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Road Behavior, A Major Determinant of Car Accidents...

To earn a driver’s license in the US, one has to take a driver’s education course, pass a written exam, take a driving lesson which would familiarize him/her with US roads and, finally, go through a road test, which would somehow show how he/she will behave when behind the wheel. Despite some differences in requirements (among states) for one to earn a driver’s license, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in each state, which grants the license, will make sure that the applicant knows and will observe all traffic rules to help ensure road safety. Based on statistical records, however, it is obvious that some drivers, after having earned their license or as they become more familiar with the road, start to set aside road courtesy and place their driving style and preference above the safety of people who share the road with them. This is one reason why there are still millions of cases of car wrecks due to drunk-driving, driver error, over and under-speeding and reckless driving. Though identified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) only as the third major cause of road accidents, speeding presents a much greater danger than any of the other causes, because while speed will mean lesser time of travel, it can also mean greater damage and more severe injuries in the event of an accident (according to the NHTSA, the top cause of car accidents is drunk-driving, while not wearing a seatbelt is second). Another equally dangerous road behavior that has resulted to a high rate of car wrecks is reckless driving, which is committed through many different ways, such as weaving from one lane to another, making abrupt lane changes, not slowing down at intersections, not stopping on red lights and stop signs and tail-gaiting, among others. It is good to know how many drivers hate and fear sharing the road with speedsters and reckless drivers, as shown in one study; surprisingly though, when asked if they have driven recklessly and/or have violated speed limits before, these same people have confessed guilt, but reasoned out that they needed to keep an appointment or that they did not intend to harm anyone. Accidents, obviously, are never intended or these wouldn’t be accidents at all. All it takes is for one driver to set aside road rules to put all...

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