
- Every 8 seconds, someone is hurt in a car crash
- 38,300 people were killed on U.S. roads
- 4.6 million roadway users were injured seriously enough to require medical attention
- 2015 likely was the deadliest driving year since 2007
- Estimated cost to society was $432 billion dollars
The data released was summed up in this quote from the president of the National Safety Council:
"Our complacency is killing us. Americans believe there is nothing we can do to stop crashes from happening, but that isn't true," said NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman. "The U.S. lags the rest of the developed world in addressing highway fatalities. We know what needs to be done; we just haven't done it."
Why Are Car Crash Numbers Rising?
To coincide with this study, the NSC conducted a survey to investigate what is happening with drivers on our roads today. The survey showed that many drivers are comfortable in what were once considered dangerous situations. The survey highlighted the following facts about respondents while they are behind the wheel:
- 64% say they are comfortable speeding
- 47% say they are comfortable texting either manually or through voice controls
- 13% are fine with driving while impaired by marijuana
- And 10% are comfortable driving after they feel they've had too much alcohol
In response to this survey, the NSC has some legislative recommendations it would like enforced immediately. Here are just some of the recommendations listed:
- Mandate ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers
- Install and use automated enforcement techniques to catch speeders
- Extend laws banning all cell phone use – including hands-free – to all drivers, not just teens
- Upgrade seat belt laws from secondary to primary enforcement and extend restraint laws to every passenger in every seating position in all kinds of vehicles.
- Pass or reinstate motorcycle helmet laws
Follow These Tips to Stay Safe on the Road
In your day to day life, what can you do to stay safe on the road? Practice defensive driving and stay vigilant on the road. If you reduce your distractions and drive with safety in mind, you can be a part of the solution, reducing car crash injuries and fatalities.
To help ensure safety on the roadways, the Council recommends drivers:
- Use seat belts on every trip, no matter the length.
- Always designate an alcohol- and drug-free driver or arrange alternate transportation
- Never use a cell phone behind the wheel, even hands-free
- Get your teen the drive training they need, because teens are three times as likely to crash as more experienced drivers.
- Understand your vehicle's safety systems and how to use them, these include, cruise control, warning systems and backup cameras.
- Get plenty of sleep and take regular breaks to avoid fatigue
Get more road safety facts and statistics by visiting our car crash information page.
How safe do you feel on the road? Will this report help you practice safer driving?
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