So when I published my first blog on Friday I had a good idea about what my next post was going to be about; then over the weekend with certain events I changed my mind and was going to post about another topic. Well, I get to work this morning and that all flew out the window pretty quick…

A few days after Christmas two of my co-workers were involved in a car accident due to hydroplaning on standing water in the road, from what I understand the driver walked away with minor bruising but the passenger was not wearing his seat belt, he was ejected from the car and had to be air lifted to a hospital that is about 50-60 miles away because in our small town our hospital usually sends serious cases to one of two hospitals that are better equipped to handle serious injuries and health issues.

According to Wikipedia in 2015 there were 35,092 fatality accidents in the US which was an increase of 10.5% from 2014. According to the IIHS in North Carolina where I live; there were 1,275 fatal crashes resulting in 1,379 deaths, 54% were single vehicle accidents and 46% were multi-vehicle accidents. 28% were accidents were the driver had a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) equal to or greater than 0.08%

This is the important part I want to get to…Restraint Use; again in North Carolina the percent of Unrestrained Fatalities was 42% and Restrained Fatalities was 53% for 2015 which sounds bad but if you look at the below chart (which can be found here) if you look at the National Stats; the “Occupants who Survived” is 86% using restraints vs 14% without.

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Another big factor is “distractions” which most people think of as Cell Phone use (talking, texting, etc) but it could also be messing with the Radio, Heat or AC, it could be children or pets in the car wanting your attention, there are a lot of things that could distract you from the road.

Top 10 Driving Distractions

  1. Food & Drink
  2. Music
  3. Phone Calls
  4. Gawking at an Accident (trust me, we all do it)
  5. Text Messaging
  6. Seat Belt Usage (see link above for more info)
  7. Drowsy Driving
  8. Applying Makeup
  9. Facebook
  10. Twitter

I’ll be the first to admit; I have done most if not all of these at some time; however I guess as I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten wiser maybe? Below is what I do in response to the above.

  1. I wait until I get home to eat my food.
  2. I set my radio/mp3 before I start driving then the only thing I may adjust would be the volume.
  3. Nope doesn’t happen at all.
  4. I try my best not to while I’m driving.
  5. No, I either wait until I get to where I’m going or I wait until I’m at a stop light/sign.
  6. I typically have my seat belt on before the car is even started.
  7. Sometimes this does happen but if I get too drowsy I will pull off and rest or get some caffeine.
  8. No I don’t even apply lip gloss while driving
  9. No; see #5
  10. No; again see #5

What is the point I’m trying to get across here? When driving PLEASE wear your seat belt and make sure all your passengers wear theirs. PLEASE do not drive distracted, not only does it put yourself and your passengers at risk but you also put innocent people on the roads at risk as well. I know sometimes we may feel like no one would miss us if we were gone but that is NOT true, whether you know it or not there are people out there that care about you and would miss you if something were to happen.

Now I’ll step down off my soap box.

Image result for standing on a soapbox

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