Is It Safer To Drive A Vehicle Today?
With all the modern advancements in safety technology, it might seem like it should be safer for us to drive today than ever before. But is that really the case?
When cars were first invented, they were such a novelty that only a few people had them and everyone approached them with caution. You couldn't go very fast in them and they weren't completely covered against the elements.
Today, vehicles are everywhere. Families have more than one vehicle. Vehicles go faster and are safer than ever before.
That Doesn't Necessarily Make It Safer To Drive
- We have more and more people using the same number of roads. Therefore, roads are more congested and that congestion can lead to collisions
- Because of the congestion, roads are also deteriorating at a faster rate, which can lead to collisions as well
- Modern "safer" vehicles give us a false sense of security. We no longer have the sense of speed or danger that might compel us to drive cautiously because we are comfortably ensconced in a very safe vehicle
- Life is busier and more stressful than ever before. Everyone has a million places to be and a million things to do. We're always playing catch-up. We're sleep deprived and stressed out. This causes us to drive more aggressively and take greater chances on the road
- Vehicles are more complicated to drive. Vehicles used to have a gas, a brake and a horn. Today, we have zone temperature control and satellite radio with thousands of choices. There are so many buttons and dials and switches to operate
- Life is more connected. We have mobile phones and a need to be connected socially through those devices. Although a lot of jurisdictions are banning the use of handheld mobile devices, drivers are still easily distracted when they use handsfree (Bluetooth) devices
- Vehicles were once built of metal but many of them now are built with plastic
So, is it more dangerous to drive today? Certainly, there are a greater number of complicating factors that can make driving more dangerous today than ever before. It's not likely that those factors will diminish in the near future. In fact, life is likely going to get more complicated and cars are going to fool us even more-so into thinking that it's safe to drive them. Statistics tell us that there were over 124,000 collisions causing injury or death on Canadian roads in a single year. We may have safer cars and greater awareness, but we haven't eliminated collisions.
Obviously, none of this will keep us off the roads. But it's worth taking a moment to consider what we consider "safe driving" to be, and we all have a responsibility to examine our habits as drivers and do our part to make everything just a little safer.