In some form or another, we are all told on a daily basis about the deadly dangers of impaired driving. Whether it is driving under the influence, texting while driving or simply driving too fast, these are real problems with deadly consequences.
Colorado roadway deaths have risen by 24% since 2014. In 2016 there were 605 deaths on Colorado roadways, of those 196 were related to drugs or alcohol. Now, while that number should not even exist because there is absolutely no legit reason in this age of Uber that anyone should get behind a wheel, even more ridiculous is the amount of auto crashes related to “distracted driving.” Experts estimate that there are forty crashes a day caused by people who are busy looking at a device rather than the road. Let me say that again; forty crashes a day from people who cannot wait to check to see if someone liked their status update or read an email. Now granted all those did not end in a fatality, but some of them did. While others ended with life-altering injuries. Not a gamble anyone should risk.
More Than a Stat
When you look at these numbers, it may not affect you. You may look at it and even think, with all the people around 605 deaths is not that bad. Right? Wrong. Distracted driving deaths or crashes where drugs and alcohol are a factor should not exist, period. These are entirely preventable circumstances. These are traumatic situations where families are torn apart by death or serious injury because of poor judgment. However, it is more than just those involved in the accident that suffers. Imagine being the law enforcement officer who has to make the phone call to a worried mother and tell her that a drunk driver killed her child. Alternatively, the wife whose husband died in the hospital after a head-on collision with a teenager who was too busy texting to watch the road and veered into oncoming traffic. What if it was your loved one? What if your best friend who was no longer there for you because their life was cut short for no explainable reason?
No call is too urgent it cannot wait, no drive is quick enough to take after a night on the town, and no life is worth sacrificing to see how fast that new whip takes turns.
Seeing is Believing
Often as humans, we have to see something to believe it is real; we need tangible before it the realness of it sinks in. No, I am not saying tag along and inspect crash scenes. Hollywood has taken the shock factor out of things like that, and we have become desensitized to them. Moreover, experts spouting of statistics do not always do the trick either. However, sometimes looking at something that resonates with you, like roads you drive every day or data presented differently, will trigger that “A-ha” moment where the seriousness of the situation starts to sink in.
While we are all about insurance protection at A Plus Insurance, we are also about education. If we educate our clients, they make better decisions, and better decisions turn into better rates. However, the other thing we like about our customers is that they are alive. Living customers are way better than dead ones in our opinion and if we can not only show our clients how important safe driving is but just a curious blog reader than we are saving two lives.
Maps do not Lie
In a serious effort to better serve our clients and community, we created an interactive life-saving learning tool. We think it is life-saving because maybe it will change the way you drive. Our Colorado Interactive Fatalities Map shows data for the last ten years. This data compilation represents the contributing factors (Alcohol, Speeding, Distracted Driving) for the accident as well as who died in the crash (Driver, Passenger, Pedestrian, Bicyclist, Multiple, Other). This map gives you a visual representation of each life lost due to careless driving. It shows more than just a number, but someone’s husband, wife, daughter, friend that is no longer here because of someone else or maybe even their terrible judgment. Although a fatality may not happen in every accident, injuries happen, there is a monetary loss associated with car accidents, job loss, jail time. All significant life changes that happen in a split second with no do-overs.
Be smart every time you get behind the wheel. Put on a playlist, set your phone to do not disturb, or call an Uber if you need it. Who knows, the life you save just might be your own.