Reckless Driving Causes Injuries and Death
Practice Staying Cool When Driving
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that roughly one-third (1/3) of all motor vehicle crashes and about two-thirds (2/3) of the roughly 42,000 to 43,000 crash fatalities that occur each year is contributed to aggressive driving behavior.
In the early 1990's, aggressive driving by motorists became more frequent and hearing about motor vehicle crashes and crash fatalities started to become daily news stories. Because of the increase caused by aggressive driving, in 1995 the New York State Police started an anti-aggressive driver program and in-between 1999 and 2003, seventeen States introduced a total of thirty-six aggressive driving bills.
In 1995, the New York State Police initiated Hazardous Violation Program in effort to decrease aggressive driving behaviors such as excessive speed and reckless driving habits.
Reckless Driving Habits:
• Excessive Speed
• Frequent or Unsafe Lane Changes
• Failure to Signal
• Failure to Yield the Right of Way
• Disregarding Traffic Controls
• Impaired Driving
The Hazardous Violation Program is to motivate people to drive more safely and as a warning of what will happen is someone fails to make necessary improvement to their driving habits.
Frequent causes of negligent driving, violations and crashes:
Impatience: Practice patience. Traffic tie-ups happen while going to work, increased traffic during holidays and weekends. A simple solution is to leave a little earlier or adjust your schedule.
Inattention or Distractions:
Simply put, inattention is not paying attention to the driving task. People easily get distracted by activities they should not do while driving a vehicle. Examples include using cell phones without a headset, texting, eating, constantly changing the radio, applying make-up and men shaving using an electric razor. Doing any of the activities while driving prevents the driver from evaluating traffic conditions especially when emergency or hazards exists.
Road Rage - Tips to help control yourself while driving on the roads.
Don't drive when you're angry, keep in mind benefit of the doubt because others (like yourself) make mistakes, when possible try not to drive during rush hour, keep yourself comfortable by adjusting your seat and using air-conditioning to stay cool and calm and leave home a few minutes earlier so you don't need to rush/drive fast to arrive on time.
Stay Cool and Responsible:
Try to stay calm by staying clear and getting out-of-the-way of an aggressive driver, report aggressive driving to the police, when not passing cars in the middle lane, stay out of the left lane, avoid direct eye contact with an aggressive driver which helps to prevent road rage and don't return evil with evil by not yelling back at someone who is obviously causing road rage.
Fatigue adds to dangerous driving too.
There are four types of fatigue that drivers need be wary of.
• Attention fatigue… Not paying attention to the driving task as much as you should.
• Visual fatigue… Having a hard time focusing and objects appear blurry and signs are hard
• Muscular fatigue… A delay to respond to driving situations such as someone cutting in
front of you and the driver in front of you coming to a sudden stop.
• Sleep fatigue… Most common when people can not remember anything about the last
few miles they have just driven. Drowsy driving starts with fatigue and leads to thousands
of accidents each year. Sleepiness causes crashes because it impairs performance and
may eventually lead to falling asleep behind the wheel.
Here is an easy to follow tip to help prevent drowsy driving. If you need to take a long trip by yourself, stopping to rest every 100 miles or every two hours to take a short nap for about 15-20 minutes has shown to improve driving performance and drinking coffee or soda with caffeine may help improve alertness according to the National Transportation Safety Administration.
Running Red Lights:
Running red lights is one of the most common aggressive driving behaviors. 22% of all urban crashes are by drivers running red lights and almost half of those accidents result in injuries. Drivers who run red lights especially in New York City is a deadly problem because red light runners injure and kill hundreds each year.
Did You Know? Red light cameras are in use in most major United States cities. Research shows that red light cameras do work. In New York City, red light cameras reduced pedestrian injuries by 19%, overall injuries by 10% and crashes by 40% over a six-year period at sixty locations.
FOLLOWING TOO CLOSELY, CHANGING LANES, YIELDING, AND BACKING UP SAFELY
Before we continue any further let’s take a few minutes to briefly discuss following too closely, changing lanes, yielding the right-of-way, and backing up safely.
BACKING UP SAFELY
Many accidents occur when drivers back up. Not only do car crashes occur, but injuries and deaths occur as well. Being struck by a "backing-up" vehicle is the cause of many fatalities and injuries to children, pedestrians, and bicyclists each year nationwide. Here are some helpful tips to help you avoid accidents when backing-up your vehicle:
• Before you get into your vehicle, do a walk-around, and make sure that nothing is
behind, around, or under your vehicle.
• If there is a way to continue forward without the need to back up, use that option.
• Check both ways for pedestrians or cyclists when backing out of a driveway or parking lot.
• Look over both shoulders, use all mirrors and use a spotter when available or if needed.
• Sound the horn twice to alert pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers.
• Always back slowly and cautiously.
Drivers should get out of the habit of simply getting into their car, starting it up, and backing out quickly. Drivers should use common sense, and take an extra few seconds to look around, take precautions, and back up safely.
Following Too Closely
Tailgating is a driving error that many drivers make. Most rear-end collisions happen by following too closely and can create road-rage.
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