On the Radar – Story of a Crash

Avoid these characteristics to stay safe on the road

by Trooper Angela Bieber – May 18, 2017

Crashes are the leading cause of death for those aged 16-24. In addition to fatalities, 100’s of thousands more are injured – many critical and with lifelong effects. 80% of crashes are due to some sort of driver error. That means we can do more to try to prevent them.

Megan’s story (as told in today’s video feature) was one of the fortunate ones. She was distracted for a short amount of time and found her vehicle out of control and eventually upside down. Her vehicle was totaled, but thankfully no one else was involved and she was wearing her seatbelt. Without her seatbelt, her story could easily have ended very differently, very tragically.

There are some common characteristics that can lead to a crash. As stated before, 80% of crashes are a result of driver error. Driver error can include distracted driving, speeding or driving too fast for conditions (such as weather, pedestrians, other traffic, or construction), aggressive driving, driving impaired and driving while fatigued.

Distracted driving is often thought of as texting while driving, and it is. But, there are many other forms of distraction too. Eating, drinking, changing the radio, or interacting with passengers in the vehicle can all be a distraction to your primary task of driving.

Impaired driving can be caused by the use of alcohol, prescribed medications (whether taken as prescribed or not), illegal drugs, and over the counter medications too. Being impaired often results in making other poor driving judgements also, like aggressive driving and not wearing a seatbelt.

Fatigued driving is often overlooked, but can be just as dangerous as impaired driving. Over 100,000 crashes a year are caused by fatigued drivers.

The best way to avoid a crash is to not partake in any of these common characteristics. Sometimes though, it’s another driver’s fault that you are involved in crash. The best defense you have against someone else’s bad driving habits is your seatbelt. Seatbelts cut your risk of fatal injury by up to 60%.

As you head out on the roadways, remember that you are in control of that approximately 2 ton vehicle and any cargo you might be transporting (friends and family). That’s a lot of responsibility, so avoid these common errors, always wear your seatbelt, and have a safe trip no matter how long or short it may be.

Idea/Concept: Megan Thomas, Trooper Bieber
Videography: Andrew Moore, Erin O’Shea
Video Editing: Andrew Moore
Writing: Trooper Bieber
Guest: Megan Thomas

Produced by Vogt Media
Funded by Laurel Health Centers, UPMC Susquehanna

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