A recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) raises the issue of drugged driving supplanting drunk driving as a threat on the highway. The issued the report with the concern that most people are not aware of the magnitude of the problem of drugged driving. Nevertheless, it is important to note that while the report indicates that drugs are often present in those who die in fatal car accidents that are not the same thing as showing the drugs caused the accident.
Self-driving or autonomous vehicles are seen as the holy grail of highway safety. The vast majority of crashes, injuries, and fatalities that occur on the roads of Florida are caused by human drivers' negligence. Drivers operate their vehicles when they are intoxicated by alcohol, high on drugs, impaired by fatigue, distracted by texting or simply daydreaming and not watching the road or traffic around them.
Driving is a cooperative venture. Think about it: How often when you are driving around Ocala do you find yourself utterly alone on a street or highway? Even if you drive the roads at 3:00 AM, you likely will encounter a few vehicles keeping your company on the road. Whether you drive a car, a truck, a motorcycle or a bicycle, you must behave responsibly on the road, because your life and the lives of others depend on it.
A truck crash occurred on I-95 this week near Jacksonville and killing a woman driving a passenger car. Sadly, there is little remarkable in that statement. It could have been I-4 as it passed through Ocala, or it could have been any one of a hundred roads throughout Florida.
This month presents an opportunity for drivers to refresh themselves on how important staying distraction-free is when at the wheel. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
Adult drivers lead busy lives and often deal with and abundance of stress. Many adults also lead sleep deprived lives, which is understandable with today's lifestyles, but when these people get behind the wheel, it can lead to big problems on the road. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that driving while drowsy is a big problem and often unreported. Drivers who are tired while driving have the same symptoms as those who have been drinking. Drowsiness:
Florida once again has the dubious distinction of being one of the most dangerous states in the nation for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Traffic deaths increased 10 percent last year to 3,200 last year. The causes are varied but include more driving, road rage and 500,000 new drivers since 2011.
We have all seen distracted drivers on the streets and highways of Florida. We know that distracted driving is a growing cause of vehicle crashes. Studies dating back almost a decade showed the threat. The average text requires a driver to take their eyes off the road for 5 seconds, the equivalent of driving the length of a football field blindfolded.
According to some estimates, drivers over 65 will make up 25 percent of the nation's motorist population by 2025, and with so many older people calling Florida home, it is important to recognize how this may impact your safety. While driving allows aging populations to maintain a certain degree of freedom and independence, your risk of an injury or fatality on the road also increases with age. Though not all accidents are preventable, there are some important steps you can take as you get older to enhance safety on the road and avoid being a victim. These include:
Driving is a remarkably ordinary activity. Most people in a city like Ocala drive at least once a day, and many spend hours on the road driving to multiple locations. That is one of the difficulties in raising awareness for driving safety campaigns. Most people in Florida drive thousands of miles every year and it is such an ordinary and common activity that they no longer recognize how dangerous it can be.