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February 18, 2020 - 1:16pm

Police chief reminds citizens to steer clear of dangerous driving habits

posted by Billie Owens in Traffic Safety, news, city police department.

Press release:

The Department has received several requests for information related to traffic concerns in the City of Batavia, the following touches on the most common areas of concern.

The Department conducts regular traffic enforcement details that focus on these areas of concern as well as others.

SPEEDING

Speeding endangers everyone on the road: In 2018, speeding killed 9,378 people in the United States. Speed limits are put in place to protect all road users.

Consequences

Speeding is more than just breaking the law. The consequences are far-ranging:

  • Greater potential for loss of vehicle control;

  • Reduced effectiveness of occupant protection equipment;

  • Increased stopping distance after the driver perceives a danger;

  • Increased degree of crash severity leading to more severe injuries;

  • Economic implications of a speed-related crash; and

  • Increased fuel consumption/cost.

DISTRACTED DRIVING

The practice of driving a motor vehicle while engaged in another activity, typically one that involves the use of a mobile phone or other electronic device.

Consequences

Using a cell phone while driving creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. In 2017 alone, 3,166 people were killed in motor-vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.

TRAFFIC SIGNS/LIGHTS

The Federal Highway Administration claims that roughly 45 percent of car collisions take place at a road intersection and the cause is usually related to running a stop sign or running a stop light. This means tens of thousands of car accidents occur because a driver fails to stop at a red light or stop sign and collides with another motor vehicle in the United States every year. With more and more people driving, we are dependent on red lights to keep us safe, and it only takes one mistake to cause a serious injury or fatality.

Causes of Traffic Light Related Accidents

  • The driver speeds up to “make the light” while the light is yellow. They end up entering the intersection while the light is red which is obviously a very dangerous situation. Cars that are turning or driving perpendicular to the driver running the red-light lead to a major collision.

  • Many drivers realize that speeding up to make the light isn’t possible and slam on the brakes. This still causes the vehicle to enter the intersection because they weren’t able to stop in due time.

  • A vehicle is simply distracted or reckless and doesn’t even notice the red light. The driver then gets in a crash with another vehicle that is simply going through a green light.

  • A vehicle that is legally in the intersection make a left-hand turn after the traffic signal is red. Another driver (who is not aware the 1st car is turning left) speeds up on the green light and collides with the car making a legal left.

  • Poor weather conditions making it difficult to see the traffic light clearly. This could include heavy rain, heavy snow, ice, fog, and a sun that is blinding.

Four-way Stop Accident Statistics

According to a study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed that traffic accidents that involved a stop sign violation accounted for 70 percent all motor-vehicle crashes. Approximately one-third of these collisions result in injuries to either a vehicle driver, passenger or pedestrian.

SEAT BELTS

The national use rate at 90.7 percent in 2019. Seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,955 lives in 2017.

Consequences

Of the 37,133 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2017, 47 percent were not wearing seat belts. In 2017 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 14,955 lives and could have saved an additional 2,549 people if they had been wearing seat belts.

The consequences of not wearing, or improperly wearing, a seat belt are clear:

1. Buckling up helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle, whereas not buckling up can result in being totally ejected from the vehicle in a crash, which is almost always deadly.

2. Air bags are not enough to protect you; in fact, the force of an air bag can seriously injure or even kill you if you’re not buckled up.

3. Improperly wearing a seat belt, such as putting the strap below your arm, puts you and your children at risk in a crash.

The benefits of buckling up are equally clear:

1. If you buckle up in the front seat of a passenger car, you can reduce your risk of:

  • Fatal injury by 45 percent (Kahane, 2015)
  • Moderate to critical injury by 50 percent*

2. If you buckle up in a light truck, you can reduce your risk of:

  • Fatal injury by 60 percent (Kahane, 2015)
  • Moderate to critical injury by 65 percent (NHTSA, 1984**)

​*Editor's note: No source citation provided.

**National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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