People in New York may be surprised to learn that they really do take their lives in their hands when they get behind the wheel. The leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 1 and 44 is accidental injury. In 2016 alone, 61,749 people were killed in unintentional injuries. This is more than twice the number of people in this age group who were killed by both heart disease and cancer combined. While various unintentional injuries can be deadly, motor vehicle accidents and poisonings were the most frequent causes of accidental death.
Ever year, 2 million people are injured and 32,000 people lose their lives in car accidents. Drivers can take steps to make themselves safer on the road, and the first step begins with their own driving practices. This means following safety rules of the road, including abiding by the speed limit. One of the biggest threats to roadway safety that has accompanied the rise of the smartphone is distracted driving.
In 2016, 3,450 people died in crashes caused by distracted driving. While all kinds of activities can be distracting, texting while driving poses a particular threat. When people text behind the wheel, they take their eyes and their mind away from the road. They even take their hands away from the wheel in many cases. When driving at 55 mph, a driver may travel the length of a football field without looking at the road while sending or receiving only one text message.
Drivers can improve their safety by working on their own practices, but other dangerous and negligent drivers still pose a threat on the road. Car accidents can leave people with permanent disabilities and severe injuries requiring substantial rehabilitation. A personal injury lawyer might help accident victims seek compensation for their damages, including medical bills and lost wages.