Driving: The Most Dangerous Part of our Day

We are 23 times more likely to have an accident while texting and other driving facts.

By Mark T. Freeley, Esq. (Open Post)June 1, 2011 at 6:56pm

Our government maintains statistics on all sorts of things that go on in our country. However, some of the most startling numbers have to do with the not-so-simple daily act of driving a car. It seems that maybe we don't think of driving as a dangerous activity, and therefore we tend to let our guard down when we get behind the wheel. Maybe the following facts will help to get us all back on the defensive when driving on Route 347 , Middle Country Road or Route 25A.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 40,000 people die and 3.2 million people are injured on our roadways every year. Unfortunately, the odds are that one day in the next six years we will be involved in one of these accidents. That statistic alone should motivate us all to attempt to be safer drivers.

A third of all traffic fatalities involve someone who is speeding.

We are 23 times more likely to have an accident if we text while driving. Statistically, texting is more dangerous than drinking and driving, which makes it 11 times more likely that we will have an accident.

Simply dialing our cell phones while driving triples our risk of having an accident.

Did you know that it takes the average car traveling at 60 mph about 271 feet to come to a stop? That is almost as long as a football field. How many of us keep that distance between the car in front of us on the LIE or the Northern State?

Statistically, for every accident we are involved in, we typically experience 11 near crashes. When was the last time you had a "close call" because you were distracted by the cell phone, radio, Starbucks, kids, etc.?

We really can't ignore the fact that our daily trips in our cars are likely the most dangerous tasks we undertake each day. Knowing this, we each should take steps to help keep us safer behind the wheel. We need to ...

  • wear our seat belts every time
  • ensure our kids wear their seatbelts
  • use booster seats and child safety seats on every trip
  • adjust our headrests properly; the top should be the same height as your ears
  • not sit too close to the steering wheel, as we may hit the steering wheel before the airbag can deploy and because airbags can cause serious injuries if we sit too close to them
  • keep our hands on the steering wheel at the 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock positions to allow for quicker reaction time
  • check our tire tread, as worn tires can reduce our stopping distance by 25 percent

Let's all take our daily driving more seriously and set good examples for our children by driving smarter.

Keep it safe out there.