Leading Killers on the Highway, Part I

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Automobile CollsionsWhile everyone takes some risk when sitting behind the wheel of a moving vehicle, there are certain circumstances that substantially increase the danger of a St. Petersburg auto accident.

Distraction. This has been a prime target of public service announcements in recent years. There is good reason for such action.

Distracted driving has been an increasingly large problem on American highways. While texting and driving has received the most attention, it certainly isn’t the only way that people find themselves splitting their attention while driving.

Americans have been known to eat, primp, email, converse, and even read behind the wheel. However, these aren’t even the most commonly cited reasons for an accident caused by distracted driving. Most often, parents admit to having taken their eyes from the road while speaking to children in the back seat. Other drivers have suggested that the beauty of their surroundings captured their attention and still others find that musical selections are just too tempting.

Fatigued driving in Saint Petersburg and throughout the country has long been acknowledged as a problem. Tired drivers are liable to fall asleep on the road and, even if they manage to stay awake, they are more susceptible to potentially fatal errors because of their slowed reaction times. There are many symptoms that one experiences when fatigued on the highway – heavy eyelids, continual yawning, difficulty staying between the lines on the road, trouble maintaining a consistent speed, and daydreaming. It is essential that one get off the road when experiencing these symptoms.

Alcohol. Drunk driving, or driving while intoxicated, is illegal for a reason. Personal injury attorneys face off against people guilty of DWI frequently. Alcohol slows reaction time, disturbs one’s vision, and inhibits mental functions. More than 15,000 people, on average, are killed each year as a result of drunk driving.

Heavy Foot. It is referred to as the “lead foot” or a “need for speed.” Regardless of how you label the phenomenon; speeding places the driver and others on the road at greater risk. The faster a car is traveling, the longer it will take to come to a stop and the more damage that can be done in a sudden impact.