As a few of , we preserve a scanner within the newsroom that enables us to watch emergency calls. Because the day wears on, we hear every part from loitering to home arguments to overdoses to fires and a few very unusual issues in between.
However not a day goes by that we don’t hear at the very least one emergency name involving a automobile. Hit-and-runs, particularly in parking heaps, come up lots. There are additionally a disturbing variety of road-rage incidents and reckless diving (e.g., rushing and weaving out and in of site visitors). And we hear about automobile crashes — significantly on Interstates 68 and 79 — with alarming frequency. And people calls are often the worst.
Simply this previous Monday, there have been three accidents on I-68 early within the morning that closed each westbound lanes: A automobile struck a building barrier on the I-68/79 cut up; a ripple-effect rear-end crash involving 4 autos; and a separate rear-end collision ended up with each vehicles within the median and one particular person going to the hospital. Final Tuesday, a automobile and van obtained squished between massive rigs, leaving the automobile unrecognizable. Shockingly, there have been no fatalities, however a number of individuals have been despatched to the hospital. (Requires a rear-end collision and a reckless driving/highway rage incident came visiting the scanner as this editorial was being written.)
The general development of yearly automobile accidents has risen steadily however steadily within the final decade, going from 5.6 million in 2012 to six.1 million in 2021. (There was a peak 6.75 million accidents in 2019, however then a steep drop in 2020 to five.25 million, as stay-at-home orders took impact, earlier than climbing once more.) The development line is roughly the identical for the variety of crash fatalities: Some years are a little bit increased or decrease, however the development line has been angling up for the previous decade. However on common, roughly 40,000 individuals (give or take a number of thousand) die in automobile accidents annually.
In accordance with a Forbes evaluation, 35% of crash fatalities are brought on by impaired (learn: intoxicated) driving, whereas rushing accounted for 29%. Put them collectively, and practically two-thirds of lethal automobile wrecks may have been prevented if drivers made higher selections.
Hopefully, these numbers function a sobering reminder to drive safely.
Don’t drive whereas beneath the affect of medicine or alcohol. Suck it up and name a ride-share or taxi. Or ask a sober good friend to return choose you up. Worst case state of affairs, sleep it off in your parked automobile. Even higher — make a plan for the way you’re going to get residence (safely) earlier than you drink.
Don’t pace. Look, we get it — 70 miles per hour can really feel like crawling typically, and it’s laborious to not push it to 75 or a little bit extra. However there may be nearly by no means any cause to go above 80 mph (until somebody within the automobile is having a medical emergency and you’re in your option to the hospital; by which case, put in your hazard lights and name 911). The sooner you’re driving, the much less time it’s a must to react if one thing goes flawed.
Associated: Depart at the very least one automobile size between you and the automobile in entrance of you. In the event that they should cease or swerve immediately and also you’re too shut, there’s a a lot higher probability of rear-ending them. Or of you getting rear-ended by the particular person in entrance of you, when you do handle to cease in time.
We’ve all had days after we’re operating late and we don’t precisely obey the letter of the site visitors legal guidelines. We push the pace restrict a little bit, we weave round annoyingly sluggish vehicles and we speed up by way of lights which are extra pink than yellow.
However it’s higher to reach a couple of minutes late to your vacation spot than to be a number of hours late since you wrecked your and/or another person’s automobile. Or worse — to by no means arrive in any respect.