Unsafe driving behaviors often lead to tragic outcomes. To promote road safety and prevent death and injury, it’s helpful to face the facts about traffic fatalities and their causes.
In Minnesota, over 300 people have already died in traffic accidents this year. Last year, Minnesota reached the 300th fatality on Oct. 31, which means that the state is on track for a higher number of traffic deaths in 2018.
So far, drunk driving has led the way in causing fatal accidents this year. Speeding and distracted driving, which includes driving while texting, have also been major contributors to traffic deaths. Neglecting to wear a seat belt is another critical factor.
Don’t mix drinking and driving
Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol can result in serious legal consequences, including prison time, steep fines, and the loss of certain driving privileges. It also significantly increases the risk of death or serious injury.
As described in a fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the effects of alcohol include poorer coordination, reduced alertness, impaired judgment, and slower response times. These effects begin to kick in even when your blood alcohol content is below the legal limit.
Speeding increases the chances that you’ll lose control of your vehicle or not have enough time to react to a change on the road, such as another driver suddenly braking ahead of you.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration points out that you need to do more than merely stay within the speed limit. You also need to account for various road conditions, including poor visibility, curves, the presence of construction, and surfaces slick from snow, rain, or ice. Driving more slowly and cautiously saves lives.
Maintain your focus on the road
Distractions, especially texting as you drive, frequently prove deadly and also lead to serious injuries. Unfortunately, drivers often overestimate their ability to pay attention to the road while handling their phones. They don’t realize how much their reaction times slow down or how inattentive they truly are as they drive.
The Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety lists a variety of tips for minimizing distractions. These include asking a passenger to handle texts and calls for you.
Each year, seat belts save thousands of lives and significantly reduce the chances of death and injury. Buckling up takes only a few seconds, and as long as you’re following seat belt guidelines, you can enjoy the safety benefits.
For additional safety advice, you can visit the website for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Office of Traffic Safety. Taking the right precautions is the best way to reduce your chances of death and injury on the road.
However, it isn’t always possible to completely eliminate the risk of suffering an accident. If you or your loved ones have been injured in a traffic accident, don’t hesitate to contact Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben for dedicated legal assistance and guidance. Call 612-377-7777 or toll free at 1-800-752-4265 for a free consultation.