The United Nations proclaimed May 11, 2011, as the official start of the Decade of Action for Road Safety, a program that is intended to zero in on road safety for the purpose of effecting a significant reduction in the yearly number of car crashes worldwide. Every year, 1.3 million people die, while more than 50 million others get injured in car accidents occurring around the world.
In the U.S., based on records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), annual death rate due to car accidents is more than 30,000, while rate of injuries is more than two million – the results of the more than five million yearly car crashes.
Other records from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which relate to car accidents show that:
- From 1899 to 2012, fatal motor vehicle accidents totaled to 3,551,332;
- In 2010, there were 5,419,000 crashes that resulted to 32,999 deaths and 2,239,000 injuries;
- In 2011, 32,479 people died in motor vehicle accidents, the lowest number of fatal accident since 1949;
- In 2012, fatal crashes due to distracted driving was 3,328;
- In 2013, fatal crashes due to alcohol-impaired driving was 10,076(this is 30% of all traffic-related deaths in the US); and,
- More than 90% of all road accidents in the US and around the world are due to bad driving behavior, like drunk-driving, speeding (especially while under the influence of alcohol), reckless driving, changing lanes without signaling, driving through a red light, and use of cellphone.
According to the International Organization for Road Accident Prevention, road danger is nothing more than a crisis made by man and, since this is so, it is, therefore, totally preventable. One very alarming fact which in consistently shown by records both in the U.S. and around the world, is that the most often offenders in road accidents, especially fatal ones, are young drivers, usually those between 16 and 34 (teens between 16 and 19, however, are three times more prone to be involved in a fatal car crashes than those 20 years old or above).
The Chicago injury lawyers at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, says that every driver must share the road. With that comes the responsibility to take reasonable care towards others when driving. Unfortunately, many citizens blatantly disregard other drivers on the road and use reckless driving as a means to decrease their travel time. A reckless driver’s actions are nearly impossible to predict and because of this unpredictability they are exponentially dangerous.
Reckless driving unnecessarily raises the risk of an accident and can also increase the severity of the accident. Thus, those who willfully choose to endanger others on the road should be held liable for their actions because car accidents are not just statistical data; these are rather causes of sufferings for those who get injured, disabled or die.