Why So Many Car Wrecks In Utah?

Emily Yates, Online Editor

Nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year, with an average of 3,287 deaths a day.

With smartphones, radios, and other passengers, distracted driving is the biggest cause of car wrecks in America according to seriousaccidents.com. Why do we continue to look at our phones when we are driving even if we know we are putting everyone else on the road at risk?

The second biggest reason for wrecks are speeding. Speeding is fun, yes. The adrenaline rush you get from racing down a long stretch of highway is enough to hook anyone. However, speeding increases your chances of losing control of your car or seriously injuring yourself and your passengers. Yes, car accidents do occur due to weather issues like rain, snow, sleet, and ice (all of which are often found in Utah) but more accidents occur due to driver error than environmental hazards according to alertdriving.com. We shouldn’t try to justify our actions. What we do behind the wheel could mean the difference between life or death. On a more personal note, my great grandparents were killed in a car accident. One day while driving with my great aunt, they attempted to make a left hand turn onto the freeway. My great aunt pressured by her dad to go, and not paying attention to the light followed a truck toward the freeway, unaware that the light had turned red and a vehicle coming off the freeway didn’t notice them. They were hit by the passenger side at a high rate of speed. Both my great grandparents were killed due to injuries. My aunt survived but will never forget that day. This accident occurred when i was very young and so I never got to know my great grandparents. I will never know what they were like, or what kind of people they were. They were killed because of distracted and pressured driving.

Can you imagine how my aunt felt knowing she was somewhat responsible for their death? Can you imagine how you would feel if you killed someone’s child, or parent, or grandparent because you were speeding, or texting or checking your Facebook?

People do some bizarre things while driving including put on makeup, eat and text. Everyone knows about someone who was either hurt or killed in an automobile accident, and yet we just keep doing the same dangerous thing every time we drive. Your text can wait. You don’t need to check your Instagram now. You are going fast enough; don’t push it. Why do we try to multitask while carrying the most precious cargo-your life.Orange County conducted a study that proved that car accidents can occur at rates of speed as low as 12mph. If an accident occurs at this speed, the drivers could experience whiplash, brain injuries, internal and external damage. Twelve miles per hour can severely hurt you, can you image what an accident at thirty miles per hour would like? What about sixty? Eighty? One hundred? The faster you go, the less likely you are to survive a crash. Speeding by itself is dangerous, texting and speeding is a death sentence.

Some people may read this and believe it will never happen to them, they won’t ever cause an accident like that, but all it takes is one time. One look down at your phone, one text message, and you could be facing prison time for manslaughter, or lying six feet underground. This may sound harsh, but it is the truth. People die because of the choices other drivers make. Are the choices you make going to be smart or foolish? Put the phone away, check your speed and your surroundings. You are in control; keep yourself and others on the road safe.