Yes, it’s our business to repair car bodies after they are damaged in an accident. But that definitely doesn’t mean we want to see more collisions. Why? Because the damage to your car, no matter how bad, is the least damage that occurs in a collision.
From slight bruises and scratches, to permanent injury and, tragically, the loss of life, motor vehicle accidents do far more damage to the humans involved than to the cars themselves.
By being aware of some of the common causes of accidents, and taking steps to avoid them, not only will you not have to worry about the costs of auto body repair, what to do if you have been in an accident, you’ll keep yourself and others from suffering injuries – or worse.
1. USING MOBILE DEVICES WHILE DRIVING
We’ve heard many times about the dangers of texting or talking on a cellphone while driving, yet we still do it. If there is anything that makes it clear just how dangerous it is to use a mobile device while driving, it is to learn that its consequences can be many times worse than driving under the influence of alcohol.
In one experiment to determine the effect texting has on reaction times, three drivers were tested to see how long it would take for each of them to step on the brakes. The first driver, who was sober and not using a mobile device, hit the brakes in .54 seconds. The second driver, who was legally over the limit for blood-alcohol content, added a metre and a half to the stopping distance of the sober driver. The third drive, who was sober and constantly texting during the experiment, stopped 22 metres further down the road than the drunk driver.
Have you ever sped past another driver on the road only to have the other car pull up beside you at the next stop light? That phenomenon, which anyone who drives over the speed limit has experienced, is evidence of the fact that, in the city, speeding does not get you to your destination significantly faster.
Even on highways, the time you save speeding is hardly worth the costs. It only saves about 5 minutes to drive 100 kilometres at 10 km/h over the speed limit.
And it’s the “costs” of excessive speed that we really underestimate. Again, the damage to your car can be fixed. But most drivers don’t understand that the chance of killing a pedestrian goes up exponentially with speed. For example, increasing your speed by 20%, from 50 km/h to 60 km/h, makes it over 100% more likely that a pedestrian will die if struck at the higher speed.
3. OTHER DRIVING DISTRACTIONS
From the kids acting up in the back seat, to having to wolf down your breakfast in the car because you’re late again, there are a long list of driving distractions that seem fine, until they cause an accident. But, by then, it’s too late, and those distractions can be just as deadly as texting while driving.
As we head into the busy summer driving season, please do everything you can to prevent motor vehicle accidents and the permanent damage that they can cause.