Just about every driver knows that being in control of a multi-ton vehicle is a dangerous responsibily (and anyone who doesn't should not have the privilege of driving). Small mistakes can have life-altering and even fatal consequences. If you have committed yourself to driving safely and being responsible at the wheel, you might imagine that your overall risk of a crash is lower.
Unfortunately, you are still vulnerable to a potential collision because of the behavior of other drivers. Whether someone unexpectedly slams into your vehicle or blocks the road during your approach, the potential is there for other drivers to cause accidents that leave you with serious injury and property damage.
Drunk driving is a consistent issue in New York
Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is as illegal in New York as it is elsewhere in the country. The mere fact that it is against the law does little to deter people from engaging in this behavior. Drivers of all ages and backgrounds can imperil others on the road due to chemical impairment at any time of day.
While many people know that the early morning hours when bars close are dangerous, fewer people consider the drinking habits of third-shift workers or alcoholics who drink all day long. Just because you avoid driving during peak bar hours doesn't mean you won't encounter a drunk driver.
You can't really drive anywhere without meeting distracted drivers
Texting and driving is just about as dangerous as drunk driving. Unfortunately, many people still engage in this very dangerous behavior. In fact, just about any time you get behind the wheel, you will likely encounter at least one distracted driver. Individuals who focus on their phones instead of the road can make mistakes at the wheel that cause collisions.
It is also possible for distractions caused by something other than a cellphone to impact safety. Discussions with other passengers or even having a snack on the way to work could decrease someone's reaction time.
People still drive despite feeling exhausted
Exhaustion and chronic fatigue are a part of modern American life. Many workers have to handle more than one job to cover all of their expenses. Those fortunate enough to support themselves with just one job may have to put in significant hours in order to do so.
People driving home at the end of the long day may not be as safe as those fresh off a good night's sleep. Exhaustion can impact your ability to drive much like alcohol can, making it harder for you to focus and increasing reaction time.
Knowing that distraction, exhaustion and fatigue all play a role in safety on the roads can help you avoid driving in an unsafe manner. If you notice any visual indications that someone is tired, distracted or not sober, you should avoid that vehicle if possible. If you have already suffered injuries in a crash caused by an impaired driver, you may need to discuss your situation with a personal injury attorney to determine if you have any options for securing compensation for your losses.