In what is believed to be a first, a self-driving vehicle has killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. The accident is being investigated by the local police and the case has garnered national attention as self-driving cars were believed to be this next advancement in road safety that would halt preventable accidents such as this one. Sadly, it appears there is no silver bullet to the motor vehicle accident problem.
Getting into a car accident will be one of the most harrowing and life-changing moments for anyone. The wreck could forever change your body (giving you whiplash or neck injuries that never fully heal, for example) or it could forever change your mind (making you afraid of driving on a particular street or in general). But even if the particular car accident that you are involved in isn't serious, it will still be scary and it will still bring out emotions in you that you least expect.
A recent accident in Tallahassee, Florida left a pedestrian in serious condition in a hospital. The accident occurred in the morning hours of Jan. 30, when a man was trying to cross the street and he was struck by a car. Thankfully emergency responders got to him in time and were able to provide medical assistance that appears to have saved his life. Investigators remained at the scene of the accident interviewing any witnesses to the crash. No charges have been filed against the driver of the car as of yet.
If you look over the fatalities that have occurred over the decades in the United States, you will notice a few trends. The first is that for most of modern American driving history, the number of people that have died in motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. per year has been over 40,000. There were even periods where it stayed above 50,000 every year.
The word "accident" has become to mean a whole of incidents that aren't actually "accidental." People who text and drive get into accidents. People who consume excessive amounts of alcohol get into accidents. People who speed, run red lights, and disobey the law get into accidents. But all of these cases aren't truly accidental, as the people behind the wheel of the car are responsible for their actions.
Were you aware that roughly 29 people die every day as a result of drunk driving? In 2016, 10,497 people died in drunk driving accidents and that works out to roughly one death every 50 minutes. That's an embarrassingly high rate. What's more is that according to the last time financial data was available for drunk driving accidents (which was in 2010), these accidents cost roughly $44 billion per year.
Imagine you are driving down the road as you have so many times before. You've always been a healthy person your entire life -- but on this day, you suddenly feel pain in your chest. You hope that the sensation goes away, but it only gets worse as time goes on. Within moments, you are unable to operate your vehicle safely and you get into an accident. The medical emergency you suffered directly contributed to this wreck.
It seems as though you should be able to count on car accidents going down every year. With car technology improving and safety improvements always being developed, you would think that accidents and deaths on the road would continue a downward trend. Maybe they never reach zero, but they should always decline. Add in the fact that self-driving cars are starting to get into the mix, and we should be experiencing a road safety revolution.
Car accidents of all shapes and size occur everyday in the United States. Many of these wrecks are minor in nature. The bumpers of two vehicles meet at a low speed, and the passengers and drivers inside are not injured. Minor damage to the vehicles occurs, and insurance companies get involved. Little else comes of the collision, even though it is a hassle to deal with.
Car accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. People can become distracted by their phone or by people in their car, losing focus on the road ahead of them. They can fall asleep or become tired due to a lack of rest. And, unfortunately, they may choose to partake in some incredibly negligent behaviors, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.