Editorial: Drive safe, your life depends on it
3 mins read

Editorial: Drive safe, your life depends on it

South Dakota is known for its extreme weather conditions that can make it dangerous to drive. 

But the weather isn’t the only thing that makes driving dangerous. There are also other drivers on the road who aren’t paying attention or driving recklessly. 

There’s an average number of 126 people who lose their lives because of vehicle accidents every year in South Dakota, according to the 2019 South Dakota Strategic Highway Safety Plan. While that number isn’t high as some states, it’s still too many lives lost. 

There are so many ways we can be safer drivers. Staying inside when the weather and roads are bad is a start. When you go out in a blizzard for icecream, you’re not only putting yourself in danger, but everyone else on the road. 

And when you get stuck or have an accident, emergency services are risking their lives to save you. If the accident was caused by a negligent driver, you may also have to call a personal injury lawyer or auto accident attorney to file a claim or lawsuit. The compensation can help you pay for your car accident injury treatment and other expenses.

There are three different types of distracted driving; visual, manual and cognitive, according to End Distracted Driving. Manual distractions are when you actually take your hands off the steering wheel; visual is when your eyes waver from the road; cognitive is when your mind wanders from driving.

When you’re texting, all three types of distracted driving are happening. If you’re at the wheel, your phone should stay in the cupholder.
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If you know you won’t be able to help yourself, put it in your backseat. Texting can always wait.

If you text and drive you’re over 20 times more likely to crash or almost-crash, according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute

Refraining from texting and driving is something that has been advocated for years, but how about we start taking it seriously?

Another dangerous activity is drinking and driving. It’s 2020. We don’t let our friends, family or community members drive home intoxicated. 

In Vermillion Lyft is now available if you don’t have a designated driver or your ride isn’t picking up their phone. 

In 2019 South Dakota had the highest right of drunk driving. For every 100,000 people there were 938.8 DUI arrests. Let’s all make a conscious effort to lower those numbers this year. 

There are many other ways drivers can become distracted on the road. The point is to make sure the focus of everyone behind the wheel is driving. 

Call out family members and friends you see texting and driving. Make sure you’re creating a safe environment for all others on the road. Your life and others’ depend on it.