Alabama’s accident rate is among the worst in the nation.
According to the Alabama Department of Transportation, in 2012, there were 128,307 traffic crashes, with over 41,000 of those crashes involving injury or death.
Typical drivers in Alabama have greater than a one in three chance of being involved in a traffic accident with injury or death over their lifetimes, and the probability of being in a crash of any severity is greater than 98 percent.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, from 2003-2012, the death rate for an occupant of a motor vehicle in Alabama was 13.7 per 100,000 people, which is substantially higher than the national rate for the same time period was 7.0 per 100,000 people.
One reason for a higher fatality rate is the large number of rural areas in Alabama, which often do not have hospitals in close proximity. However, whether driving in a rural or urban area, there are many precautions that can be taken to lower your risk of being involved in a car accident.
What causes most Alabama car accidents?
The main contributing causes of all traffic accidents in Alabama are speeding, tailgating, misjudging stopping distance, failing to yield the right of way, driving under the influence, and distracted driving.
Distracted driving is the leading cause of accidents.
Although we all know that speeding and drinking and driving are very dangerous on the roadways, many of us are not as conscious of the risk we put ourselves at daily by being a “distracted driver”. Distracted driving is the number one cause of all crashes in Alabama, and the 3rd leading cause of fatal crashes.
What is distracted driving and how can you avoid it?
When you are living in heavy traffic areas like Birmingham and Mobile, you need to be extra cautious of distracted driving.
Distracted driving involves many things, including simply not paying attention, such as taking your eyes of the road to change the radio station, or picking up something that may have fallen in the floorboard. It also includes using a cell phone, whether by talking on the phone, texting and driving, or surfing social media. In today’s world, almost everyone owns a cell phone, and many of us are guilty of using it while driving, including myself.
There are some things you can do to help break the habit of texting and driving, including putting your cell phone in the glove compartment while driving, or putting it in the silent mode until you have reached your destination. There are also apps available on many “smart” phones that will send a reply text letting your friends and family know that you’re driving and will respond to texts at a later time.
Although traffic accidents are inevitable, we can all choose to make smart decisions while driving, such as being mindful of speed limits and traffic conditions, and focusing our full attention on the roadway. Choosing to put your safety and the safety of others first will help make Alabama a safer place to drive!