Health Matters: Sensible Flashes to Steer Clear Of Vehicle Crashes

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Unlike many other southern states, Texas is about average in the number of fatalities/population with 3,516 people killed (OMG) in 2015, according to the latest stats from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. However, you are in charge and can avoid accidents. Texas has the largest number of fatal accidents involving large trucks (>10,000 pounds) at 531 deaths in 2015. Drive defensively around 18-wheelers because they have large blind spots, make wide turns, and cannot stop nearly as quickly as a car. Also, because of their weight (40 tons), their energy to damage a passenger vehicle will create 10 times that of another car. I am careful about being around large trucks and spend as little time as possible alongside them.

Texas is one of the states with the most fatal accidents from improper lane changes. Be particularly careful about riding beside another auto for prolonged periods, especially if the driver appears distracted by devices or is weaving even slightly.

Head-on collisions are deadliest. They compose only 2% of US crashes, but over 10% of auto crash deaths. The safest lane is the most right-sided lane if you are a careful driver with little chance to run off the road. Crashes off the highway can be deadly.

According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, it takes alert drivers approximately two seconds to see a roadway hazard and react to it; so, don’t allow any vehicles to tailgate your car. Tailgating is a factor in one-third of accidents. Tailgating causes Phantom Traffic Jams. Have you ever been in stop and go traffic when there is no discernable reason? ALL THE TIME!

Get rid of them by slowing up until they get the idea, back off and simply pass you, or if they are incorrigible, use your emergency flashers—that will confound most tailgaters! Highway Triumph though knowledge!

Just as in dog-human falls, there is a problem with deer-vehicle collisions. My daughter collided with a deer taking her son to school and totaled her car. The average cost of vehicle damage is about $4,000.

Wikipedia reports there are 1,200,000 deer/vehicle collisions a year in the U.S. WOW! I would have guessed ten grand. These collisions result in 200+ human deaths a year, and I cannot find how many deer bite the dust. Geico recommends that, in addition to slowing down in deer country, this should especially be done at dawn and dusk when deer are most active. Also, deer are most active in autumn months. If you see a deer, slow down—they are pack animals—and be especially careful when seeing a deer crossing sign. Avoid swerving, brake instead; trees are deadlier to hit than deer. A long blast of your horn should scare them away from the road. Use bright lights when no cars are coming. Let’s protect our antlered friends—ourselves, too!

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