Although the safety features of motor vehicles continue to improve, car accidents injure thousands and claim the lives of thousands more every year. Most car accidents are completely avoidable with at least one of the drivers involved to blame. A growing number of accidents are being caused by distracted drivers who may be acting recklessly.
The effects of an accident can stay with those involved for months, years and, in some cases, a lifetime. Many times, the physical injuries heal first, leaving a victim to deal with the psychological trauma of being involved in a serious accident, which can leave a person scared to even get back in a motor vehicle.
There are car accidents in Missouri every day. Some accidents leave barely a scratch on the vehicle and person, but others destroy lives in the same instance. For some, the holiday season will forever be a reminder of the auto accident that took the lives of their loved one. For them, the season is nothing more than a reminder of what they have lost.
Most states and cities have come to recognize the dangers of operating a motor vehicle while distracted. In many places this had led to banning behaviors such as texting and driving. Some states have outright banned the act regardless of age but a few states, like Missouri, have limited their ban only to those under the age of 21, a move cities are fighting in their own way.
In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in car accidents involving a distracted driver. This is in addition to the over 420,000 people who were injured in accidents involving a distracted driver. Distracted driving is one of the most deadly and costliest vices in the United States that is carried out on a daily basis around the country. While the federal government has instituted bans on specific actions, such as government employees and commercial vehicle drivers' texting while driving, much of the responsibility for enacting driver-related laws falls to the states.
Most people think little of all the safety features that adorn Kansas City streets and highways alike. One of the most prevent form of street safety are the barriers that split the opposite flowing traffic. These barriers range in size from one foot humps to 10 foot or more concrete dividers that completely separate the highways. These dividers and other safety features are so common place that many people forget about their intended function that is until a metal guardrail is all that keeps them from going over a dangerous drop or into oncoming traffic.
While exact numbers are difficult to ascertain due to inconsistent testing, according to the Nation Survey on Drug Use and Health over 10 million people took to the roads under the influence of an illicit drug in 2013. While it pales to the estimated 29 million people thought to have driven under the influence of alcohol the same year, 10 million represents a lot of avoidable accidents.
Every year, tens of thousands of people die while traveling in cars. This number isn't likely to decrease any time soon, as technology is increasingly being used as a distraction during a time when focus is essential. When people lose sight of how to properly drive, the risk for injury increases, creating a chance for the worst to happen. Those who make a living on the road need to be extra vigilant, as they have an increased chance of being involved in an accident.
Motor vehicles are made of tons of metal and plastic that travel at incredible speeds with only four brake pads to stop them. Such a description would make most people think twice before getting behind the wheel of a car, but car makers have been improving the safety features of their vehicles as much as they have the horse power or gas mileage. But, not all safety features are automatic, and one of the most important ones, the safety belt, can be put on or taken off with the click of a button.
Capitalism has a glaring flaw that in this day and age is nearly impossible to overcome: individual and collective greed. The United States is dominated by mega businesses that affect nearly every aspect of people's everyday lives. Most of these companies are for-profit entities whose main goal is turning a profit. Sometimes the need to turn a profit or a higher profit creates situations where people have to choose between doing the right thing and the most cost effective thing. Unfortunately, many of the people who work for GM chose profits over people, which resulted in many being hurt.