Traffic deaths are getting worse each year, with over 40,000 fatalities in 2021 alone. And things don't seem to be looking up. It's as if there are more unsafe, inattentive drivers on the road. Now, it's up to responsible drivers like yourself to make a difference.
Believe it or not, you could start saving lives on the road with just a few classes. Defensive driving courses teach essential driving skills and techniques to help you avoid collisions and accidents. Once you read the stats on these classes and road safety, you might want to hit the ground running to protect yourself and those around you.
Main Causes of Road Accidents in the U.S.
An average of 117 people died on U.S. roads every day in 2021, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It's an increase from previous years. And while every crash is unique, many have factors in common.
In fact, 94% of crashes are due to human error. In other words, drivers made decision errors, recognition errors, performance errors, and non-performance errors. In theory, that means there's a lot of room for improvement. If all drivers address the following root causes of accidents, we could have less-deadly roads.
About 41% of all crashes happen because the driver isn't paying attention to the road. Distracted driving comes in many forms. Be it because the driver is texting (which is illegal in most states) or because they're lost in their thoughts, they're not able to respond to hazardous conditions in time.
Driving Too Fast
Speeding is another leading cause of accidents. Not all drivers respect the posted speed limits, which is dangerous. But even following the legal speed limit can be deadly: in inclement weather, road conditions become hazardous and drivers must slow down (even though many don't).
False Assumptions of Others' Actions
Unfortunately, you can't trust all drivers to be prudent and follow driving best practices. For example, just because a driver doesn't use their blinkers, it doesn't mean they won't make a turn. If you're not expecting it, you could crash. This, combined with speeding, makes up 33% of crashes.
Sleepy drivers caused 7% of all accidents on U.S. roads in 2021. An estimated633 people died because of it. As you can see, drowsy driving is no joke. It's actually comparable to driving drunk, in that your reflexes aren't sharp enough to avoid collisions.
3 Ways Defensive Driving Saves Lives
It's hard to say exactly how many accidents defensive driving courses prevent each year. After all, who's keeping track of accidents that don't happen? However, when you consider that these classes teach drivers to be respectful of others, alert, and aware at all times, you can only imagine how many thousands of lives are saved.
Once you take defensive driving classes, these best practices will become almost second nature to you (and both pedestrians and other drivers will thank you):
Slowing down in inclement weather: Speed limits are only posted for normal driving conditions. When the weather is bad, slow down. For example, slow down in heavy rain to avoid hydroplaning.
Looking under and around parked cars for kids: Children are short (duh!) and easily hide behind cars, then dart across the road. It's on you as a safe driver to ensure no child is at risk of being run over. Pay special attention to parked cars (and kids who could be behind them) around schools and in residential areas.
Not pressing right of way when it isn't safe: You might have right of way at an intersection, but if an aggressive driver decides to drive off first, you could get hurt. That's why defensive driving teaches you to prioritize everyone's safety, even if that means yielding when you're in the right.
Every Safe Driving Skill Makes a Difference
Now that you see the true value of defensive driving, are you ready to start saving lives? We've made your life easy. With I Drive Safely's defensive driving courses, you can take classes from the comfort of your home. And the best part? You can learn at your own pace — no need to struggle fitting classes into your busy schedule.