The road safety will be one of the biggest challenges for the future. Cars are getting more and more popular and severe car accidents occur now more often than even before. It's not too hard to see behind the main reasons:
There are a lot more cars on the road – 1950s began with 25 million registered cars on the road. Mere two years ago the number was already 254 million! It's a huge growth. This number means that there are a lot more people behind the wheels. More people is heavy traffic and will also increase the likelihood of meeting the drivers with poor driving skills or someone having health problems while driving. All above mentioned can lead to accidents with serious consequences.
Cars travel with higher speed - In the beginning most roads didn't had maximum speed limit at all. It's not because every speed was allowed but more as the very first cars couldn't really go any faster than 18 miles an hour. Currently the speed limits are from 65 mph to 85 mph. As the speed rises, the response time will lower. For example if an animal jumps on the road, it can make a huge difference whether you have 3 seconds or 5 seconds to react before the impact should occur.
Better roads - as illogical as it might sound roads in better condition can also be the cause for severe car accidents. With straighter and smoother roads it's easy to drive faster. The faster the car goes, the more serious the injuries will be in case of an accident. Although some cities build roundabouts or add speed bumps to prevent going at too high speed, it's not possible to add those on highways.
Time to take matters into our own hands
What could work in preventing car crashes? Of course it's possible to run more innovative campaigns that will raise the awareness of the consequences of car accidents or increase penalties. In the end it will still all go back to one person. Instead of asking "What can government do to improve safety on the roads?” everyone should ask "What could I do?”. The answer is simple:
Always follow traffic rules and regulations – When visiting other states or foreign country you have to read their rules and regulations before you get behind the wheel. Make sure that you know what are the speed limits, is it right-hand traffic or left-hand traffic, do you need winter tires during certain period of the year, who has priority, do you have to keep your lights on also during the day etc.
Become a defensive driver – Learn to foresee what could happen on the road. If the car in front of you swerves from one road side to other, keep longer distance. If you see animals on the road, slow down - there might be more. If you feel tired, pull over and get the rest you need.
Don't drink and drive – Make sure that you and neither of your friends wouldn't go driving when under influence of drugs or alcohol. Drunk driving is one of the prime causes for severe car accidents. If going out with a group, it would be perfect to have a designated driver.
Use your seatbelt – If the accident is already happening and you can't prevent it, seatbelt will be your best friend. It will keep you from flying around in the car and hurting yourself or others.
If a person has been in an accident the question that they'll forever ask is "What could I have done differently?”. We don't want you to be in this situation and after reading this article you should have enough knowledge about the causes and how to prevent it from happening. Drive safe!