Traveling by road still far more deadly than flying
Indiana motorists may not know that traveling by road is approximately 300 times more deadly than taking to the air. Statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that the death toll on the nation’s roads has been falling in recent years, but there is a long way to go before venturing out onto the highway becomes as safe as flying. Efforts to improve road safety include educating motorists about the risks of distracted or drunk driving and encouraging or compelling car makers to incorporate more safety features in their vehicles.
While gradual changes in driver behavior can reduce road fatalities slowly over time, new safety technology can have a faster and more significant impact. Lawmakers had long required certain features like lights be fitted to automobiles in order to protect other road users, but in 1968 safety belts were mandated to protect vehicle occupants.
Driver and front passenger airbags became required equipment in 1995, and many experts believe that passive safety features have been the chief reason that the number of fatal accidents are falling each year while the number of vehicles on the nation’s roads continues to climb. It is hoped that developing technology such as autonomous cars and sophisticated electronic accident avoidance systems will make road travel even safer in the future.
Advanced electronics may also dampen the impact of negligent behavior such as driving while impaired or drowsy. Accidents caused by intoxicated, sleeping or distracted drivers often occur at high speeds and give other road users little chance of avoiding injury. A personal injury attorney may pursue civil remedies on behalf of accident victims by filing a lawsuit against the negligent motorist responsible for their injury, loss or damage. This litigation could seek compensation for an accident victim’s property damage, medical bills and lost income.