Drivers play a big role in road safety. If motorists are careful and don’t engage in high-risk driving practices, fewer car collisions should occur. Unfortunately, in Oklahoma and throughout the United States, crash rates were higher in 2015 than in prior years. Drivers must be aware of the role they played in rising collision rates. As a New Year approaches, now is the time for motorists to take stock of their own driving skills and to make plans for how they can improve going forward.
How Drivers Can Help Reduce Rising Collision Rates
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is warning the downward trend in car accident deaths may be over. In fact, preliminary crash data from 2015 shows the rate of fatal accidents did not continue to decline as it had for the past several years but instead significantly more people died in collisions this year than they did last year.
In 2014, 32,675 victims lost their loves as a result of being involved in a motor vehicle collision. In 2014, an 8.1 percent increase in the number of car crash victims occurred. Fatality rates are also measured to make an assessment of the number of deaths per 100 million miles traveled by vehicles within the United States. In 2015, there was a 4.4 percent increase in the fatality rate, which had been determined to equal 1.07 deaths per 100 million drivers in 2014. These increases are statistically significant.
Oklahoma drivers played a role in rising crash rates. National Safety Council found a 15 percent increase in car crash deaths from 2013 to 2015 in the state of Oklahoma during the first six months of the year. NSC published data only from January to June for each state, and revealed more than 30 states had seen a rising number of car crash deaths in 2015.
There are steps drivers can take to try to fix the rising death rates in the future, and NHTSA is urging the traffic statistics be treated as a “call to action” for improving driving safety. Motorists, for example, can help to do their part to reduce collisions next year if they:
- Commit to following the speed limit and other rules of the road, and to slowing down when road conditions necessitate caution.
- Remain sober and avoid doing drugs or using alcohol before operating vehicles.
- Avoid driving when feeling fatigued, and take rest breaks on long trips.
- Limit the number of passengers in vehicles with teen drivers, as more passengers means higher collision risks for young motorists.
- Commit to giving 100 percent of their attention to the road and avoiding all distractions.
By being cautious and following best practices when it comes to safe operation of motor vehicles, motorists can try to help make 2016 a better year on the roads than 2015 was.