Car accident attorneys in Louisville know that car accident prevention campaigns have had a significant impact on reducing the number of auto accidents in the past several decades. Now, law enforcement agencies from 30 states have met in Louisville to work to find ways to make drivers safer across the country.
While much progress has been made in reducing some of the most dangerous behaviors including drunk driving, law enforcement are considering three persistent problems that continue to cause fatalities: speeding, impaired driving and a failure to buckle up. WHAS 11 reports the safety conference also included a discussion on texting while driving and on how the legalization of marijuana for medicinal or recreational use will affect traffic stops and driving safety.
Accident Reduction Campaigns Have Been a Success, But Drivers are Ultimately Responsible for Their Own Behaviors
In 1949, there were 30,000 car accident fatalities and there was a fatality rate of four deaths for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled over the course of the year. The peak in car accident fatalities, however, occurred in 1970 when there were over 50,000 deaths. The fatality rate during this dangerous time exceeded seven deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.
By 2010, however, the NHTSA indicates that the fatality rate fell to a historic low of just over one death per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. As the overall death rate has declined, the number of non-occupants and pedestrians killed in auto accidents has also experienced dramatic decreases. From 1975 to 2009, the death rate for non-occupants declined by just over 60 percent.
The dramatic decline in car accident fatalities and passenger deaths has had a lot of contributing factors, including the passage of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act in 1966. Technological advances and crash reduction technologies have also played a role, as has the passage of seat belt laws and the passage of fault laws holding drivers who cause auto accidents responsible for injuries. However, these technological advances and new laws can only go so far, as ultimately drivers need to make safe choices to reduce accident dangers.
The conference in Louisville, KY focused on how law enforcement can take steps to educate the public and convince drivers to make safer choices. If the accident rate is going to continue to decline from these current record lows, motorists need to:
- Buckle up.
- Remember that driving high is just as dangerous as driving drunk.
- Be aware that you can still be impaired after having a drink or two even if you are below the legal limit.
- Avoid distractions while driving.
The Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police has indicated that sharing information on public education campaigns has been successful in the past in encouraging motorists to change their behaviors. Kentucky, for example, borrowed the “Highways or Die-ways” ad campaign from South Carolina in the 1990s and a dramatic decrease in traffic deaths occurred as a result.
Most drivers are familiar with slogans like “Friends Don’t let Friend’s Drive Drunk” and “Click-It or Ticket.” These types of public education campaigns have influenced behavior and helped motorists to make safer driving choices already. Hopefully, this new conference will give rise to more programs and solutions that can help to shape driver behavior, and hopefully more drivers will make smart choices in the future about buckling up and avoiding drunk driving so the accident rate can continue to fall.
If you or a loved one was injured in an auto accident, car accident lawyers in Louisville can help. Call Shelton Law Group today at 888-761-7204 for a free consultation with a Louisville attorney.