These Are Times You Shouldn’t Get Behind A Wheel

Car-related accidents account for more than 1,250,000 deaths annually. That’s almost the population of entire countries. The majority of these mishaps affect mainly younger drivers, between 16-24 of age. Not to mention the tens of millions of people who get injured or disabled as a direct or indirect result of a car accident. This seemingly impossible-to-solve dilemma can sometimes cost countries billions of dollars of their yearly GDP. Truth be told, accidents caused by vehicles are so difficult to fight because of the countless factors that play a role in creating this terrible phenomenon. 

In Houston alone, 640 people die each year in car accidents, with 2,850 individuals more being injured. For starters, in some cases it is solely an issue with the car’s mechanics; a loose brake line for example, that caused the accident. In these cases, the injured party would need the best Houston car accident lawyer to make sure that their deserved compensation isn’t lost in the legal nuances. While it may be true that more than 95% of personal injury cases never go to trial, it is always a smart move to have the best legal counsel in these cases to ensure the most convenient outcome. 

There are many reasons legal cases related to car accidents are mainly finalized in courts, like the fact that the jurors can structure their verdict towards either the defendant or the accused regardless of the lawyers’ statements or personal claims. In lots of cases, both the accused and the plaintiff would like to see this resolved as swiftly as possible. There is one case, however, that might force the case to go to trial, negligent driving, which is basically when a driver gets behind the wheels, and they or the circumstances clearly mark that they shouldn’t. So, what are these times one should reasonably not drive?

Driving When Tired

There is no denying that getting behind the wheel while feeling fatigued can prove to be fatal. This is a no brainer because of how much processing power your brain needs to enable you to drive safely. Your eyes are not just on the road ahead of you, but also on the fuel gauge and the temperature reading, your legs pumping on the pedal, all while your brain is calculating all possible scenarios, and trying to consider your actions and the actions of the other drivers sharing the road with you. 

Over 16 % of fatal crashes involve a sleepy driver. When you are tired, your response time slows down and your senses are all hindered, affecting your judgment. A sleepy person might not even realize that they’re playing a game of car chicken with the driver on the opposite side of the road, till it’s too late. Every driver becomes a dangerous driver when they are tired.

The desire to sleep is the greatest between Midnight and six 6 AM, making the probability of drivers crashing during this period high. Also, in the afternoons, between 1 PM and 5 PM, your biological clock can make you feel exhausted, making it anther risky time to drive. People can be in deep sleep for up to four minutes before they notice they’ve been counting sheep. The AAA Foundation reported that while 85 % of people believed that sleepy driving was inappropriate, more than 41 % said that they had fallen asleep whilst driving at some point in their life. 

Holidays and Fun

Your chances of getting into a driving accident rise during times when more vehicles are on the road, such as rush-hour or when driving conditions are less than ideal, such as during periods of rough weather conditions. This makes the holiday season one of the riskiest times to be behind the steering wheel on. On top of that, adding people driving under influence to the mix causes your chances of getting in a car crash to skyrocket. 

Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Years

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an average of 36 deaths occurred in the United States between 2001 and 2005 in the event of crashes involving an alcohol-influenced driver per day. Furthermore, an average of 45 deaths occurred daily during the Christmas season involving a driver on liquor and increased to 54 per day during the New Year’s holiday. 

Summer Holiday

This can also be portrayed in times where the weather conditions are favorable for driving, like summer and spring. The NHTSA has come to the conclusion that the bigger number of people on the roads in the summer for holiday purposes, added to a rather substantial number of drivers under the influence of alcohol causes twice as many deaths from car accidents more than any other time of year. This has caused the period between Labor Day and Memorial Day to be called the deadliest 100 days for teens.  

Holidays, in general, are everyone’s favorite time of year. It is time specified for leisure, quality time with loved ones, and partying. This combination of numerous people on the road, along with the fact that some of them might be alcohol-impaired; makes ordering a cab or rideshare option safer than driving. 

Distracted Driving

Last but not least, this is the worst state one could choose to drive in. As previously shown, the act of driving your car will use up almost all of the brain’s functionality. This will cause multitasking while driving impossible, regardless of how mindless the other task is. Veteran drivers will agree to this, even thinking deeply into anything other than driving can lead to death. 

You are essentially sitting in a box of steel weighing hundreds of pounds traveling at 60 mph; nothing should require your immediate attention other than controlling it. Whether you’re getting distracted by auditory or visual stimuli, handling anything other than the steering wheel, or even just cognitively being somewhere else other than the road ahead, your chances of hurting yourself or someone else are critical.

Owning a car is an utter convenience, underlying the epitome of humanity’s progress. However, regardless of the fact that we created these automobiles, but we still don’t quite understand how powerful they are. That is why it is an obligation that every driver regardless of skill set and specific car model to act responsibly, and drive only when the stated times and circumstances aren’t at hand.

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