You might be surprised to learn that the leading cause of death in the United States for people under the age of 44 is unintentional injury. The three most common causes of unintentional injuries are motor vehicle accidents, poisonings and falls. Each year there are over 30 million visits to hospital emergency rooms for unintentional injuries. These are some of the most common preventable accidents so you can get a better understanding as to what you can do to not become one of these statistics.
These types of accidents are so prevalent that in 2016, more than 61,000 people died as a result of unintentional injuries which is nearly twice as many deaths that resulted from all types of cancer and heart disease, combined! Additionally, more than 30,000 people are killed each year in motor vehicle accidents, in this country, and approximately 2 million people are injured in motor vehicle accidents. There are a number of common causes of motor vehicle accidents which include distracted driving, drinking and driving, speeding, reckless operation of a motor vehicle and operating a motor vehicle with defective equipment. So, what are some of the things that you can do to prevent unintentional motor vehicle accidents?
Distracted driving, which could include using your cell phone and texting while driving is becoming an epidemic. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides this very sobering statistic: the time it takes to send or receive one text message typically takes a driver’s eyes off the road for about five seconds. If you are driving at 55 mph, it would be like driving the length of a football field while blindfolded. It is safe to assume that no one would intentionally drive the length of a football field while blindfolded but by texting and driving you are doing exactly that and endangering the lives of all of those on the road.
The holiday season is upon us. Many people will attend house parties, office parties, neighborhood parties, will meet friends and family members at restaurants and taverns and alcohol will be a large part of these celebratory gatherings. Far too many tragedies result from drinking and driving accidents. It is always good idea to have a designated driver with you and if you don’t and feel you’ve had too much to drink then please contact Uber or Lyft to get you home safely.
As the weather begins to get more treacherous, please make sure that your motor vehicle is in good working order, that your lights and windshield wipers are properly functioning, that you have enough windshield wiper fluid in the reservoir, that your tires have the proper depth, and that overall your car is in roadworthy condition. Make sure you leave plenty of time so you can arrive at your destination without the need to speed or engage in any type of dangerous driving activity. If you are traveling long distances, be aware of the dangers of drowsy driving so make sure you are well rested or pull off the roadway to get some needed rest or have someone that is with you takeover the driving responsibilities.
Be very careful as a pedestrian. Watch for icy roadways, parking lots and sidewalks. Cross only in crosswalks. Be mindful of the fact that it might take longer for a car to stop because of slippery conditions. If you are driving, leave plenty of distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. If you see the light begin to turn yellow make sure you stop in advance of the light so that you do not slide or create a risk of a collision by going through a red light.
If you are living in a warmer climate and ride a bicycle or motorcycle always be on the lookout for motor vehicles that are not following the rules of the road and create a risk for people who are more difficult to see given the fact that they are in far smaller transportation vehicles. Always wear a helmet and bright clothing. Follow the rules of the road and never drive after you have been drinking.
If you follow some of these basic rules you can help to reduce the risk of becoming an unintentional accident statistic. If you or someone you know has been the victim of the negligence of another and has been injured we would be happy to speak with you to advise you what you should and should not be doing. Our consultations are free. We take these cases on a contingency fee basis and advance the cost to develop your case so you do not have to come up with any money out of your own pocket.
Please enjoy a very safe and happy holiday season.