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How to avoid dying in a car crash

Stashed in: Cars!, Awesome, Death, Longevity!, RTFM!, Life Hacks, Self-driving Cars, Cars

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Aside from cryonics and eating better, what else can we do to live long lives?Using this tool, I looked up the risks of death for my demographic group. As a 15-24 year old male in the United States, the most likely cause of my death is a traffic accident; and so I’m taking steps to avoid that. Below I have included the results of my research as well as the actions I will take to implement my findings. Perhaps my research can help you as well.1

One day self-driving cars will make car crashes obsolete. 

Yes, it seems so.  But in the meantime....

In the meantime it makes sense to be aware of the major things that cause car accidents. 

Top causes of accidents: distractions, driving conditions, and speeding. Also:

  • Teen drivers are apparently way worse at not dying in cars than older people. So if you’re a teenager, take the outside view and accept that you (not just ‘other dumb teenagers’) may need to take particular care when driving. Relevant information about teen driving is available here.
  • Alcohol use appeared so often during my research that I didn’t even bother including stats about it. Likewise for wearing a seatbelt.
  • Since I’m not in the market for a car, I didn’t look into vehicle choice as a way to decrease personal existential risk. But I do expect this to be relevant to increasing driving safety.
  • “The most dangerous month, it turns out, is August, and Saturday the most dangerous day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.” I couldn’t tell whether this was because of increased amount of driving or an increased rate of crashes.
  • This site recommends driving with your hands at 9 and 3 for increased control. The same site claims that “Most highway accidents occur in the left lane” because the other lanes have “more ‘escape routes’ should a problem suddenly arise that requires you to quickly change lanes”, but I found no citation for the claim.
  • Bad driver behavior appears to significantly increase the risk of death in an accident, so: don't ride in car with people who drive badly or aggressively. I have a few friends with aggressive driving habits, and I’m planning to either a) tell them to drive more slowly when I’m in the car or b) stop riding in their cars.

Contrarian alert :-)

I probably shouldn't have been granted a drivers license when I was 16. 

I didn't have the maturity to really understand what the hell I was doing and certainly no-one I knew had any clue about how to view cars as very fine tools - and take optimum advantage of them.

I don't think driving is an entitlement - it should be a ton harder to get a license.

IMHO, everyone should learn to race cars.

It gives you a variety of skills and a level of understanding of vehicle dynamics which I haven't seen in any other context. 

I don't want to abdicate control of my safety to anyone else unless it's absolutely necessary - no self driving cars for me please. Trains, planes, and taxis generally make me nervous. In some contexts I am a control freak.

I don't want driving to be a numb experience. Feeling the road, awareness of the other vehicles, the road conditions, weather, run-off area, etc is a driver's responsibility - and quite fun. 

( bicycles are good - you are out there with the world )

I agree that very few people understand the responsibility when they first get a driver's license. 

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