Despite significant reductions in roadway fatalities and serious injuries in the Destination Safe service area, the toll measured by lives lost and lives altered forever is tragic. It is believed that 90 percent or more of all crashes are attributable in part to driver behaviors, so the word “accident” is not an appropriate term to describe motor vehicle crashes (MVCs). Driver error can lead to collisions, which means the majority of crashes are preventable. Although engineers, scientists and law makers have been successful in making safety improvements to roadways and vehicles, it is the responsibility of every motorist to drive vehicles in a safe, attentive manner that will avoid property damage, human injury or death.
There are many driving behaviors and issues that concern safety advocates in the Kansas City region. Knowing the consequences of these behaviors and learning appropriate driving skills will help Kansas City area residents reduce the financial, social and health-related costs of MVCs.
The Destination Safe Coalition has identified a number of transportation safety priorities to monitor throughout the Kansas City region.
NHTSA defines aggressive driving as "when individuals commit a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property." Speeding, driving too fast for conditions and following too closely are some all forms of aggressive driving.
I n 2010, 18 percent of crashes involving injuries involved distracted driving. (distraction.gov)
Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37percent. (Carnegie Mellon)
Impaired drivers accounted for 36 percent of all people killed in a roadway crashes.
In 2010, more than 10,000 people (nationally) died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes — one every 51 minutes. (www.nhtsa.gov)
For motorcyclists nationally, the annual 5 year average between 2011–2007 has exceeded 4,800 deaths. A motorcycle fatality occurs every about every two hours. (NHSTA)
In 2011, pedestrians accounted for 14 percent of all highway-related fatalities. The percentage of pedestrian fatalities to all fatalities has risen every year between 2007 and 2011. In 2011 alone, over 12 pedestrian died in roadway crashes every day. (www.nhtsa.gov)
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that more than half of all people killed in car crashes were not restrained at the time of the crash.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. (CDC).