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The Traffic Safety Problem Page 7 of 7 Review In the U.S.

, each year approximately 3 million people are injured and around 40,000 people are killed in traffic collisions. Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for people ages 3 to 33. Among those killed, teenage drivers have the highest death rates per miles driven among all age groups, followed by elderly drivers and young adult males. Every year the cost of crashes exceeds $230 billion. Driving a motor vehicle involves the conduct of skilled and properly timed actions under varying road and traffic conditions based on decisions that depend on:

Learned Information Realistic Perceptions Sound Judgments

The top 12 causes of fatal crashes: 1. Failing to maintain lane position 2. Speeding 3. Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs and other medication 4. Failing to yield the right-of-way 5. Inattention 6. Reckless driving 7. Failing to obey traffic signs or signals 8. Improper driving technique 9. Making an improper turn 10. Drowsy driving 11. Obscured vision 12. Driving the wrong way on a one-way street Traffic engineers and lawmakers have designed the roads, laws and traffic controls to help drivers anticipate and predict what other road users are about to do. These efforts are in our best interest and reduce the chances of us crashing into each other. In our integrated transportation system all drivers have to depend on each other to follow the rules.
Our society gives you the freedom to come and go where and when you wish. However, driving is not a constitutional rightit is a privilege you earned upon receiving your license. You are obligated to follow state licensing regulations and rules-of-the-road in order to keep that privilege. Your licensing process is regulated by your state government and your state has

specific motor vehicle laws and designates various penalties for violation of these laws. Traffic laws are in place to regulate the flow of traffic. They are designed for your safety and the safety of others you are sharing the road with. If the state court system identifies you as an unsafe driver or finds you negligent of your responsibilities associated with driving, the court has the right to take away your privilege to drive at any time.

Your Risk in the Driving Environment Page 8 of 8 Review In the driving environment, the chance of injury, damage, or loss is always present. Recognize how your driving environment changes each time you get behind the wheel - weather, road conditions, your vehicle and other drivers are unpredictable. Develop the habit of evaluating each of those risk factors, including your own well being, every time you drive. Since it is nearly impossible to determine the level of risk in specific driving situations accurately, the following are some guidelines that can help you assess risk more accurately:

Consider the probability of a dangerous event developing. Consider the consequences of your decision. Prepare to take action to manage the situation.

Evaluate these elements for their risk potential before and during your drive.

Evaluate your risk as the driver. Consider things such as fatigue, impairment, allergies and illness. Assess the conditions of the roadway and your route. Conduct a pre-drive inspection of your vehicle.

While driving, if you encounter a worse scenario than you anticipated, consider the consequences and make a safe decision on how to proceed. Sharpen your driving skills to help lower your risk.

Driver Readiness Page 10 of 10 Review A crash occurs every 30 seconds. Before driving, assume you will be in a crash. Driver readiness lowers your risk. If you determine your driving risks associated with physical, mental, or medical limitations are too high, consider alternative transportation choices. Know your destination and plan the safest route. Plan an alternate route in the event you have an unexpected detour. Don't drive where you can't see. Most of the information you process while driving is visual. Before driving be sure you can focus on things near and far away. If you are sick, disabled or your vision is impaired, have someone else drive. Position yourself to be able to steer, accelerate and brake efficiently. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Sit straight behind the wheel with your back against the seat. Adjust your seat so you can see and easily operate the controls. Adjust the driver's side mirror so you can see the rearmost left corner of the vehicle. Put a 10"-12" space between you and the wheel. Adjust the head restraint so it is even with the top of your ears. Fasten your safety belt. Tell passengers not to recline in their seats. In the event of a crash, their bodies could slide forward, increasing the chance of injury.

Eliminate unnecessary distractions or diversions. Loose objects become projectiles in a crash. Secure loose objects in the trunk or the cargo net. Secure yourself and your passengers and buckle up. Visual Search Page 13 of 13 Review What you are able to see without obstruction is called your line-of-sight. The best condition for visual search is when your line-of-sight around all sides of your vehicle is not obstructed. Look far down the road at least 30 seconds ahead. When you decide to execute a maneuver, you will need a control zone of approximately 12 to 15 seconds.

Develop the habit of observing the ground for changes in road traction conditions and for shadows that might indicate hidden hazards, such as children between parked cars. This practice will also help you judge the speed of other vehicles. When changing lanes, check for traffic behind you, glance in your rearview and side mirrors to make sure no one is preparing to pass you. Also, before you change lanes glance over your shoulders to check the blind areas to be certain no one is near the left-or right-rear corners of your vehicle. Install larger side mirrors to reduce this blind spot. Whenever you have to back your vehicle, check behind it before getting in. Children or small objects are hard to see from the driver's seat. Back up slowly because your vehicle is much harder to control and stop while you are backing. Bright light at night reduces your vision and makes driving difficult and dangerous. Using the night setting on your rearview mirror may help, but it may hamper your ability to judge the distance of traffic behind you. At night, when there is no opposing traffic, use your high beams whenever possible to illuminate your path. Be sure to turn off your high beams if there is opposing traffic or when you see taillights of vehicles ahead. If an approaching driver refuses to switch his high beams to low, you should locate the white marker and use it to guide you. Do not overdrive your headlights - never drive so fast that you do not have time to stop to avoid hitting something just beyond your lights. If you "over-drive" your headlights, and you see an obstacle in your path, you will not be able to stop before you hit that obstacle.