You would think that with the common sense contraptions built into all modern vehicles, that we would be safer when it comes to the road? On the other hand, we appear to be gradually getting worse at driving as time goes on. So why is this? Is it a case of a lack of education on the road, or is the road something completely alien to what modern instructors teach us for? And how is this lack of skill affecting every corner of our life?
More Drivers On The Road
According to the US Department Of Transportation, there were 218 million licence drivers in 2015. This is up by 9% ten years previously. With the demand for more car space on a highway infrastructure that was built in the 1960s and 1970s, this leaves a lot to be desired. However, president Donald Trump has promised to spend one trillion dollars on infrastructure, but nothing has materialized thus far (shock horror…). With more drivers on the road, there is a higher likelihood of car crashes.
An Improving Economy
While improving the economy isn’t a bad thing, this forces more Americans onto the road. Americans will be travelling further to go to shops, traverse the country, as well as commute to their jobs. A thriving economy means that we are heading out on the road more. And, while there is still a lot to be said for online shopping, there are still so many of us adamant to go out and purchase our basic items.
Raised Speed Limits
While a lot of the world has worked hard at lowering the speed limit, a lot of states in the USA have raised their limits. There are parts of Texas that have speed limits of 85 miles per hour in rural areas. Raised speed limits will naturally cause an increase in erratic driving, and as we’ve all experienced, the faster we go, the quicker we have to react. From a human perspective, it’s foolish to increase the speed limits, although most would argue that it gets them to their destination quicker. On the other hand, this does mean that there is an increase in car accidents and an increase in car accident medical doctors providing services. You can learn more about this through typical car accident injury doctors, and it will tell you but being in a car crash isn’t a badge of honor, nor is it something that we all experience from time to time. With raised speed limits comes an increase in irresponsibility.
An Increase In Distraction
Arguably, this is the most prominent reason that we are decreasing in skill as drivers. Now, it’s not just a satellite navigation system you have to contend with while on the road, but people still attempt to use their phones while driving! Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents, and while using your phone has been made illegal, there are still people who try their luck. Because our phone is an extension of our body nowadays, and we “need” to be constantly interacting with someone, whether it’s by text or by a Snapchat or Facebook, it doesn’t seem to matter that we could easily kill someone by not looking at the road for a split second.
We Are More Tired
Driving while fatigued is one of the most common causes of car accidents, but because we are piling more pressure on ourselves in our day-to-day lives, our ability to remain awake and focused is compromised. We work longer hours, we use energy sapping social media, and we sleep less. Throw all this together, and put someone behind the wheel of a car, and it’s a recipe for disaster. In fact, driving drowsy is just as bad as drink driving. We think nothing of driving into work tired, and in fact, most of us do all our driving while tired. Is it hardly a surprise that we are worse behind the wheel as a result? The modern digital age, from social media to longer working hours, as well as pressure we pile upon ourselves now, especially the Millennial generation, have combined to form fatigue inducing pressure.
A Decrease In Proper Policing
Many police organizations are feeling the pinch, especially in the United Kingdom, where the threat of Brexit is rearing its head. As a result, the police is forced to distribute their officers towards the most important tasks. This means less police out on the road, and this means that drivers are more than happy to try their luck, especially when they know where the speed cameras are. It’s one of those Catch-22 situations, you either have police on the road, but another area of patrol is deprived, or you don’t have the police on the road, and there will be more people breaking the law.
We drive with more contraptions in our car than ever before. As well as the aforementioned satellite navigation system, we’ve got sound systems, Bluetooth, and so many buttons and knobs to fiddle with, but we could do almost anything but look at the road. We are getting worse at driving for a multitude of reasons, not just the ones above. So what is the solution? Well, surprisingly, many people are swearing off driving altogether. This is great in terms of the impact on the planet, but there’s an increase in the Millennial generation not learning to drive, reducing it from a rite of passage to a necessity for some people. The cost is a big factor for so many of us now. Learning to drive is such an expense, and that it seems to be a lost cause for so many, especially for those in big cities where the transport infrastructure is more than adequate.
Is the solution to make testing more rigorous? It would be to an extent because there will be fewer people on the roads. On the other hand, is driving a necessity that we need now? In rural areas, yes. In the inner cities, no. But as everyone tells you when they get their first car, they “didn’t realize how much freedom” they had, not being bound by a transport timetable. And is it this free attitude the reason that we all drive so erratically now? We seem to have complete disrespect for anybody else out on the road, and because we are faced with more traffic, more idiots on the road, and more restrictions, is it every driver for themselves? It certainly seems so.