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21.06.2017 - 14:44

Ways to Reduce Accidents on Roadways

The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that as many as 40,000 people died in car accidents in 2016, which is about a 14 percent increase in deaths since 2014. Roadway fatalities are, without a doubt, continuously problematic.

While states like Rhode Island saw a significant decrease in roadway fatalities, other states have seen little improvement in their roadways. There is no one way to make our roadways safer, but instead, a combination of ideas can increase safety and reduce roadway fatalities.

 

Education

Educating drivers on the dangers of the roadways is an effective way to create change. It’s never too early to start educating children about safety. From the time they are born, we stress the importance of wearing a seat belt, and as they become teen drivers we talk about the dangers of distracted driving.

 

Even though young drivers take a drivers education course before they get their licenses, it’s important to start talking about roadway safety much earlier. Similarly, it’s never too late to educate yourself on everything from new laws to new safety technology in cars by simply following the news.

 

Senior citizen drivers can also learn a thing or too, especially if they take a defensive driving course (also known as a “refresher course”). All of these educational opportunities are designed to keep you better informed and prepared for constant changes on our roads.

 

Changing the Way You Drive

There are a variety of factors that can contribute to a car accident, but a majority of accidents are a result of human error, such as texting and driving or driving while under the influence of alcohol. Look around you, and you’ll notice that most of the drivers you see are distracted, impatient or in a hurry.

 

Even though many drivers “know better” than to engage in risky behavior while driving, they do it anyway. If we truly want to see a drop in roadway fatalities, we must start making changes in the way we drive. Whether you stop tailgating other motorists or finally put your phone out of reach while driving, making small changes can make a big difference.

 

Stricter Laws

One of the reasons that Rhode Island has safer roads is because the laws became stricter. For instance, in an effort to prevent subsequent drunk driving offenses from occurring (and putting innocent lives at risk), they made interlock devices mandatory.

 

Depending on where you live, certain laws such as distracted driving laws may vary, as do the penalties. Regardless, the laws surrounding seat belts, handheld devices, and drunk driving should be taken more seriously by drivers, and with consistent patrolling, we could see fewer accidents.

 

Advocacy for Change

Much like education, advocating for change can be effective in reducing the number of car accidents that occur each year. If you have been in a preventable accident, share your story to inspire others to make changes. See a road that needs fixing? Call your Department of Transportation. Want to see improvements in laws? Call or write your state legislator.

Taking small steps to prevent car accidents can result in a significant change over time; do your part and be a safer and more responsible driver.

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