The road has changed dramatically over the past few decades. Today congestion, construction, distractions and road rage are the norm. That’s why the right attitude and a solid foundation of safe skills and strategies is essential to stay safe on the road.
The facts about driving today:
- In 2008 there were nearly 250 million registered vehicles on US roads, up from 59 million in the 1950s. By 2030 estimates predict 330 million vehicles on US roads.
- According to the American Trucking Association, there will be one million more trucks on US roads by the year 2016, up from 2.7 million trucks on the road in 2006.
- While people often blame truck drivers for car-truck accidents, multiple studies show that the majority (65-85%) of accidents involving trucks are caused by passenger vehicles.
- Current roads must be maintained and new ones built in order to accommodate the increase in highway traffic. Expect work zones to be a more common part of the driving landscape.
- As Americans live longer they are also keeping their car keys longer. Seniors often face challenges such as diminished perception and longer reaction time, requiring other drivers to be more alert.
- In a recent study, 73% of drivers surveyed admitted that they talk on the cell phone while driving and 84% admitted to speeding. Driver distraction has been blamed for up to 80% of crashes and may be negating improved auto safety standards.
What is the true cost of these changing conditions?
- Car accidents are the leading cause of death for all Americans age 4 to 34, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Each year approximately 40,000 Americans lose their lives in traffic crashes. An additional 2.7 million are injured.
- The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety estimates that the economic costs of motor vehicle crashes top $230 billion each year which translates into a “crash tax” of $792 per American citizen.
- Sixteen year-old drivers are 20 times more likely to have a car accident than the general public.
- Driving is the # 1 killer of teens in America. Each year between 5,000 and 6,000 teenagers lose their lives and over 300,000 are injured in car accidents.
- According to the insurance industry, in the first year of driving, one third of all teens will have a car accident.
It’s time to change the odds for teenagers by changing the way we teach them to drive. Comprehensive, state-of-the-art driver training as well as guidance and support for families are essential to help new drivers develop the skills, strategy and experience needed to survive on today’s roads.