There are about 3 million car-related injuries a year, 2 million permanent injuries and 40,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. The Department of Transportation's statistics indicate that accidents are generally related to irresponsible driving behavior. About 40% of fatalities are related to drinking and driving, 30% to speeding and about 33% from a car going off the road. Seat belt use is only at about 68% nationally, despite it being a highly cost-effective means to prevent fatalities and serious injuries. The very young and the very old are much more likely to be involved in accidents. Car accidents are currently the number one killer of people ages 1 to 37. About 1 in 30 young drivers will be injured in an accident each year. Young drivers are four times more likely to die in car accidents and are much more prone to speed, drive recklessly, not wear their seat belts and drink and drive than middle-aged drivers. If we could reduce these dangerous behaviors, we could prevent these needless deaths and injuries. Most car accidents are entirely preventable. Drivers are most likely distracted, tired or possibly drunk. Some of the most common distractions are talking to others in the vehicle or talking on the cell phone, eating or drinking, Koopman 2
playing with the radio or CD, and so on. All of these distractions could be easily avoided if people were to see how dangerous distractions can be when you are not entirely focused on your driving. People should also be careful not to drive if they are feeling sleepy or even slightly intoxicated, since lack of sleep can often reduce your response time as much as slight intoxication and increase the chance of an accident. It is also important that people avoid driving when there is rain, snow, or heavy fog, unless necessary. It is also not a good idea to drive between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.(particularly on Friday and Saturday nights) for these are the most dangerous hours to drive in the week and should be avoided. This is...
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