Deaths increased nationwide 8 per cent last year- the largest year-to-year increase in a half-century. For the first six months of 2016, driving fatalities are up 9 per cent over the same period last year, the National Safety Council recently reported.
The National Safety Council blames in part the new dangers of distracted driving. Drivers now are not just talking on their cell phones- they’re texting, doing social media, adjusting the radio/ TV devices, applying makeup, juggling food/drink items, sometimes even doing 1 or more of those at once. Stopping this epidemic of distracted driving, safety advocates say, will take a societal shift to render such behavior socially unacceptable.
Many experts warn that the problem is likely to get worse before it gets better.
Traffic fatalities this year are on a pace to reach 40,000, which would be the highest total since 2007.
So what’s the answer?
In the long run, experts hope that safety improvements like automatic collision avoidance systems and adaptive headlights that see better around curves will cut down on the most common car crashes, like rear-end collisions.
But the real “driver” to lower collisions and fatalities will likely only be when we have a real shift in attitudes to reduce these dangers. What will it take? What will it take to convince you to alter any such bad behaviors?