In 2010, 5,419,000 motor vehicle traffic crashes were reported to the police; of these, 1,542,000 resulted to injuries, while 32,999, in death. The more than five million car accidents every year is very minimal compared to the estimated 16,000,000 that actually occur. Why this great disparity? The major reason is because majority of accidents never get reported, perhaps because no one got injured or because the damages were minor – requiring only simple repairs or parts replacement, thus settlement was easily reached by both at-fault and innocent driver who rather preferred to save themselves from the inconveniences resulting from filing legal complaints.

With regard to the most common causes of fatal car crashes, both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Safety Council (NSC) agree on alcohol-impaired driving, speeding, not wearing of seatbelt and cell phone use. Despite the laws which ban the use of a cell phone while behind the wheel, and drivers’ understanding of the risks associated with distracted driving, thousands of drivers continue to commit mistakes or make bad decisions while driving; thousands still drive and text or converse with someone over their phone. Worse than these, though, many even commit the crazy mistake of taking selfies and then posting their photo in their social site as they try to keep an eye on the road.

Distracted driving is most common among young drivers. Studies and analyses of car crashes, in fact, show that about 11 teenagers die every day because of cell phone use while driving. Besides cell phone use, a few others in the almost endless list of driving distractions include: looking at a map for directions; adjusting a GPS or a radio; playing the car stereo at full volume; chatting with friends; taking, or having a picture taken; fixing a tie, grooming; drinking and eating; and, lighting a cigarette and smoking.

Paying full attention to the road and your surroundings is of utmost importance when you’re behind the wheel. A lapse in attention even for just a few seconds is an act of negligence that can result in a crash where people, other than you, can get injured; it can also most likely result to you being fully regretful but facing civil and criminal charges.

It is stated in the website of the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, LTD, that “you can only control your own driving behavior; there is not much you can do to control what others do out there on the road. Careless, reckless, and negligent drivers abound. Some fail to keep their attention focused on the road and become distracted, while others get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs, disregard traffic laws, or run red lights and stop signs. Others drive too fast or too aggressively, or fail to adjust their driving for road or weather conditions. As a result, some unlucky Rhode Island drivers and their passengers, in spite of responsible, focused, and skillful driving, find their lives in turmoil, their bodies broken, and their finances in a shambles, all because of another’s wrongdoing.

The deaths and injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes are simply unacceptable. Most car accidents are preventable with responsible, diligent, and focused driving. By doing away with reckless, dangerous, and negligent driving behaviors, we can save lives and prevent injuries. One way to accomplish this is by holding these irresponsible drivers accountable for their actions and making them pay for the damage they cause.”