Two of the most frequent causes of vehicle accidents and injuries (distracted driving and driving while drowsy) are also two of the most preventable causes.
Cell Phone Distractions
Each year over 330,000 accidents caused by texting while driving lead to severe injuries. Driving and cell phone conversations both require a great deal of thought. When doing them at the same time, your brain is unable to do either well. Even when talking hands-free, drivers can miss seeing up to half of what's around them because they are engaged in a cell phone conversation. This often results in crashes due to wandering out of the lane, delayed braking times and not seeing traffic signals. Many studies have found that the best way to avoid cell phone-related crashes is to not use them while driving, not even hands-free. Always stop your vehicle in a safe place before engaging in a cell phone conversation.
Fatigued or Drowsy Driving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every year about 100,000 police-reported crashes involve drowsy driving. These crashes result in more than 1,550 fatalities and 71,000 injuries. Losing two hours of sleep has the same effect on driving as having three beers. You are three times more likely to be in a crash if you are fatigued. Drowsy driving puts you and everyone around you at risk. “Among the many countermeasures to drowsy driving, the easiest and most successful is getting adequate sleep before driving,” says HMC Safety Manager, Bobby Benn. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, adults should get seven or more hours of sleep each night. This and other measures, such as avoiding driving after consuming alcohol and driving to the nearest resting spot when drowsy, can be very effective for preventing fatigue-related vehicle accidents.