Dear Reader,

I recently came across an article on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Website discussing a new set of countermeasures recently implemented at the state and local levels to improve road safety.

These countermeasures address concerns, including:

  • Alcohol-impaired driving – each day, about 37 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes. That’s one person every 39 minutes.
  • Bicycle safety – Rising bicyclist fatalities have prompted urgent action in recent years, with the number of cyclists killed in traffic crashes steadily trending upwards for the past decade.
  • Distracted driving – An average of 3,500 lives are ended each year as a result of distracted drivers too busy with their phones, cheeseburgers, or conversations to pay attention to the road.
  • Drowsy driving—This is a prevalent safety concern, with 1.6% of all motor vehicle fatalities attributed to drivers who should have gone to bed instead of getting on the road.
  • Drug-impaired driving—there is no safe way to drive if you are impaired. Drug-impaired drivers are responsible for an astonishing 56% of serious injuries and fatalities on the road. This includes drivers on prescription medications and illegal narcotics. Both are deadly when behind the wheel of a vehicle.
  • Motorcycle safety: An average of 6,000 motorcyclists are killed on the road each year. My advice: Don’t get on one.  For the rest of us driving around on four wheels, be alert and keep an eye out for motorcyclists. Alert driving could save a life.
  • Older drivers—An average of 17% of all traffic fatalities involve older drivers. Operating a motor vehicle brings on a whole new level of challenges as we age. Having a safe driving plan in place is paramount.
  • Pedestrian safety—Last year alone, over 7,000 pedestrians were struck and killed on roadways across our nation. This number seems to grow every year at an alarming rate.
  • Seat belts–There’s actually a bit of good news for this one. Seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 15,000 lives last year. Statistics show that seat belt use continues to increase nationwide. This is in part due to manufacturers who’ve installed nanny systems in new vehicles. It’s hard to ignore that endless chiming reminding you to buckle up.
  • Child restraints—Like seat belts, proper child restraints save lives. Education initiatives are needed to teach new parents the proper seats to use and the procedures for restraining a child in a vehicle.
  • Speeding – over 12,500 people never made it home last year because they or another driver decided to speed. Slowing down is one of the easiest ways to prevent accidents.
  • Young drivers—Teen drivers killed over 2,700 people in crashes last year alone. Proper parent and driver education initiatives could help prevent these tragedies from occurring.

As I read this article, I was glad to see the overall willingness to fund these programs and emphasize stricter laws, harsher penalties, and more rigid enforcement policies nationally. I can only hope there is follow-through in our cities, towns, and neighborhoods.

If you or someone you love is ever seriously injured due to a negligent driver on the road, please call my office. With over 44 years of experience, I’m ready to help in every way I can.

Until next time, please be safe and NEVER text while driving.

Sincerely

Paul Samakow

Paul Samakow

703-761-4343 and 301-949-1515

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