Think back to when you were 16 and finally got your driver’s license, which came with the taste of freedom that you had been craving for years. While you were thrilled to hop in the car, drive away, and pick your friends up to cruise to the mall, your parents were sitting at home cringing at all of the danger that could potentially reach their precious child. You probably thought your parents were just being protective, but there is a lot of validity to their worry.
Lately, roadway deaths have increased by 8% according to the National Safety Council. Georgia in particular has seen the second largest jump in roadway deaths, up 22% than in past years. This increase amounted to 1,414 lives that were lost, which is the first major increase in Georgia in almost a decade. The National Safety Council believes that distracted driving and lower gas prices are two primary causes of this increase.
Although distracted driving can take nearly any form that takes your mind and eyes away from driving, the main cause of crashes recently revolves around cell phones. Approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones to either text or call others while operating their cars. Though many drivers believe they are in control while using their phones, the staggering finding is that they do not. In fact, in just five seconds, a car traveling at 55 mph covers an entire football field in length, indicating that sending just one text is potentially dangerous to yourself and others.
Furthermore, the price of gas has dropped substantially, making it cheaper and more efficient to drive than to utilize alternative methods of transportation. The federal Energy Information Administration estimates that the average price of gas per gallon will reach $1.98. These prices are some of the lowest we have experienced in over a decade and it doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon. Since the price of gas will likely remain low, driving is not a luxury anymore and more drivers are going back on the road.
As more drivers take the roads and more distractions enter our cars, it’s understandable why roadside deaths have increased.