For the first time in nearly a decade, the National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that as many as 40,000 people died in 2016 from a motor vehicle crash. This 6% increase, mimics the 2015 increase of 14% from 2014, indicates that distracted driving continues to be a safety issue for all.
Whether you are a Danella employee, family member, or just a visitor to our website, it is likely that you know someone affected by distracted driving. April is Distracted Driving Awareness month. An estimated 4.6 million roadway users were injured in 2016, which preliminary data indicates that 2016 being the deadliest year on the roadways since 2007.
The cause of these deaths is often due to neglectful driving or distracted driving. The culprits causing these accidents, are often speeding, talking on the phone, texting while driving either manually or through voice commands, eating and driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol. Hands-free devices are not entirely risk-free and they can become a deadly distraction when you factor in that 94% of car crashes are caused by a driver’s error.
The United States lags behind the rest of the world in addressing these highway fatalities and their culprits. Complacency, in believing that accidents are not stoppable, is a common issue, allowing these life-threatening actions to continue. The NSC is currently calling for life-saving measures to be nationally instituted to reduce road deaths. These actions could include:
• Better education about the nature of impairment related to drugs and alcohol
• Installing and use of automated enforcement techniques to catch speeders
• Extension of laws banning cell phone use, including hands-free, to all drivers, not just teens
• Standardizations of blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and adaptive headlight into the fleet automotive safety technologies
• Reinstate or pass motorcycle helmet laws
• Adopt comprehensive programs for pedestrian safety
Danella currently utilizes technology to help assist our drivers focus on driving and stay alert. Safety for us is a number one concern, especially when it comes to driving to and from job sites. As individuals, we can pledge to “just drive.” Half of those who died in car crashes last year were not wearing seatbelts; this simple safety tool can prevent you from further harm when it comes to accidents. NSC’s #JustDrive campaign centers around this message to help “keep each other safe.”
For more resources on distracted driving, visit the National Safety Council’s website, at nsc.org. The NSC is also holding a free webinar on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at 2:00 PM EST on the dangers of distracted driving, sign up here.