Risky Rides: Car Accident Deaths Mostly Passengers

car accident deaths

Passengers account for nearly two-thirds of car accident deaths, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, prompting advocacy groups to work toward raising awareness of the need for crash prevention. We Save Lives and the National Road Safety Foundation are two non-profits who are focusing on crash prevention and saving lives.

Along with more than 60 other traffic safety and advocacy groups nationwide, they are helping encourage passengers to SPEAK UP in a campaign that includes a
nationwide media blitz, social media outreach, and involvement from groups including the
Governors Highway Safety Association, (GHSA) which represents traffic safety offices in all 50
states, the National Safety Council (NSC) and Students Against Destructive Decisions, (SADD), which has more than 400,000 student members.

Passengers Speak Up to Prevent Car Accident Deaths

The idea of the campaign is to encourage car passengers to speak out and say something if the operator of a vehicle is practicing bad driving behaviors. “Passengers can set the ground rules when it comes to their safety. They have the power to keep drivers from using their mobile devices while driving,” said Michelle Anderson, director of operations at The National Road Safety Foundation. “They should not get in the car with a driver who is impaired and they have the power to discourage other bad driving choices such as speeding and driving drowsy,”

“Whether a driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs, is speeding or driving too aggressively, or
can’t stay awake at the wheel, bad driving choices put passengers at risk of serious injury or
death,” said Lightner, who has been a leading traffic safety advocate since founding Mothers
Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in 1980 after losing her 13-year-old daughter Cari to a multiple
repeat offender drunk driver. “Passengers need to intervene when they see dangerous driving
behavior,” she said. “We hope this ongoing campaign will empower passengers to be safety
advocates, to the point where it becomes acceptable – even expected – for passengers to
SPEAK UP when confronted with an irresponsible driver.”

Reducing Car Accident Deaths

“Much of being a safe driver comes from education,” said Michelle Anderson, director of
operations at The National Road Safety Foundation, a non-profit founded 60 years ago to
promote safe driving behavior through education. “When people are knowledgeable about
driving risks like impairment, speed, aggression, and drowsiness, there’s a better chance they
will avoid taking those risks or letting others do so. The National Passenger Safety Campaign
educates and empowers passengers about how they can save lives by calling out unsafe driving
in the vehicle before crashes happen.”

The campaign is mostly aimed at teenagers because of the rising number of teens killed and injured every year in car accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, six teens ages 16–19 die every day due to motor vehicle crashes and hundreds more were injured. Safety experts are urging teenagers and their friends that as passengers, they have the responsibility to make sure the driver is operating a vehicle safely. And they need to speak up about it.

Parents must also do their part to reduce car accident deaths, according to safety experts. “Parents play a critical role in teen driver safety and in communicating important driving safety information,” said Michelle Anderson, director of operations for the National Road Safety Foundation, a non-profit that’s been promoting safe driving behavior for 60 years. “New teen drivers are still gaining experience behind the wheel, which increases the chance of dangerous situations for the teen and other roadway users around them, which is why it’s so important for parents to have these discussions with their teens.”

If you’ve been injured in a car crash, talk to an Orlando car accident attorney at the Martinez Manglardi personal injury law firm. Call 866-730-3508 for a free consultation. Convenient locations throughout Central Florida.

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