More than 30,000 people die and more than 2 million are injured in traffic accidents each year in the United States. Most accidents are the result of human error, and injuries are more severe when basic safety precautions are not taken. Here are a few basic safety issues that every driver should keep in mind.
First, it should go without saying that driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, prescription or otherwise, is always a bad idea. In 2012, alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities accounted for 31 percent of all traffic deaths.
Distracted driving and fatigued driving can be as dangerous as impaired driving. In 2012, an estimated 3,328 people were killed and 421,000 people were injured in accidents affected by driver distraction. Drivers can be distracted not only by cell phone use, but by conversations with passengers, eating or drinking, or using a navigation system.
Finally, drivers can best keep themselves safe by wearing a seat belt. Millions of adults fail to wear their seat belts while driving, despite the fact that using seat belts is the most effective way to reduce injuries from crashes and save lives.