We saw a statistic the other day that seemed baffling: The death toll on our nation’s roads and highways once again is on the rise. Last year, there were 38,000 highway fatalities in America. That’s about 100 Americans killed every day in motor vehicle-related crashes and accidents.
In addition, there are hundreds of thousands of Americans who receive serious injuries in motor vehicle crashes, especially brain injuries, that can have devastating effects on victims.
The reason that we say this statistic is baffling is because motor vehicles never have been safer. Air bags, anti-lock brakes, and other technological innovations have made surviving a high-speed car crash far more likely than at any other time in the history of the automobile.
But we venture to guess that there are a lot of reasons why the carnage on our nation’s highways is increasing: We have an aging population; distracted driving is epidemic, thanks to cell phones and radios with 100 channels that require more hand-eye coordination than the old push-button radios; motor vehicles with all of those high tech featurers not only make speeding more attainable, but also lull us into a false sense of safety; our roads are in terrible shape and constitute a safety hazard; and our national epidemic of sleep deprivation that results in more people than ever falling asleep at the wheel.
But whatever the reason, those factors multiply during holiday weekends, when the roadways are filled and drunk driving becomes a huge factor in public safety. It is predicted that more Americans will be on the road than ever for this Memorial Day weekend.
So please be sure to be safe this Memorial Day weekend — especially when driving — and most especially, do not drink and drive and make sure that you do not allow anyone you know to drink and drive.