Road accidents have been part of man’s existence ever since he discovered he can travel using the wheel. Reducing road accidents is possible though. In the past, there were fewer road accidents because there were fewer cars on the road.
Accidents and fatalities are almost in proportion to the increase in population and the number of vehicles. The United States for example, with a population of 76 million in 1900 had a total number of 36 registered road accident fatalities while in 2016 there was a total of 37,806 registered fatalities from a population of 323 million.
But reducing road accidents isn’t as difficult as you imagine. As mentioned, fatalities and injuries are said to be almost in proportion to the population. Because in 1972, there were a total of 54,589 casualties from a population of almost 210 million, much more than the number of fatalities last 2018 that numbered 36,560.
With that example, one can say that the United States has a somewhat working safety program which greatly reduced the numbers from the 1970s. There are of course many factors as the numbers for the past decade fluctuated up and down between 32,000 and 38,000.
Awareness is the best weapon against any type of incident, including road accidents. Any sensible government in the world should be posting or airing content such as public service announcements (PSAs) or tips regarding road safety.
Reducing Road Accident Tips
- Keeping both eyes on the road while driving – it’s a clear given that the driver must keep both eyes on the road at all times though it’s important for the driver to glance on the side and rear mirrors every ten seconds or so.
- Avoiding driving while intoxicated – Don’t drink and drive.
- Following speed limits
- Never use your cellphone – in line with the first rule. Drivers should not be too distracted while driving.
- Following traffic signs
- Ignoring aggressive drivers
- Lack of driving knowledge – drivers should at least know the basics of their vehicles as well as traffic rules and signals.
Aside from behavioral factors, the environment can play a role as well in the occurrence of road accidents.
Causes of Accidents
- Bad weather such as blizzards, intense rain, road ice and fog – is a major factor in road accidents sometimes resulting in multiple casualties in a single incident. As much as possible, avoid driving during intense weather unless absolutely necessary.
- Driving into construction areas such as high-rise buildings but mostly into ongoing or neglected road work – accidents sometimes occur within construction areas where objects fall over vehicles causing damage or injuries. Also, road works with insufficient warnings or signs also lead to accidents for unaware drivers.
- Animal crossings when driving through wilderness areas – drivers need to be fully alert when driving though forest or mountain roads because wildlife could cross at any time which could result in the death of the animal or the injury/death of the driver.
Then there are factors that include the vehicle itself:
- Poor maintenance – drivers should practice continuous preventive maintenance and checking of their vehicles before travelling. Performing BLOWBAG before driving is a must. Governments and private institutions also need to push for BLOWBAG awareness.
- Manufacturing defects – drivers and owners should be on alert for manufacturer alerts regarding their vehicles. Manufacturers often issue recalls or checking when they discover defects with their products.
Bottom line, road accidents could be greatly reduced with continued awareness with regards to the aforementioned circumstances and preventive measures. Governments and private institutions have done their job well beginning 2008 reducing the number of fatalities from the 40 thousand to within the 30 thousand mark but still needs to improve especially now during the most distracted period for human beings thanks to social media. But social media can also be a great tool for spreading awareness in the prevention of road accidents.