The nightly news, a radio update or a social media post is as far as one needs to go to find car crash reports, and if it seems like more and more of those are deadly, they are. Preliminary data from the National Safety Council (NSC) estimates as many as 40,000 people died in car crashes last year, a six-percent increase over 2015 and a 14 percent increase over 2014, according to EHS Today. The news source reports the 2014 through 2016 stats are the most dramatic increase in 53 years, and 2016 was the deadliest year on the nation’s roadways since 2007.
“Our complacency is killing us. Americans believe there is nothing we can do to stop crashes from happening, but that isn’t true,” said NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman. “The U.S. lags the rest of the developed world in addressing highway fatalities. We know what needs to be done; we just haven’t done it.”
A NSC survey released earlier this month indicates 65 percent of those polled were comfortable with speeding, 47 percent were comfortable with texting manually or through voice controls, 13 percent were comfortable with driving under the influence of marijuana and 10 percent were comfortable with driving under the influence of alcohol.
The NSC recommends the implementation of the below measures to lower the traffic fatality count, according to EHS Today:
- Install and use automated enforcement techniques to catch speeders.
- Extend laws banning all cell phone use, including hands free.
- Upgrade seat belt laws from secondary to primary enforcement.
- Pass or reinstate motorcycle helmet laws.
- Adopt a three-tiered licensing system for all new drivers younger than 21, not just those younger than 18.
- Accelerate and normalize blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and adaptive headlights for heavy trucking fleets.
Source: EHS Today