Fatal Accident Levels Are at Historic Lows…But You Still Need to Buckle Up

Posted on 22 September 2011 by Tony Santos

Death by vehicle collision is nothing to take lightly. Statistically speaking, if cancer, stroke, heart disease, or the flu doesn’t get you, a car crash most certainly will. But for such depressing news, it’s surprising to hear that driving in 2011 is the safest it’s ever been since the years after World War Two. While listed auto accident lawyers are still making a living due to the countless collisions that occur everyday, the likelihood of dying in a car crash is much lower now due to vast improvements in law and safety measures. 

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Take for example the drastic change in windshield glass since cars first started rolling off assembly lines. Originally windshields were no different from the panes of glass you’d find in a house. It was cheap, but incredibly dangerous in the event of a collision. The shattered glass could easily rip through a human body, and anyone unfortunate enough to be ejected from a vehicle had to break through a wall of sharp glass first. Simply put, the results were never pretty and often included death.

But then shatterproof glass became a requirement for automobiles per government mandates. Suddenly drivers were no longer at risk of being severely harmed by glass during an accident. Accident fatality statistics dropped.

For every safety innovation afterward, the statistics dropped accordingly. The seat belt requirement, airbags, and properly mounted engine blocks all contributed to lower fatalities.

But there was one element of on-road risk that remained detrimental to overall public safety: drunk driving. The crack down on drunk driving, which contributes to an average of one-third of total annual automobile fatalities, continued to pummel projections on future road deaths decades after these laws were enacted.

This is not the time to sit back and relax, however. The fundamental reason why auto fatalities have lowered in recent years is due to the simple fact that drivers have become much more aware of the dangers involved. We’re reminded of the potential for danger whenever we buckle our seat belts, honk the horn, or stare at the SRS airbags logo on our steering wheels. These are the things that keep us alive. The lowered rate of vehicle related deaths is a result of wider public acceptance of automobile responsibility.

With that said, hit the road a little less stressed. It’s the safest time to be a driver that we’ve seen in a very long time.

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