It’s in everyone's best interest for America’s highways to be functional, maintained, and above all, safe. The statistics regarding accidents and fatalities on America's highways are staggering. The statistic that resonates deepest in our opinion is that, according to the National Academy Press, “Every 13 minutes someone dies in a highway crash.”
It’s true that not all accidents are preventable. But there is still more we can do as a country, a community, and as human beings to ensure that our highways are as safe as possible, and to prevent future tragedies. Here are 5 steps the United States can take to improve highway safety.
The good news is that companies are already working on making cars safer. As technology continues to develop, car manufactures are beginning to use it in some extremely creative ways to keep people safe in their vehicles. One particularly interesting use of this type of technology is intended to prevent drivers from falling asleep at the wheel. According to CBT News, “Now, even if you are driving solo, your vehicle can look out for signs that you are drowsy. Newer cars with this technology can detect your drowsiness by taking note of how many times you have veered from the center of the lane.” This technology, when perfected, will undoubtedly save lives.
According to DoSomething.Org, an organization committed to impacting the world in positive ways, “texting makes a crash up to 23 times more likely.” This statistic, while staggering, also makes sense. Texting takes a driver's eyes completely off the road, and looking away for even a split second is enough time to cause an accident. The new hands-free law in Massachusetts bans hand-held cell phone use by drivers and backs it up with significant fines in an attempt to reduce distracted driving. While no one likes getting pulled over or having to pay fines, it's a crucial step to keeping the highways safe.
It isn’t just CMV drivers; people across the country are driving more than ever. As a result, accidents are on the rise. One challenge we all face as more and more cars share the road is how we can reduce these accidents and prevent injury. Some transportation experts believe the answer can be found in roadway engineering solutions. One such idea comes from the Traffic Safety Store, which claims that, “safety engineers have seen safety improvements when adding delineation and increased pavement friction at strategic points depending on the severity of the curvature and speed limit in the area.” While this may sound complicated, it is essential adding friction and curves to the road in certain areas that may be more prone to accidents. The implementation could be difficult, but the logic is sound.
Far too many of us have friends or family members who have either lost their lives in a car accident, or suffered some kind of trauma as a result of one. And while there is no black and white solution on how we can solve the problem of highway safety, there are steps we can all take to look at for the safety ourselves, and for each other.