What a difference a day could make if motorists were to pick one day to curb bad driving behaviors in North Carolina and throughout the country. Poor driving behaviors, after all, are what makes roadways dangerous for motorists and increases the chances for involvement in a car accident in Asheville, Statesville and elsewhere in the state.
Car safety improves each passing year with better technology and more features that keep drivers and passengers safer and reduce the severity of injury when involved in a car accident. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released a status report which discussed the effectiveness of various safety measures like seat belts, child restraints and helmet use.
Hickory car accident attorneys agree that safer cars help, but motorists can improve their own safety by slowing down, being patient and focusing on the road. Early projections by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate that roughly 33,000 lives were lost nationwide in 2010 due to a car crash caused by a drunk driver, distracted driver, aggressive driver or someone driving way too fast, among other causes.
The NHTSA estimates that roughly 13,000 lives were saved by the use of seat belts in vehicles in 2009. Using a seat belt is one of the simplest ways to help reduce the severity of injury in a car accident. The NHTSA also predicts that another 3,500 people could have been saved if every occupant were to buckle up while riding in a vehicle. At best, we probably have an 85 percent usage rate when it comes to all occupants buckling up every time they get in the car.
A little more than half of the states have adopted a seat belt law that makes it a primary offense in which drivers can be cited if they aren’t buckled up. Even fewer states require that all passengers in the vehicle be buckled while a vehicle is in motion, meaning someone in the back seat can ride unbuckled in some states and not be cited for a violation.
We posted previously on our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog that the American Academy of Pediatrics established new guidelines for child restraints and safety seats that parents, caregivers or anyone who rides with small infants and children should follow.
Motorists transporting young children are encouraged to keep them in a rear-facing seat until certain height and weights requirements are outgrown rather than when age requirements are met. For example, previously when a child turned 2 it was time for them to move to the next level, but now children are required to stay in rear-facing seats if they are under the weight or height restrictions set forth by the car seat manufacturer. Similarly, once a child has graduated to the forward facing car seat, it is recommended they stay in that seat until it is outgrown.
The use of speed cameras, red-light cameras at intersections, and ignition interlocks for habitual drunk drivers have all helped to deter some of the bad driving behaviors that occur on American roadways but it still isn’t enough.
“While we’re looking for the next big breakthrough in vehicle safety, we should keep in mind that many existing strategies at the driver and passenger level still can yield gains,” says Adrian Lund, Institute President.
Motorists can help themselves and help others by always practicing save driving behaviors every time you get in a vehicle.
To contact an experienced car accident attorney at the Lee Law Offices, P.A call 1-800-887-1965 for a free and confidential appointment . We represent car accident victims and their families throughout North and South Carolina.
More Blog Entries:
Driving Sober on Holiday Weekends Can Reduce the Risk of Drunk Driving Accidents in North Carolina, Nationwide, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, September 5, 2011.
Speeding and Driver Inattention Increases Risks of Rural Roadway Car Accidents in North Carolina, South Carolina, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, August 12, 2011.
Upcoming House Vote Could Remove Red Light Cameras in North Carolina, Leading to Increase of Accidents in Charlotte, Elsewhere, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, July 14, 2011.