Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke are some of the leading causes of death for people older than 45, but did you know trauma from unintentional injuries is the most common way people younger than that are killed?
There are things we as individuals can do to help prevent disease and prolong our lives. We can eat right and exercise. We can avoid smoking cigarettes, drinking too much alcohol, and using illegal drugs. And we can visit our primary care doctors regularly for physicals, checkups, and medical treatment.
But what are we supposed to do to avoid fatal accidents? In America, the average life expectancy is about 78 years. While it would be nice to reach the 100-year milestone, centenarians make up under 1% of the total population in the United States. In other words, reaching an age with triple-digits is highly unlikely.
However, there are certain steps you can take to help avoid being fatally injured in an accident. Here's what you should know.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta is an American neurosurgeon who also serves as the chief medical correspondent for CNN. In a recent YouTube video shared by KULR-8 News in Billings, Gupta reveals some basic safety tips that he says can help you live to 100.
You already know that making it to that age is a longshot, but Dr. Gupta's recommendations are still useful — especially to those who fall in the "under 45" age group and are at the highest risk of dying in an accident from unintentional injuries.
Avoiding car accidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century was reducing motor vehicle crash fatalities. Still, more progress can be made. Both Dr. Gupta and the CDC point to the 32,000 deaths and 2 million injuries that are sustained in car accidents every year in the United States as statistics we all need to consider before we get behind the wheel of a car.
To keep safe while driving, you can follow these tips.
Wear your seatbelt
It doesn't matter if you're just going to the corner store or on a long road trip: you need to buckle up. Seatbelts save lives, yet in the United States drivers use front and back seatbelts at a lower than average rate when compared to other high-income countries. Annually in the United States, about half of the drivers and passengers who die in motor vehicle accidents were not wearing seatbelts.
Ensure children are properly restrained
Depending on the kid's age, height, and weight, you will need to use a car seat, booster seat, or seatbelt to appropriately restrain a child in a vehicle. Using a child safety seat is the best way to protect them from severe injury or death when they're riding as a passenger in a motor vehicle. Using an appropriate car seat for children who meet the requirements is also the law in every U.S. state, including Montana.
Don't drive drunk
Montana is one of the worst states for drunk driving, and that's a problem because drunk driving is one of the biggest contributors to fatal car accidents. About one-third of all crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk driving, and as of May 31, preliminary crash data says impaired driving was responsible for 40 fatalities on Montana's roads so far in 2021.
Speeding contributes to about one-third of the annual roadway deaths in the United States, so it's in your best interest to obey the speed limit. Make no mistake about it: speeding significantly increases your odds of being involved in an accident because it reduces your reaction time, increases your braking distance, and puts you at greater risk of losing control of your vehicle. The science of speeding also shows that the faster you go the more likely you are to die in a crash.
Put. Your. Phone. Down.
Says Dr. Gupta: "The biggest problem now for this generation is looking at the phone." Specifically, texting and driving is a deadly driving behavior because it distracts the person visually (looking at the phone); manually (holding the phone or tapping its screen); and cognitively (thinking about the text you are reading/writing). While Billings prohibits any kind of handheld cellphone use while driving, Montana is the only state in the nation without statewide restrictions.
Braukmann Law can help you recover after a bad accident
Regardless of how safe you are, there are some things that are just out of your control. For instance, there's really not much you can do to avoid an accident if a drunk driver runs a red light and T-bones you in an intersection. The same goes if you're stopped at a light and you get rear-ended by a texting driver.
The sad reality is there will always be irresponsible drivers who make bad choices that put themselves and everyone else on the road in danger. However, hiring a lawyer to hold a reckless driver accountable is one of the best ways to combat that problem because it helps send a strong message that negligence will not be tolerated on our Montana roads.
If you were injured or a loved one died in an accident caused by someone else, you have the right to pursue financial compensation from the person or entity that's responsible — and Braukmann Law, PLLC can help you recover every dollar you deserve.
Whether an insurance company is throwing obstacles in your way, pressuring you into accepting a "lowball" settlement, or refusing to pay your claim, attorney Matthew D. Braukmann can aggressively advocate for your best interests and fight for the financial compensation you're entitled to.
See how an experienced car accident lawyer in Billings, MT can help with your injury claim. We offer legal representation on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay no attorney fees unless we win your case.
Contact us right away to schedule a free consultation.