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Why is the rate of personal injuries on our roads increasing so rapidly?
Responding to a frightening increase in accidents on Kentucky roads, the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) has issued a serious caution to drivers and pedestrians: DRIVE AND WALK SMART.
In 2016, there have already been 109 deaths. Though most involve motor vehicles, seven were pedestrian deaths.
Fatal accidents involving motorcycles are also increasing. Police have now created a flyer that will be passed out at biking events to remind motorcyclists that the serious responsibilities of driving motor vehicles apply to them.
Reasons for More Personal Injuries on Our Roads
The reasons our roads have become more dangerous are many and varied. Most of us are all too aware of them, yet many of us persist in indulging in risky behavior. Reasons for increased risks caused by drivers are:
- Excess speed or speed inappropriate for road conditions
- Increasing abuse of alcohol and drugs
- Not using directional signals
- Cutting corners at intersections
- Neglecting to put headlights on or using high beams inappropriately
- Inappropriately using car horn
- Distracted driving
- Poor lane control
- Throwing objects, especially lit cigarettes, out of the window
Pedestrians, too, make poor choices on our roads, putting themselves and others in danger. Pedestrians often engage in the following risky behaviors:
- Crossing against traffic signals
- Not using crosswalks
- Wearing dark clothing at twilight or in the dark
- Walking while distracted
- Walking on, or crossing, streets while high on drugs or intoxicated
What will it take to change our behavior?
Excessive speed of vehicles is not only a major cause of accidents, but a major contributor to the severity of injuries. While the media insists on showing us speeding vehicles as enviable objects of glamour, power and freedom, speeding continues to kill an increasing number of drivers and pedestrians.
Distracted walking and driving are responsible for more and more severe injuries and fatalities, yet we all continue to see drivers speaking on handheld phones and texting. In addition to being endangered by distracted drivers, pedestrians continue to increase their own risk by talking on the phone or texting while crossing busy intersections.
Clearly, the LMPD, has the right idea. People have to be constantly reminded of the external dangers they face on the road, both as drivers and as pedestrians, but it is also essential that they be constantly reminded of the consequences of their own foolish behavior.
If you have been injured in a road accident, your first priority is obviously getting prompt medical attention. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.