Cars are dangerous. When you’re behind the wheel, you’re responsible for lives. We all know that, and we drive carefully because of it. But, with yearly car fatalities nearing 1.3 million in the U.S., it looks as though we’re not careful enough. In fact, the majority of drivers will experience a crash at some point in their driving lives.
Of course, we’ll never get to a point where there are no crashes. Driving is dangerous, and accidents are sure to happen. But, the sheer amount of accidents is staggering enough to make us wonder whether something could be done to improve the situation.
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One thing the nation does seem to have under control is protection for those who have been in an accident. Firms like Gray and White Law are the first port of call for many who fall foul to the roads. Having these protections in place does, at least, offer some relief for drivers. But, should accidents be happening at all? Prevention is, after all, better than cure. So, we’re going to look at a few things which need changing to ensure safety.
More focus on safety during lessons
Driving lessons are a nerve wracking process, and there’s a lot to take in. Understandably, then, most lessons concentrate on the driving, rather than safety risks. Presumably, this is due to an assumption that teaching you to drive well will keep you safe. But, the high-fatality figures mentioned above would suggest that isn’t the case. So, is it time for lessons to become more safety oriented? Many would argue yes.
But, how could instructor’s incorporate safety into their teaching? Something as simple as showing beginner drivers the risks would make a difference. That’s not to say that instructors should spend their time frightening students. But, one lesson out of the course which looks at previous car accidents is sure to teach a valuable lesson. Driver’s definitely wouldn’t forget it in a hurry.
Better safety features in cars
Some would argue that more responsibility should be on cars themselves. Every new release has to undergo rigorous testing, which includes a crash test. But, fatality figures suggest these tests aren’t doing enough to protect us. For the most part, there’s not much a car designer can do about full-on collisions. No car will be able to keep you safe if you crash full-speed. But, they could potentially stop that incident from arising.
The good news is, some cars are leading the way here. Inclusions such as emergency brake features and collision warnings look to be the way forward. The problem is, only a select few new releases are making the most of these technologies. Though they may, one day, become required in all cars, that day can’t come fast enough.
Stricter speed limits?
Speed limits should also come under scrutiny when considering driver safety. In built areas and cities, limits are usually modest and sensible. On main roads and countryside routes, though, those limits rise considerably. In the USA, the standard speed limit averages at 75mph for rural interstates. That’s some speed. Crashing when you’re driving that fast is sure to do considerable damage.
But, is there any need for such fast speed brackets? Definitely not. Giving the green light for high-speed driving like this is a sure way to trouble. So, you could argue that speed limits are somewhat to blame for the risks. Dropping these would surely see fewer accidents on the road.
Better road surfaces
There’s nothing worse than driving on bad roads. For one thing, it’s uncomfortable. But, on a more serious note, uneven or potholed road surfaces can pose significant risks. Driving over a pothole at top speeds could cause your car to spin, or make you lose control. Both of which could lead to a nasty accident. Even if you manage to keep control, a nasty pothole could pop a tire and still wreak havoc. So, better road surfaces would also work wonders for driver safety.
What can you do?
So, that’s what needs changing. But, what can you do about it? In a lot of instances, we mere mortals have to sit back and hope those in charge come to their senses. But, you can be proactive about some of these issues. If you think safety should be more important in driving lessons, why not become an instructor? If you’re passionate about improving your roads, you could start petitions. Small steps like these will go a long way towards solving the problem for everyone.