Motor vehicle accidents can impact nearly every driver in any locale across the nation. From crowded city streets to fast-moving highways, drivers are susceptible to inexperienced, distracted or impaired motorists all around them. What can be done to increase safety and prevent the catastrophic injuries that result from serious vehicle accidents?
The CDC often quotes an ongoing UNC Highway Safety Research Center study called Countermeasures That Work. While no measure will be 100 percent effective, these strategies taken collectively could dramatically impact the safety of drivers in New Hampshire and beyond.
Here are three strategies that are included in the report.
- Automated red-light enforcement: While research methodologies are typically mired in controversy, the report noted that red-light cameras increase rear-end crashes, reduce side-impact crashes and reduce overall crash severity. While the effectiveness can be measured in a variety of ways, a meta-analysis noted that the statistical significance of many favorable results was suspect. However, as technology increases and the implementation cost decreases, municipalities should consider installation of this traffic violation deterrent.
- Primary enforcement of seat belt laws: Enforcement of seat belt laws can be categorized as primary or secondary. Primary enforcement means an officer can stop a vehicle and issue a ticket to a seat-belt-less driver. Secondary enforcement means that the officer can issue a seat belt violation citation only in the event of a traffic stop for another offense. Giving law enforcement more power in this situation can potentially prevent unnecessary accident injuries through the use of a vehicle’s restraint system.
- Sobriety checkpoints: The CDC performed a systematic review of 11 high-quality studies and determined that sobriety checkpoints reduced alcohol-related fatal, injury and property damage crashes each by around 20 percent. These checkpoints are intended to deter impaired driving and remove dangerous drivers from the road. As such, it can be difficult to reach a statistically significant conclusion. Measures can include a comparison of the number of arrests versus the number of alcohol-related accidents versus a similar time frame with no checkpoints in operation.
If you were injured in an accident, it is important that you understand your legal options for monetary compensation. Don’t hesitate to discuss your situation with an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney.