Every day I help people who are injured in car accidents. As a lawyer at The Pinkerton Law Firm, that’s what I do. But, as an accident lawyer and a person who sees the tragic repercussions of the carnage that happens on our roads every day, accident prevention is the far better solution. Can I help recover money damages for my injured clients? Yes, of course, I can and do day after day. But, can I return people to their previous life after an accident? Not always is the honest answer. I cannot replace limbs, give people the ability to walk again, or rise people from the grave. I am a lawyer—not a miracle worker.
In the article, I would like to address accident prevention. Accident prevention is rooted in driver awareness. Nationwide statistics clearly illustrate that 95% of all roadway accidents could be prevented by simple driver awareness. An aware driver is a driver that is paying close attention to their own driving while maintaining an acute awareness of other drivers at the same time. Sounds simple, but apparently it is not. Motor vehicle accidents have progressively continued to rise in America over the last 10 years. That’s a fact. Studies have illustrated that the growing accident rates are due to this one factor—lack of awareness.
It makes sense. Drivers are more distracted than ever. First, our vehicles have complicated mapping systems. Our sound systems are more advanced and complicated. Your car is part vehicle, part computer. Paying attention to the “computer” portion of your vehicle while driving takes away from your driving awareness. But, let’s face it. That is not the only concern. Our phones may be the most dangerous “computer” that we bring into our driving atmosphere. We text while driving. We conduct business while driving. We read our emails while driving. We look at Facebook and other social media while driving. Where are our eyes while we do these things? Well, they are not on the road, which significantly reduces driver awareness. When that happens, accidents happen.
Second, there was a time that Americans took great pride in their driving skills. That is not the case anymore. We are putting 16 year-old kids behind what amounts to be large machinery that is lighter and faster than ever before without teaching our children the rules of the road. A recent publication examined drivers between the age of 16-25. The study focused on simple and basic rules of the road. Our kids failed miserably—over 50% of such drivers could not identify the meaning of a blind spot, rules regarding lane changes, the meaning of roadway lines (dashed, solid, white, or yellow), proper maintenance of distance between vehicles, expected stopping distance at 60 mph, and other basic driving rules. Are they just simply dumb? No, these young drivers are uneducated, as we no longer care to properly train our roadway participants. It seems we have all just taken driving a car for granted, like it was some innate skill such as eating or going to the restroom. I know it’s sounds silly or maybe over-dramatic, but it’s true and the research proves it to be true.
Thus, let’s be aware America. Know your roads and pay attention. Let’s educate ourselves and our children regarding the rules of driving. Let’s reduce the accident rate so lawyers like myself have to find something else to do. I for one would be happy to make that trade. I am on the road with unaware and uneducated drivers every day also. I am a risk, just as you are. Let’s do better.