Header for US Department of Transportation Blog

You are here

2020 New Year’s Resolutions

2020 New Year’s Resolutions

2020 has arrived and many are carefully selecting New Year’s Resolutions. Establishing challenging yet achievable goals is the essence of New Year’s Resolutions, a tradition that dates back 4,000 years to the ancient Babylonians.

While participating in this timeless tradition, I would like to promote a resolution that everyone can do together in 2020: Safer driving.

Here are a few ways that could save thousands of lives and prevent hundreds of thousands of injuries in 2020:

  • Buckle Up: 
    • Buckling up is one of the safest choices you can make while in a passenger vehicle. Almost 90% of Americans now wear seat belts. But among motor vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes, 47% were not wearing seat belts. Test your Seat belt Safety IQ here.
  • Dial Back Distractions:  
    • Over 90% of traffic crashes involve driver error. This includes paying attention to your phone instead of the road.  Safe drivers focus on driving.
  • Stay Sober
    • If you feel different, you drive different. Alcohol, Marijuana and other drugs—illicit, prescribed, or over-the-counter—can slow coordination, judgment, and reaction times. While alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities declined 3.6 percent in 2018, they still accounted for almost 30 percent of total traffic fatalities. As the holiday season comes to a close and Super Bowl LIV approaches, make sure to plan ahead to ensure that you, your friends and loved ones are not getting behind the wheel after drinking. Listen to NHTSA: Fans Don't Let Fans Drive Drunk. Here are some things you can do:
      • designate a sober driver
      • call a cab
      • use a ride-hailing service
  • Slow down: 
    • Stop Speeding Before It Stops You. Overall speeding-related fatalities declined almost 6 percent in 2018. Yet, in 2018, 26 percent of fatal crashes involved speeding.
  • Share the Road:  
    • Cycling, walking, and riding scooters are growing in popularity, especially in urban areas. This is bringing drivers, cyclists and pedestrians into closer contact on our roads. In 2018, pedestrian fatalities increased 3.4 percent and pedalcyclist fatalities increased 6.3 percent – the highest for both since 1990. Pedestrian fatalities have increased by 69% in urban areas since 2009.

Traffic safety efforts at the Federal, State and local levels are making a difference. Traffic fatalities overall declined by 2.4 percent in 2018 and the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled also decreased by 3.4 percent. Since 1972, annual traffic fatalities have declined 33 percent. This is a great achievement, especially considering that it occurred concurrently with a 156 percent increase in vehicle miles travelled. The fatality rate in 1972 was nearly four times higher than it is today.

By resolving to be safer, smarter drivers, everyone can play a part in making America’s roads safer.  

# # #

Post new comment

Submit Feedback >