Causes

Most accidents are caused by human failure, inexperience, carelessness and overconfidence.

The Causes of Accidents

However, since all statistical records reveal that the "human element" is the great unpredictable factor in accidents, or, in more obvious terms, that the cause of accidents is people, we shall direct our discussion largely to the kind of people who are most liable to have accidents and to the psychological, unconscious drives and circumstances most likely to bring them on. Far too many accidents, we shall, see, only appear as accidents.

They were purposeful. These accidents can be prevented only by attention health of the individual before he or she would otherwise be involved in them.

Another key fact is that only, about 10% of the catastrophes are spun out of the uncontrollable forces of nature - floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and the like. Your chances of being struck fatally by lightning during any year, for example, are only about 2 in a million -even less if you are a city-dwelling woman. Ninety per cent of the headline catastrophes are the result of some kind of human failure or neglect, engendering conflagrations, explosions, railroad wrecks, airplane crashes, mine accidents, building cave-ins, marine accidents, and the like.

But, wherever you turn in the accident picture, the failure in the human factor stares you in the face. For example, in traffic accidents, defects in the vehicle are reported in less than 10% of the cases. That is why it has been often stated, without serious challenge, that 90% of all accidents are preventable. Yet fatal and crippling accidents continue to Occur daily. Over the years, unheralded, unspectacular, foolish accidents outstrip catastrophes fifty fold and as a cause of death they outrun the sum of war deaths, murder, suicide, and legal executions combined by a ratio of at least 4 to 1.

Prevention of Motor Vehicle Accidents Accidents

There are enough cars in New Zealand that every man, woman, and child could be riding simultaneously. Yet in 1895 there were just two petrol motorcars in the country and it's recorded that these two cars had a collision. People were shocked that these cars could travel at a speed of 11 miles an hour; automobiles have since been clocked at a speed of over 600 miles per hour.

With more than 1 million powerful cars on the streets and roads, and probably 3 million drivers, it is a traffic problem of first magnitude to keep them out of each other's bumpers. The modern automobile is a powerful instrument; but the driver is its brain. Without a driver, a motorcar is useless. But with a careless, thoughtless, inexperienced driver, it can become an instrument of death and a tool of destruction.

Practically all 18 year old men and a high percentage of 18 year old women know how to drive, or think they do. Actually there are great differences in skills and attitudes. Many are excellent drivers all the time and enjoy respect for their ability. Still more are fair to good drivers, with occasional lapses into trouble. A few are poor and dangerous drivers. They are partly responsible for the high fatal accident involvement rates recorded in drivers under 25 years of age. Sample studies indicate that the safest drivers are the 35 to 50 age group. Younger drivers, between 16 and 25, are involved in fatal accidents much more often. This is one area of modern living where youth is a doubtful and costly blessing.

What does it take to be a good driver-one whose invitations to ride with him are more welcomed than feared? First and foremost, a proper attitude toward driving, its risks, responsibilities, and opportunities. After that, mental and physical fitness, knowledge, judgment, skills, and habits based on good instruction and intelligent experience


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