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How To Avoid Becoming A Fatality

Updated on April 30, 2012

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The number of auto-accidents have been on a decline since 2007 according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 41,059 people died in 2007 nationwide due to being in an automobile accident. This translates to 13-14 people per 100,000 who reside in the United States. Numbers like that are staggering and reconfirm that auto accidents pose a serious threat to the general population. Fact is if you are under 40 years of age, your possibility of dying in an auto accident is greater then any other cause of death!

Here are some interesting reports to consider:

93% of accidents reported are due to human error, driver fatigue, alcohol intoxication or distraction.

breaking this down further,

Appr. 81% of all accidents involve driver's talking with passengers or arguments breaking out, distracting them from what they are doing.

Appr. 66% involved changing the radio station, fondle for the CDs or other media devices.

Appr. 50% involve eating or drinking.

Appr. 25% involved cell phone usage or texting.

It gets even better the crashes and fatalities are lethal when mixing any of these combinations.

Rear Enders make up 30% of all collisions and 6% of the fatalities.

Side impacts contribute 29% of accidents and cause approximately 20% of all fatalities.

Head on collisions are accountable for 2% of accidents and 11% fatalities.

Pedestrian and Bicycle collisions account for less then 2% statistics show however 13.5% of the fatalities.

Collisions such as fire hydrants and light poles make up 16% of accidents and make up 32% of all fatalities.

Roll-overs make up 2%-3% of all accidents causing 11% of all fatalities. Collisions with animals account for 5% of accidents and causing less then 1% of all deaths in the U.S.

All of us know that everyone of these contribute to a split second decision when driving and operating our vehicles. We need to challenge ourselves by doing just a few simple things.

Tips Avoid Collisions and Fatalities

1. When operating a cell phone use your hands-free device. In some States you are fined if you are caught talking on the phone without a hands-free headset.

2. If your CD is finished, let the radio station come on and when you come to a complete stop, and change CD's. If you do not like what is on the radio station, have your stations programmed in your vehicle, wait until you come to a complete stop,then change the channel. A song does not take that long to complete, so hum to yourself if necessary but keep your eyes on the road.

3. Do not argue with a spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, significant other, if its that bad pull the vehicle over, count to five and take a timeout. Do not continue to scream and shout when the vehicle is in motion. There are other people around you moving in the same direction trying to get to another destination.

4. If you have pets, place them in a kennel or purchase a doggy safety belt do not let them wander around the vehicle, we may think it is cute but in the end we could harm others, ourselves and our pets for not using common sense. You wouldn't leave your children unbuckled would you?

5. When we are tired we try to reach the final destination as quickly as possible. Not a grand idea! When we are fatigued we can not clearly concentrate and we than become reckless and endanger not only ourselves but others on the road. Pull that vehicle over and rest.

6. Alcohol intoxication. How many times do we have to go over this? We cannot consciously function when we have been drinking. We do not think clearly, we are not focused. We should never ever get behind the wheel of a vehicle and drive. Call a cab, friend use a bus, train whatever gets you home safely, use it!

7. When we see a pedestrian or a person on a bike we need to slow down or stop when they are crossing, it only takes a split second.

8. There are many motorcyclists in the country don't tailgate them or cut them off , they do not have any protection around them. Stay back and look in the mirrors before changing lanes that person happens to be someones father, brother, sister, mother how would we feel if that happened to be one of our own family members?

9. When backing out of our driveways look for little people, in a split second they may become your victim. Why being in a hurry even if it is something needed at the store?

10. When taking prescribed medications and it says "do not operate heavy machinery or a vehicle", heed the warning have someone drive you to your final destination.

11. Illegal drugs and driving is just as bad as alcohol intoxication , do not get behind the wheel, you could harm others besides yourself.

12. Talk to teenagers, set ground rules and stick by them a vehicle is not a toy it is a weapon and behind the wheel sits responsibility being careful not to engage in combat.

13. Never exceed the speed. 5 miles is fine, nine is the max after that we are endangering others lives. Slow down we will all get there.

If all of us took a few minutes to do just a handful of things the fatality rate would lower even more and the statistics would change.

Don't create or become a statistic. Law enforcement have other things to do; besides remove irresponsible parties from collisions that could have been avoided.

copyright © 2009

After Reading The Statistics Will You Change Any Habits

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    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      William F. Torpey: It certainly does and they are like bullets but many do not understand that. :(

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      A good reminder, AEvans. Vehicles are speeding bullets. It pays to be alert at all times.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      fortunerep: I am so glad that you are here to tell about it, as that must have been a harrowing experience and I am thankful it has never happened to me, but I have been in a couple of fender benders that left me in pain, one man was on the cell phone and slammed into me at a very high speed, another was someone not paying attention. Thank you for sharing. :)

    • fortunerep profile image

      fortunerep 9 years ago from North Carolina

      very informative, I too have been in an auto accident that flipped my car 4 times, reason: changing the cd. All of your advice should be followed.


    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      gpetrou85: Thanks:)

    • gpetrou85 profile image

      gpetrou85 9 years ago from greece

      very nice,good hub.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      lyla: Thank you again as it does only take a split second. :)

    • lyla profile image

      lyla 9 years ago from India

      Wonderful hub with great tips.Yes,all it takes is a split second for something drastic to happen.Thumbs up!:)

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Ixxy: Added and corrected thanks for the advise and thumbs up.:)

      men are dorks: I remain at 16 , I loveed 16. lololo :)

    • men are dorks profile image

      men are dorks 9 years ago from Namibia

      yeah, bu i still act like a 12yr old, dont mind though, its keeps the grey away.

    • lxxy profile image

      lxxy 9 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

      Good stuff! Great read! May I suggest adding a bold look to the statistics? Or making them into a list?

      Also, perhaps a the infamous Red Asphalt

      Keep it up!


    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      men are dorks: I am so glad , I hope I am all grown up too!!:)

    • men are dorks profile image

      men are dorks 9 years ago from Namibia

      No dear i'm grown up now... I hope...

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      men are dorks: Now that is a grand idea you should write about it as it is something truly of interest, and I certainly hope that you are not D&D. lololo

      sixtyorso: I certainly do and I hope I can calm others down as well, it was great that you were able to open up and share that here, you should have attached a link. :)

      Hawkesdream: It is nuts, isn't it? All of us at some point has did something really stupid and looking back there are lessons learned from them. I hope that I can do that and maybe save a handful lives. :)

      Erick Smart: I have never understood why people do not pay attention to school buses and thank God there were not any children on the bus, as for the coffee you know that had to be hot and she was probably quite upset. :)

    • profile image

      Erick Smart 9 years ago

      Drivers today do have too many distractions. My mother is a aide on a school bus and twice this year her bus has been hit by drivers not paying attention. One spilled coffee on her lap and the other was on the phone. Luckily no kids were hurt and the adults were pretty much okay. But people need to drive and only drive.

    • Hawkesdream profile image

      Hawkesdream 9 years ago from Cornwall

      THUMBS UP, anything that will slow drivers recklessness is a good thing.

    • sixtyorso profile image

      Clive Fagan 9 years ago from South Africa

      As you know my son was killed in a car accident. He was alone in the car late at night, early morning actually. I have never really recovered from that, so any attempt to calm people down and getting them to drive safely is a great initiative.

    • men are dorks profile image

      men are dorks 9 years ago from Namibia

      There was this cool episode on discovery channel the other day. its about weird acientists that implememted a safety device that measures you temper and alcohol content as soon as you switch the car on, then it automatically switches off if the computer detects any animosity, anger, or drugs. I just cant remeber what it was called.

      It should be installed asap.

    • profile image

      LAmatadora 9 years ago

      how are you today??? Busy Busy with Hubs ey??? =)

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      LaMatadora: The statistics are amazing aren't they? Thanks for the comment. :)

    • profile image

      LAmatadora 9 years ago

      Very good hub AE....sad stuff though. Too many deaths and too many accidents!!

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Iphigenia: That is so sad and he I am glad his wife wasn't in there, could you imagine? The need for speed should be on a racetrack, not on the road. My prayers are with them and hopefully he has learned something.

      Brenda: Thank you and it is sad some of them never go back home.

      Kitchen_Witch: Thank you .

      icare3000: I hope others do, as it only takes a split second before someone's life is changed.

    • profile image 9 years ago

      Dottie1 made a great point for us all to pay attention too. There are so many child deaths due to their own parents backing over them or running into them. It's always my horror as I back out and I check so many times before I move.Only takes a second. And children have a habit of following you or coming to greet you.It gives me chills to think how a parent would feel if they ran over their own child for the sake of a second look or that simple thought before moving.

    • Kitchen_Witch profile image

      Kitchen_Witch 9 years ago from The Green Studio of Musings

      Good page. Thanks

    • profile image

      Brenda Scully 9 years ago

      I agree with you this is quality...

      I have looked after so many young people with severe brain damage from drinking and driving accident, one split second ruins lotsa lives, the poor parents are always so devasted...

      Good luck with the challenge..... Brenda x

    • profile image

      Iphigenia 9 years ago

      great advice - a friend of ours is currently in hospital after losing control of his vehicle almost 2 weeks ago now. He nearly killed himself - burst a lung, broke many bones which can't be set because of the deep and open wounds which need to heal some first and the swelling. he is very belligerent and uncooperative and has had to have some brain scans - even though no outer signs of head injuries, I guess his brain was shaken around in his skull.

      A wheel and part of the engine ended up on the passenger seat - luckily there was no passenger - they would not have survived.

      He was definitely speeding and I suspect that he had had a drink (I haven't actually asked his wife, but I know him enough to hazard a reasonable accurate guess ..) - not that he would drink way over the limit and drive, but even one small drink can wake up a little dare-devil in all of us ....

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      PaperMoon: I hope so to as it came to me due to a deadly accident over the weekend, I wrote the words down as soon as it came researched and wala. I hope that I can get across to some as I would certainly hate to lose them because they didn't read it, or listen.:)

    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 9 years ago from In the clouds

      This is a great hub. It was something similar to this that woke me up and toned me down when I was a crazy teenage driver. Hope this gets through to someone and makes the difference that it should.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      ripplemaker: Thanks so much and I hope that many change some habits.

      cindyvine: It is horrible and I am certainly glad that you are here to talk about. :)

      James A Watkins: I wish I made the money...lololo you as well have a great evening. :)

      C.C.: Oh C.C. that sounds horrible, thank god you are able to walk I don't sleep as a passenger either. :)

    • profile image

      C. C. Riter 9 years ago

      Veery sound advice AE. Good hub. I have survived three of these as an adult and one as a 4 year old. I was never the driver and was sleeping during three of them, the last one I awakened in the hospital with a broken back. I changed my driving habits way long ago. I try not to sleep as a passenger either

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 9 years ago from Chicago

      I thought it was you but you have the look of a famous person so I figured I'd check. :-) Have a great evening.

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 9 years ago from Cape Town

      Have had two major car accidents, both times I walked out with a few scratches but cars were a total wreck. Don't wish that on anybody, so if you're driving, take care!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      It pays to be cool during driving. Hot temperaments do get into serious accidents. Great tips AEvans. :-)

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Bp: That is horrible and sad we had a motorcyclist over the weekend that was killed the day before mother's day it was horrible, that is what inspired me to write this article. :( It needs to get attention as to many are killed for being careless.

    • blondepoet profile image

      blondepoet 9 years ago from australia

      There was a terrible accident here the other week. Eight 17year old kids piled in a car after a party, the driver had been drinking, there was two in the front, four in the back and two in the boot. They crashed, and four are dead, one is hanging on for his life, the driver lived.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Dottie: That is so sad, but I am glad I was able to put it out there for everyone to understand the importance of safety.

      SingleMama: I didn't realize that , that would be a large ticket for others who traveled there and didn't know the laws.

      KCC: I didn't mind if it was lengthy as you were sharing your thoughts and that is the purpose of commenting, you could be as lengthy as you choose. The recommendation is fantastic and hopefully other parents will have there teenagers watch it and others will also visit your article as it is very interesting. :)

      G-Ma: Thank you for the wonderful compliment. :)

      gpetrou85: Thank you and I hope you sincerely read it , as it is a very serious topic. :)

      James A Watkins: I love to fly , I would rather fly then drive as it is safer in the air then on the ground. FYI: It is honestly me, but I am certainly glad that everyone thinks it is everyone butt me. :)

      men are dorks: At least you think safety first for your precious cargo, I hope nobody is driving quickly with her in the car. :)

      eonsaway: Thank you. :)

    • eonsaway profile image

      eonsaway 9 years ago from New Mexico, USA

      Very informative and written well.

    • men are dorks profile image

      men are dorks 9 years ago from Namibia

      And yet more people will die this year. think of the 93 % of human error, 80% is due to alcohol.

      My daughter always ask me the other day why am i driving like a trutle,my comment to her was: "coz I love you and dont wanna cause you or any one else any harm by my neglect" she just smiled...

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 9 years ago from Chicago

      Excellent reportage and much appreciated.  People have an ridiculously irrational fear of airplanes (965 deaths worldwide in 2007) and an irrational comfort in automobiles for some reason. Maybe because they know the pilot personally.

      JC— Who's photo is your avatar?

    • gpetrou85 profile image

      gpetrou85 9 years ago from greece

      very nice good hub.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Always good to be reminded about this very thing...we learn to take driving for an automatic pleasure thing, and it is a very serious adventure...This was a very well put together Hub Thanks hun...G-Ma :O) Hugs

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      Karen Curtis 9 years ago from Central Texas

      I don't know if they still have this program where I grew up, but as a teenager if you were caught speeding, etc. you were given the option to pay the normal fine or go to teencourt. If you chose teencourt, the ticket would not go on your record. I made that choice. At teencourt, it was conducted just like regular court. There was an actual judge and a jury panel of 6 of your peers (other teens like you doing the same thing). You took the stand and you were asked specifics about your transgression. They asked you what type of punishment you had received from your parents. They asked you what you had learned from the experience, etc. Then they determined your 'punishment'. Punishment included writing an essay about the hazards of whatever it was you did, 24 hours of community service that could only be done in 4 hour shifts. (Mine was at Goodwill Industries). Then you served 3 times on the jury panel. On your final night there, they showed EXTREMELY graphic accident scene photos. We saw decapitated people, we saw people with very distorted bodies, etc. The photos were in black and white, but you knew the spatters and puddles you saw were blood. It was intensely graphic and it really made you think. I think it's important for people, especially teenagers, to understand how lethal driving a car can be. As AEvans has said, it only takes a second.

      I wrote a hub called "Smash-Up on Interstate 5" that talks about a movie that a huge impact on my driving. I also give you a link to State Farm Insurance's "Steer-Clear" program for teens. While teaching my daughter to drive this past year, we participated in this program and the video they provide is intense. I highly recommend it to anyone.

      Sorry for the long post AEvans...but I have a 16 yr old out there driving and it is something we all have to think about.

    • Single Mama profile image

      Single Mama 9 years ago

      In TX you can get a ticket for going 10% over the speed limit. So if you are going 33 in a 30 zone you're pretty much in trouble. Great post lady!

    • Dottie1 profile image

      Dottie1 9 years ago from MA, USA

      #9 hits home for me. A 5 year old child in my neighborhood when I was just a child myself, sat down behind a taxi cab in her own driveway that was dropping off her mother. Mom and taxi driver sat in car chatting a little while for they knew one another but it was just long enough for the little girl to sit down to play and that was the end.... :(

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There I am glad you will slow down have a safe trip back and I didn't realize the harsh penalties in Switzerland. Maybe they should impose that here and then we would see less fatalities. :)

    • profile image 9 years ago

      A great way to reduce accidents and help the environment is to use public transport.

      Here in Switzerland they have more fast cars and less accidents WHY? Because the penalties are harsh and the law is strictly enforced.

      Great hub. Awareness saves more lives than you think and I'm sure this will. I'll drive slower on the way back! Thanks.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Teresa: I have been in a couple myself , one was due to someone being on a cell phone and then other was due to high speed with both I am glad to be here, I just wish others would step back and take a look as life is precious and we could reduce the fatality rate if we just did a few simple things. I bet you didn't enjoy it very much as it can be quite painful. :(

    • Teresa McGurk profile image

      Sheila 9 years ago from The Other Bangor

      Been in a wreck. Don't remember enjoying it very much.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      sixtyorso: Thanks you for checking it out, there are so many deaths use to these things.

      sandman: It is nuts young ones especially should slow down , being in a hurry will get you killed, and your final destination certainly wouldn't be where you were going.

      Amy M: Just be careful out there especially if you are in a metropolitan city and I will pray for you too. :)

      cobraski: There you are , I knew I would see you in here to, thank you for the support.:)

    • cobraski profile image

      cobraski 9 years ago from Maryland

      Good job! 30 in 30, I'll be reading.

    • Amy M profile image

      Amy M 9 years ago from Manzano Mountains

      Great advice. I have a near miss at least weekly.

    • profile image

      TheSandman 9 years ago

      Good Advice, at one time in my long and varied carer in broadcasting I worked as a traffic reporter. And of course we would get by air( helicopter)to the scene of many accidents long before the ambulance or police, and I'll spare you the details of some of the things I've seen. But they did not make the news report. And every time I see some punk or punket( female punk) speeding in and out of traffic, talking on a cell phone or doing a multitude of other things rather than paying attention to driving. I think they should be shown the footage of what did not make the news.

    • sixtyorso profile image

      Clive Fagan 9 years ago from South Africa

      Excellent advice.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Jama: Thanks Jama and Happy Belated Mom's Day!! :)

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 9 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Good advice, AE!


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