Courteous Driving and Its Impact on Fatality and Injury Statistics
A wealth of warnings exist that stress the avoidance of distracted driving and other dangerous behaviors behind the wheel. However, when it comes to car wrecks, it is just as important to focus on what we should do on the roads as it is to focus on what we should not do.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) encourages drivers to practice alert, courteous driving, which can go a long way in the prevention of needless injury and fatalities on the roadways. TxDOT utilizes a public awareness campaign to emphasize this point, using everything from newspaper ads and radio PSAs to reach out and bring awareness.
What the Numbers Show
More than 5,000 pedestrians were struck by Texas roadway drivers in 2012, resulting in 481 fatalities and 2,962 serious injuries. Additionally, during times of year when traffic rates increase, these tragic statistics increase as well. For example, between 2011 and 2012, the TxDOT saw a 13% increase in pedestrian fatalities and over a 19% increase in cyclist fatalities during back-to-school season. While a number of these accident statistics can be attributed to everything from drunk driving and speeding, many of these statistics are a result of aggressive driving or pure inattention.
Courteous Driving Can Save a Life
TxDOT has compiled a list of a few basic rules that all drivers can follow on the road to do their part to keep the highways safer for everyone. Practice the following courteous driving habits to prevent an increase in Texas car crashes - you might just save a life:
- Always watch for pedestrians, even on streets that are not very crowded or busy;
- Do not block crosswalks at any time;
- Maintain slow speeds in work zones;
- Be alert to and obey construction detours;
- Stay out of bike lanes;
- Watch for cyclists and pedestrians using other forms of transportation;
- Watch your speed and adjust it to reflect changing road and weather conditions; and
- Do not speed, weave between lanes to pass someone, or tailgate. Be patient and be respectful. Do not drive when angry or emotionally unstable.
Factors such as rising fuel costs and an increase in road maintenance indicate that Texas drivers will continue to share the roadways with more pedestrians, bicyclists, and construction personnel as time goes on, which means courteous driving is necessary now, more than ever before. If you find yourself involved in an accident due to driver inattention or aggressive driving, do not hesitate to contact a New Braunfels auto accident attorney. Call the Bettersworth Law Firm today at 830-606-0404 for a free consultation.