February 15, 2018
By Eugene Herbert
Ask most people what crash they fear most and most likely it would be as a result of another vehicle crashing into their vehicle – possibly because of some drunk losing control.
A study from AAA (in the United States) of data on fatal crashes finds that drivers worry most about being killed by another motorist. Yet, the most lethal accidents are solo crashes.
It reveals 96% of drivers fear they’re going to be hit by someone running a red light. Another 86% fear being hit by a distracted driver. In fact more than half of traffic deaths in the US happen in crashes that involve a single vehicle — their own.
Nationwide, single-vehicle crashes result in 55% of traffic fatalities. The term ‘single-vehicle crash’ covers a multitude of driver errors and other risk factors. These include intoxication, inattention, distraction, drowsiness, speed, bad weather, plus overcorrection of the vehicle and, ironically, even crash-avoiding maneuvers.
These crashes can also have many manifestations, including the vehicle leaving the roadway, or rolling over or turning over as the result of the initial incident.
Further clarification on these types of crashes include crashes where the vehicle hits a pedestrian or cyclist, as well as trees, poles, other objects, or animals. But 70% of the fatal single-vehicle crashes are also classified as ‘run off-road’ accidents — crashes in which the vehicle crosses either the centre lane or side line.
Another startling fact is that only 3 percent of all crashes involved rollovers but they caused 20% of the deaths.
Until next time, remember: The lesson for all drivers. Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel