Posted on July 1st, 2022 by Zane Cagle
Drive Sober, Defensively and Alert
The National Safety Council estimates 462 people may die on US roadway this Independence Day holiday period. Typically, the NSC estimate has a 90% confidence interval for predicting the number of fatal motor vehicle crashes. We can each make safe driving and celebrating decisions that reduce that number. Certainly, the NSC would be delighted to be wrong! The holiday weekend is always a high travel time. Many choose car travel which has the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation. Holidays are also a time of high alcohol consumption. The holiday weekend begins tonight at 6 p.m. and ends at Noon on July 4, 2022.
The range of prediction of roadway fatalities across the US is between 360 to 573. If you are traveling by motor vehicle, take proactive steps to avoid car collisions. Nothing ruins a holiday weekend like a car crash producing serious injuries or worse. There are several variable that contribute directly to motor vehicle collisions including impaired driving, distracted driving and failure to wear seatbelts and helmets.
Everyone knows that driving impaired is dangerous. Not to mention, there will be sobriety check points all over the states of Missouri and Illinois. Make a plan before you begin drinking alcohol. Know how you are going to reach your destination at the end of the celebration. Too many people fail to have a plan for how they will get to their destination safely until after they have consumed alcohol. We all know from personal experiences, we are not good decision makers when we drink alcohol. Plan a ride share or a designated driver in your group. The designated driver needs to be the person who has NOT consumed alcohol rather than the person who has consumed the lease alcohol.
Wear a Seat Belt
Seatbelts are legally required. Failure to wear a seat belt will probably not earn you a citation. However, if you are in a crash, there are natural consequences. According to the Missouri Highway Patrol combined data for all fatalities including car, motorcycle and ATV, there have been 116 roadway related fatalities since May 1, 2022 through June 30, 2022. Of those 116 fatalities, 31 were wearing safety devices whether it was a seat belt or helmet. Sixty-five of those fatalities were not wearing either a seat belt or helmet (depending on the type of motor vehicle), eight were classified as unknown and 12 were exempt (often pedestrians). Seat belts to do promise to save your life, but they do keep you in the vehicle. If one is ejected from the vehicle, the likelihood of survival is greatly reduced. Fifty-six percent of the fatalities in May involved those without safety devices.
Wear a Helmet on Motorcycles and ATV’s
No, motorcycle helmets are not legally required in Missouri if you are of a certain age and proof of insurance. When any other state in the union did away with their helmet laws, they saw an increase of about 20 percent in motorcycle fatalities. The Show Me State has proved no different. Whether you are riding a motorcycle on the highway or riding an ATV across private property, helmets are really important. Since the beginning of May, the number of ATV and motorcycle injuries and fatalities has been alarming. There were 65 incidents of motorcycle collisions and/or ATV incidents in the month of May alone involving death and or serious injury. In over half of the incidents, the motorcycle rider and/ or ATV occupants were not wearing safety equipment. Helmets do not prevent all fatalities, clearly; but the statistics are clear–helmets save lives.
We are so easily distracted by our smart phones. Whether we are engaging in phone conversations, returning texts, checking directions or adjusting music. STOP! It is difficult to do sometimes, but commit to hands free use of your phone if you must do it. Maps and directions are easily audio only so that you never have to look at your phone for directions. If you are talking on the phone, looking at social media or worse, taking selfies while you are behind the wheel, the odds are good that you are NOT doing a good job of driving. Inattention and distraction are huge causes of serious motor vehicle crashes. We all know the statistics. We all know that in the time it takes to look at a text, you can travel the length of a football field at 60 mph. While traveling with friends and family, we are all exciting to be going to the holiday celebrations. Take a few minutes to simply get your head right before you climb behind the wheel. Again, nothing really messes up a good holiday celebration than an injury from a motor vehicle crash.
What Steps to Take After a Motor Vehicle Accident
Odds are that you will be in some sort of motor vehicle accident sometime in your lifetime. Hopefully, it is just a minor incident. Most people have a fire escape plan should their house catch on fire, yet so many people do not know the steps after a car accident. The odds of being in a car accident are much higher. Thus, know the quick guide of steps should you be in a car crash. When you fail to do some of the steps, it can make resolving the incident more difficult.
Step 1. Call 911. Do not be influenced by another driver that says to not call the police. Failure to call the police is failure to have your crash documented. You are “trusting” that the other party gives you their correct insurance and contact information. And, you are “trusting” that they will have the same version of the event as you do. This involves a lot of “trusting”. While I like to look for the best in people, I will tell you that more often than not, other drivers will have a different version of the event than you when they are talking to their insurance carrier.
Call 911 so that officers can manage the traffic around your collision especially if it is a busy roadway.
Step 2. Get the contact information of all drivers and occupants in the vehicles including name, address, phone and insurance information. If you call the police, they will often gather that information for you. Occupants and other drivers are less likely to give false information to a police officer.
Step 3. If you are able, take photos of the vehicles at the crash site. Clearly, if you are being transported via ambulance, you will not be able to photograph anything
Step 4. If you have any pain, seek medical treatment immediately. Do not even think of waiting until the at-fault party’s insurance carrier “approves” your treatment. If you wait for that approval, you will never get help. If you are hurt, get to a ER, Urgent Care or contact your primary car doctor immediately.
Step 5. Call an Attorney. Call us BEFORE you start talking to any insurance company, even your own. We offer free consultations seven days a week.
We are available seven days a week, toll free 1.800.685.3302 or locally, 314.276.1681 or contact us online