Driving is one of the best luxuries that are afforded to all Americans. However, driving comes with a great responsibility. You may not realize it, but a vehicle that is designed to get you to your destination could be instantly turned into a 3,000 pound projectile if you are irresponsible. Unfortunately, car accidents happen all too frequently, and the culprit is often irresponsible decisions. These car accidents can result in personal injury, mental trauma and even death.
Facts on Car Accidents
Car accidents happen all too frequently, and the cause is often behavior that can be easily avoided. According to Annual United States Road Crash Statistics, over 37,000 people die annually in road crashes. About a fourth of these deaths involve young teenagers aged 16 to 20. In 2017, someone actually died in a road related accident once every 17 minutes.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 31 percent of these accidents were caused by drunk driving and being under the influence of alcohol. Distracted driving also accounted for about 3,000 of these deaths as well.
Based on all of these facts, personal injury and death from car related accidents can be drastically reduced if drivers make responsible decisions and refrain from getting distracted or intoxicated. Some of these primary causes of personal injury in car accidents should be analyzed more in-depth to understand why drivers should refrain from engaging in these activities.
Texting and Driving
One of the biggest distractions and obstacles that prevent a driver from driving as safely as possible is texting. According to Edgar Synder and Associates, approximately 390,000 accidents take place as a result of texting and driving. In order for a driver to be as safe as possible, any and all distractions should be removed. Unfortunately, texting serves as one such distraction.
The reason why texting serves as a dangerous distraction is because it takes your focus off the road and not on the cars in front of you, behind you, and to the sides of you. Therefore, when a driver hits the open road, it is highly recommended to put the cell phone away and tell any person you might expect a phone call or text from that you will not be available prior to hitting the road.
To put into perspective how dangerous texting and driving can be, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provided this one question that should give a clear sign to the present danger of texting and driving. Would you drive a car at 55 miles per hour down the highway over a blindfold? While you may not think the two is similar, texting takes the eyes of a driver off the road for approximately 4.6 seconds. That is more than enough time to cause a personal injury or severe accident if you are moving fast enough.
In Oklahoma City, texting and driving is a primary offense. Oklahoma became the 46h state in the United States to ban texting and driving along with other forms of electronic communication while operating a vehicle. In addition, according to statistics pulled by Carr & Carr Attorneys at Law, being distracted by an electronic device is the leading cause of accidents in Oklahoma City in people aged from 16 to 25. Disobeying this law can lead to jail time and further ramifications that could potentially last a lifetime.
However, texting and driving is not the only major safety hazard presented to a driver before they got on the road. Being under the influence of alcohol also serves as a clear and present danger.
Drinking and Driving
The most common predisposing factor that leads to personal injury and auto accidents are drivers driving under the influence of alcohol. For all auto accidents, drunk driving accounts for about a third of those crashes. There are a litany of reasons why you should not drink alcohol before getting out on the road, and it is primarily due to the effects that alcohol has on the body.
First and foremost, alcohol slows your reaction time. If alcohol is in your circulatory system, it slows your ability to respond to different situations, and your brain will take longer to process certain events happening in front of you and how to properly respond to them.
Next, your motor abilities and coordination are drastically reduced. Making sharp turns, turns at a correct angle, or even driving in a straight line can prove to be a very difficult task. Getting in your car and turning the ignition on can be a struggle as well.
Not only are your motor skills reduced, but your concentration is also negatively influenced. Your attention span drastically goes down, and this will affect your ability to adhere to certain speeds, staying in your lane and abiding by certain traffic signals. The chances of an accident significantly increase if you are not fully concentrated (which is another reason why you should not text and drive either).
If there is another universal negative impact of alcohol, it is the reduction of your ability to make good judgement. Experienced drivers should know that a large part of being a good driver is being able to judge situations correctly, especially when it comes to parking. Your brain controls your ability to analyze certain situations, and your judgement will play a role in how to make certain decisions. If a car happens to cut you off or if you do not know if a vehicle will fit in a certain space when it comes to parking, having great judgement is important. Alcohol robs this ability from you.
Other permeating side effects of alcohol includes drowsiness, slurred speech and decreased vision.
As you see, texting and drunk driving are two major distractions that account for innocent deaths in the United States each year. Getting a DUI or being caught texting and driving can not only get you in major legal trouble, but cause you to take a life forever. Make wise decisions.
An aggressive personal injury attorney in Tulsa can assist and guide you to build a personal injury case, countering any attempt by a negligent defendant to avoid taking responsibility for your personal injuries or damages. The Gorospe Law Group personal injury attorney law firm has a long track record of excellent results for their clients in Tulsa.
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