Are Road Injuries a Disease?

Posted on by Defensive Driving Team | in Defensive Driving Tips

When you hear the word disease, what comes to mind? You probably think about tuberculosis or maybe HIV/aids. You probably do not think about injuries on the road. Diseases are things that are diagnosed by doctors, some of them have treatments and some of them do not, right? Well, according to the FiA Foundation, road injuries are, in fact, a disease.

But are they really a disease?

According to Merriam-Webster, not really. They describe a disease just like you would, as an illness or ailment of a living thing. But in 2010, the Global Burden of Disease study ranked road injuries as the 10th leading cause of death in the world. That’s right up there with strokes and cancer. The study simply evaluated all of the ways that people die or become disabled. In their opinion, anything that causes death was considered a disease. Not only did road injuries rank at number 10 overall, but they were the leading cause of death for young people.

In fact, the amount of road injuries increased by 46% from 1990-2010.

That is almost double. Twice as many people are dying on the road now than 20 years ago. But aren’t cars supposed to be safer? Aren’t we supposed to be getting smarter and more advanced as time goes on? If the field of medicine advances every day, and new technologies are created every day, shouldn’t this number be going down?

Well, technology may be to blame.

Instead of only having to focus on the road, drivers now feel that it is necessary to always have their phone on them like a third limb. You may even do the same. But is that phone call you are receiving or the text message you have to read right away worth your life? Probably not.

Instead of being a statistic, drive smart. Pretend like you were driving back in the early 90’s, before cell phones and GPS systems and all the other fancy gadgets that distract you from your job at hand. If drivers go back to the good old days of simply driving defensively, maybe road injuries won’t have to be classified as a disease.

Most diseases you can’t control; they have a genetic etiology and you either get them or you don’t. Road injuries, on the other hand, you do have control over. While you can’t influence other drivers, you can make sure that you are not the cause of the disease.drive_safely_truck_sign_s_4436

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