Traffic Safety Essay Research Paper Highway SafetyOn

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Traffic Safety Essay, Research Paper Highway Safety On a cool Saturday night last fall The Texas Aggies began celebrating their win against the Baylor Bears in a rival football game. Students from both campuses came together for the traditional post-game parties. However the parties and celebrations came to a devastating halt when 6 students were killed by a driver who had fallen asleep and hit them on the highway. The driver was not drunk, nor was he speeding, he just fell asleep. USA Today, explains in Over Work, Lack Of Sleep Cause Car Crashes, how an estimated 100,00 highway accidents occur each year as a result of drivers falling asleep at the wheel. Accidents such as the A&M tragedy can be prevented. Similar highway accidents occur each year caused by several

factors. How safe are the highways we drive on everyday? As a driver am I fully aware of how safe I am on the highway, or do I just assume that I am protected based on what I hear on the news or read in the newspaper? In order to fully understand the concept of highway safety we must examine the various causes of automobile accidents and how to prevent them. Overtime technology has improved tremendously. Transportation is an example of one major technological advancement. Driving an automobile has gone from a luxury activity to an understood mean of transportation. Today driving is a way of life. The first place to prevent a possible highway accident is at the car dealership. Today s market gives the buyer an extremely large choice in the make, model, and year of the car they

would like to purchase. A buyer can choose to purchase an SUV, a sports car, a mini van, the list of choice goes on and on. Recently Ford recalled all sport utility vehicles with certain Firestone tires. The tires were dangerous and had caused many highway accidents. Firestone replaced the damaged tires but, David Pittle an author for USA Today wrote, Even with new tires, sport utility vehicles present consumers were still at a substantially higher risk from rollover. The National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA) has very little to offer to these consumers. As of now all they have to offer is a warning sticker on certain SUVs telling consumers to avoid making sharp turns, lest the vehicle roll over or crash. But safer vehicles, not stickers, are what consumers

need. Other types of vehicles on the highway include large trucks better known as 18wheelers. Large trucks cause 13% of all traffic fatalities. “Large Trucks” explains that many accidents are caused from “loss of steering in emergency stopping.” All new trucks are required to be equipped with anti-lock breaks and the drivers are required to stop 20-40 percent earlier than a normal passenger car would.” Motorcycles are a very used form of transportation. “Motorcycles” gives statistics and facts on the majority of motorcyclists. Most motorcycle drivers involved in highway crashes were speeding at the time of the accident. Nearly 1 out of 5 motorcycle operators involved in fatal crashes was not wearing a helmet and was operating the vehicle with an invalid license at

the time of collision. Cars, light trucks, and vans make up the majority of vehicles driven on highways. “Cars, Light Trucks, and Vans” explains that passengers are more likely to be injured and possibly killed with a frontal impact collision. Passenger vehicles account for ninety percent of all occupant fatalities and for ninety-seven percent of all injuries received in a collision. Researching the facts surrounding the vehicle of choice is strongly recommended. Prevention of highway accidents starts with the vehicle safety but depends on how safe the actual driver is when operating the vehicle. Seatbelts serve as one of the best methods of protection to the passengers when riding in a vehicle. “Occupant Protection” examines the laws separate states have in affect