When it comes to New Year's resolutions, becoming a better driver doesn't often rise to the top of the list.
But the truth is Alabama motor vehicle collisions remain a leading cause of accidental death among adults, and it's worthy of our attention and commitment to do better. Risks are highest for drivers ages 16 to 24, with a gradual decline until age 65, when risks begin to increase again, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mobile injury attorneys know a serious or fatal motor-vehicle collision is one of the most traumatic experiences of a lifetime. If each of us renews our resolve to become a more attentive driver in 2018, road safety would improve dramatically.
Someone is injured in an Alabama motor vehicle accident every 11 minutes, according to Drive Safe Alabama. The typical driver in the state faces a greater than 1-in-3 chance of being in a crash involving serious injury or death during their lifetime.
Distracted driving, speeding, unsafe actions at intersections, drunk driving, aggressive driving, following too closely, failure to yield and running yellow lights are all common causes of crashes.
Fatal Accidents Up in Alabama in 2016
The state reported more than 1,000 road deaths in 2016 for the first time in a decade, an average of three a day. The Montgomery Advertiser reports state police investigated 23 traffic deaths over the holiday period. Fatal crashes were reported in Autauga, Baldwin, Calhoun, Choctaw, Colbert, Coosa, Crenshaw, Cullman, Dallas, DeKalb, Escambia, Geneva, Limestone, Mobile, Russell, St. Clair, Shelby and Washington counties.
Any resolution to become a better driver begins with ending distraction behind the wheel. Alabama law (Section 32-5A-350) prohibits text messaging at the wheel. The state makes it a primary offense, which means you can be stopped and ticketed solely for a violation of that offense. However, results are marginal at best when it comes to evidence of a measurable impact on driver distraction. Many states are doing much more on the legislative front when it comes to keeping drivers safe. Our injury lawyers believe state lawmakers could do more.
Distracted driving in Alabama
Drive Safe Alabama reminds motorists that distraction does not just include electronic devices, but also eating and drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading and use of navigational aids. Other safety issues include driving under the influence, running yellow lights, motorcycle safety and emphasizing the state's Move Over law, which aims to keep emergency and construction workers safer.
Common causes of Alabama traffic collisions & injuries
When it comes to measurably reducing your chances of sustaining an injury in a collision, nothing has more of an impact than wearing your seat belt. Up to 60 percent of those killed on the road last year were unbuckled.
- Slow down: Speed is the leading cause of fatal crashes in the state. More than 50 people were injured for each person killed on the state's roads.
- Beware of intersections: Alabama recorded more than 80,000 crashes at intersections last year, and nearly 10,000 of those in Mobile.
- Bicycles and pedestrians: Bicyclists and pedestrians are involved in a disproportionate number of serious and fatal injury accidents. People struck by a motor vehicle have a slim chance of avoiding critical injuries.
If each of us would just adopt these easy, common-sense solutions, we could all celebrate a safer 2018. In the event of an auto accident, an experienced attorney at Braswell Murphy LLC can further discuss your options.