Traffic Collisions – Getting into the Nitty-Gritty

by Laura C. Jones
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A traffic collision, two words that do not sound as tragic as they are; the fact that the majority of lives are lost (human beings and animals included), a wide variety of objects are damaged, the environment is impacted, etc. is proof enough for us to wake up and understand that traffic collisions are a bigger problem than we think. There were 32,000 traffic collisions in Greensboro, NC, between 2018 and 2020.

If that was not enough to send chills down your spine, what if we tell you that traffic collisions are the major cause of early deaths? This might get you hooked on this article.

Traffic Collisions

A lot of people believe that traffic collisions are a synonym for car accidents. What they fail to understand is that this is just a subcategory of traffic collisions.

When we are talking about traffic collisions, we refer to all the animals, stationary objects, individuals walking on the roads, automobiles, etc., that face the threat of traffic collisions.

Traffic collisions are the most common cause of death in developing countries or underdeveloped countries. At least 93% of injuries and deaths are associated with it.

Who is affected the most?

If you are new to this concept, you might not know that there are subcategories to who faces the most amount of risk when it comes to traffic collisions. Who caters to the most amount of risk is dependent on three variables. These have been discussed down below.

1. The social class you belong to

As discussed earlier that those individuals who belong to the middle class or lower middle class tend to get affected by road traffic collisions the most. This is mainly because they do not have enough vehicles to commute.

They are always in a hurry to satisfy their bosses and meet their daily chores. Moreover, studies and research have proved that low-class earners and middle-class earners are more stressed out than high-income earners. Due to this, their attention is not on the road.

This, however, does not mean that high-income earners do not experience road traffic collisions. The reason behind them facing these might be different.

They are usually carefree and know that if they have enough money, they can get away with anything because of their contacts. The middle-class earners and low-class earners experience road traffic collisions because of high-class earners at times.

2. Age Group

One might think that road traffic collisions are experienced by all age groups. This is true, but more than 60% of RTCs are experienced by individuals between the age group of 5-29. This includes children and adolescents. After these individuals, the elderly tend to become victims of road traffic collisions to a great extent as well.

This is mainly because they start losing their sense of sight and hearing. They might not have enough energy in their body or be capable enough to make fast decisions. The elderly would also not listen to your opinion and might experience an RTC at the expense of this.

In the case of children or adolescents, children tend to be carefree, and they often play on the roads. When their parents hold their hands while walking on the road, they are always in an attempt to release them. Most parents also do not pay enough attention to their children.

In the case of teenagers, they like their freedom, and they like speeding. You will often see teenagers driving recklessly and not caring about anything in the process of it. This leads to us hearing about their deaths on different news channels.

3. Gender

For all those who talk about how women do not know how to drive, it would be right to take a seat. This is because every year, 75% of road traffic collisions tend to take place because of young males or men in different age groups.

Women tend to be careful while driving because they already have thousands of men telling them that they are not good experienced drivers. Young males tend to have young blood, and they love to take a risk. They involve themselves in dangerous activities such as drifting, one-wheeling, speeding, etc., which puts their life at risk.

What might cause a road traffic collision?

There are many aspects of driving that we are unaware of. Some of these aspects, if not followed correctly, may lead to road traffic collisions. There is a reason the government makes different traffic rules and laws and asks you to abide by them.

So, what exactly may cause a road traffic collision? Some of the major causes have been listed down below.

1. Poor Infrastructure of roads

The safety of roadways can be significantly impacted by their design. All road users’ safety should ideally be taken into consideration while designing roads. This would entail making certain that there are sufficient facilities for bicycles, motorcyclists, and pedestrians.

To lessen the danger of injury for these road users, strategies including sidewalks, cycling lanes, safe crossing locations, and other signalization measures may be essential.

The bumpy and crack-opened roads would bring you nothing but misery, and more lives will be lost. This entirely depends on how quick the government is in taking action and how important the lives of the citizens are to a state.

At times avoiding these poor roads is not an option for us. In those cases, just make sure you drive slowly and carefully with the utmost attention. At times, it is not even the poor infrastructure of roads but the lack of law enforcement or increasing corruption that might cause this problem.

2. The vehicle is not fit for use

Vehicle safety is essential for preventing collisions and lowering the risk of serious injuries. A variety of UN regulations on car safety might save a lot of lives if they were implemented in countries’ manufacturing and production standards.

These include requiring automakers to make vehicles that adhere to front and side impact standards, have electronic stability control (to avoid oversteering), and have airbags and seat belts installed in every vehicle.

Without these fundamental requirements, there is a significantly higher risk of traffic injuries, both to persons inside and outside of vehicles.

3. Driver’s Lack of Attention

Distractions of all kinds might affect one’s ability to drive. Mobile phone distraction is an increasingly alarming issue for the safety of the road. Drivers who are on their phones while driving are substantially more likely to be in an accident than those who are not.

Using a phone while driving impairs reaction times, particularly those related to braking and traffic signals, and makes it more challenging to maintain the proper lane and following distances.

Texting greatly raises the danger of a collision, and hands-free phones are not perfectly safe either as hand-held phone sets. Lack of attention from the driver might also be because they might be stressed out about something, or the people they are traveling with are diverting their attention in one way or another.

Quite often, this happens with truck drivers. The vehicle that they are using to commute is already gigantic in size. When this happens, truck accidents take place. If you live in Greensboro, then in such a case, you need to hire a truck accident lawyer in Greensboro, NC. This would help you in tackling the situation better than you would have otherwise.

4. Neglecting Safety Precautions

The chance of fatal injuries can be cut in half when a helmet is worn properly, and the risk of brain injuries can be reduced by 69%. The chance of death and serious injuries among rear seat occupants is reduced by 25%, whereas the mortality rate and serious injuries among drivers and front seat occupants are reduced by 45–50% by wearing a seatbelt. The use of child safety seats can reduce fatalities by 60 percent.

5. Drug Abuse

A mishap that causes death or major injuries is more likely to take place when a driver is under the influence of alcohol plus any psychoactive chemical or drug. The probability of a road traffic accident increases dramatically when a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is below 0.04 g/dl in the event of drunk driving, which occurs at low levels of BAC.

According to different studies on the psychoactive drugs used when driving while impaired, there are different degrees to which the danger of a traffic accident is elevated. As an illustration, persons who have taken amphetamines have a chance of a fatal crash that is approximately five times higher than those who have not.

How can we curtail this issue?

Now knowing how big of an issue traffic collisions tend to pose for us and our environment, we have to do something on both a personal level and societal level to curtail this.

There are different types of measures that you can take in order to avoid road traffic collisions. These have been discussed in great detail down below.

1. Having an appropriate mindset about driving

Not knowledge or abilities, but attitude and maturity, are the main causes of many teen car accidents. Make a promise to yourself that you will drive safely and responsibly. You have a responsibility to yourself, your passengers, and other drivers as the driver of almost 3,000 pounds of swiftly moving metal.

You cannot disregard your surroundings, the animals you are surrounded with, the infrastructure of roads that were made by the taxes paid by the citizens of that state, the objects around you, etc. You are not driving alone between four walls. All your actions have an impact.

2. Practice enough before you are sure to take the car out

Get as much safe driving practice as you can. Your parents should actively participate in your driving lessons. Together, establish a strict timetable and follow it. And continue doing so until you pass your licensure exam.

Gradual licensing regulations are now prevalent in several states. Even when you are learning how to drive, rather than asking a friend or a relative to teach you, ask a professional driver to teach you how to drive.

They would give you interesting insights on different ways of preventing a road traffic collision. Moreover, this way, you would put your life and that of others at lower risk.

3. Do not drive at night

When you are driving at night, the chances of you experiencing a road traffic collision increase by three folds; this is because, at night, every state has authorized tractors, trolleys, and trucks to move from one place to another.

The light around you is close to minimal, and the truck drivers have the task of reaching their destination before the next morning. Moreover, at night, everyone gets free from work and school. This is the time everyone feels a little bit of freedom. Individuals tend to go out and make the most out of their time.

For the elderly, their senses weaken at night time, causing more trouble for them to be able to drive at night. So, unless it is absolutely necessary, do not drive at night.

4. Avoid extreme weather conditions

Why would you want to drive if it is pouring outside? Why would you want to drive if it is snowing outside? Why would you want to drive if the scorching sun is waiting to melt the layers of your skin? These are all extreme weather conditions that directly impact the way we drive.

During the rainy season, all the roads get congested, and everything is haphazard. Avoid driving in such extreme weather conditions. This is not only because it can lead to multiple cases of road traffic collisions but also because it can prove to be really bad for your car.

Moreover, if you are driving with your family, there is absolutely no room for debate because you most certainly cannot drive around with your family in extreme weather. You need to have enough experience before you can tell the other passengers in your car that you will drop them off safe and sound.

Even if you start to feel comfortable driving on dry roads, it is still advised to avoid driving alone in inclement weather. Before doing it on your own, keep things basic at the start and get as much guided practice driving in bad weather as you can.

In summary

This article provides you with all that you need to know about traffic collisions. From those who are at the highest risk of RTCs to the causes of RTCs, and finally, how you can avoid traffic collisions no matter which age group you fall into.

Next time you worry about traffic collisions or hear anything about it on the news, read this article again because you would know a lot more than them.

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