According to the Chairman of the International Organization for Road Accident Prevention, “More than 90 percent of road accidents are caused by human error.” This is an astonishing, considering that nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year. This means that only 10% of car accidents are due to other mitigating factors. That would lead one to wonder, what is considered driver error, and how and why do these errors occur?
Driver error is generally defined as when a motorist is exhibiting poor driving behavior, but this vague definition can cover a number of situations and circumstances. Below is a list of just a few poor driving behaviors that are considered driver error.
- Driving recklessly
- Speeding or driving erratically under the influence of alcohol
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Driving on the hard shoulder
- Running red lights
- Not obeying yield and/or stop signs
- Aggressive driving
- Distracted driving, such as being on the phone or eating
This can cause in an increasing number of deaths per year. According to an article from Alert Driving, a Global Driving Risk Management Agency, if this trend of 3,500 deaths a day or 150 every hour due to driver error continues, “The number of traffic fatalities worldwide will rise by 67 percent over the period of 2000 to 2020.” It is time for people to drive more responsibly because the number of cars on the road are not declining, nor are the in-car distractions that can lead to driver error. With the risks of driver error imminent and growing if left unchecked, one must consider taking steps to change poor driving habits.
According to one Motor Vehicle Association, there are 10 steps to take to ensure reasonable driving. The list is listed below in its entirety. In fact, if you take the list and consider not taking these steps, you are directly contributing to driver error due to lack of proactivity.
10 Steps to Responsible Driving for All Motorists
- Plan Your Route
- Complete Regular Vehicle Maintenance
- Focus Your Attention
- Minimize Your Distractions
- Know Your Surroundings
- Allow Space for Surrounding Vehicle
- Watch Your Speed
- Keep Your Distance
- Signal Your Intentions
- Always Wear Your Seat Belt
With some reasonably obtainable and proactive steps, motorists can bring down the percentage of accidents caused by driver error significantly. This proactivity will save and improve the lives of drivers everywhere.