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An argument for following the rules of the road: It saves lives

One of the biggest tragedies in modern society relates to one of its greatest benefits: automobiles. They zip and zoom us through the city -- getting us from one side of Burlington to the other, or from one side of the country to the other. It's a miracle that your tiny vehicle that you use to drive to and from work every morning, can also transport you to California in just a few days. But it can also kill you, and that's the sad part.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1.35 million people die every year in the world as a result of traffic-related crashes. And for young people between the ages of 5 and 29, traffic-caused incidents are the number one cause of death. It's a dreadful tragedy to think that during the great potato famine of Irish lore, 1 million people died over a three-year period. But this is only a fraction of how many people die every year because of car crashes.

Interestingly, one of the best ways to reduce the number of people who die in car-caused accidents is simply to follow the rules of the road. This means: no speeding, no drinking and driving, no cellphone use while driving, obeying road signs, etc. When all the motorists follow these rules, car accidents -- and especially fatal ones -- reduce to almost zero. They're just not as common anymore.

For example, when we drive slower, we have a better capacity to keep control of our vehicles because the gravitational forces are reduced. Also, we have more time to react and evade collisions, and it takes less time to slow down and stop. In addition, if we do get into a collision, the severity of injuries and vehicle damages will be lowered -- often from "fatal" level to "minor" or nonexistent.

If you were hurt by someone in a car accident that wasn't your fault, learn more about your legal rights as soon as you can. It's possible that you're on the right side of the law and you can pursue financial damages in court.

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