Why do people neglect road safety?

Busses could seem like a relatively safe way to travel when looking at the statistics. The U.S. Department of Transportation data for 2016 states that, out of almost a million busses, only 16,000 had accidents that caused injuries. That is an injury rate of less than two percent.

This looks safe until you look at the data for other transportation. Trains, for example, caused around 425 injuries in 2016, according to Bureau of Transportation statistics. When compared to nearly any other form of Louisiana mass transit, commercial motor vehicles begin to seem especially dangerous. 

Perhaps one of the reasons that highway travel is so deadly is that people do not take it as seriously as they should. Understanding this psychology could shed some light on why commercial drivers sometimes behave irresponsibly, despite their specialized training.

One might assume that the reason that airplane malfunctions and train derailments receive more coverage is simple: they occur less frequently than commercial highway vehicle crashes. An article in the Washington Post reports on a scientist who has other opinions on why journalists might focus on the low-risk forms of transit rather than bus or van accidents. In summary, the expert interviewed in the article believes that disproportionate public fear might contribute to ineffective safety laws where it really counts.

The Washington Post article does imply a solution to this problem. It could be possible to reduce accidents and injuries through focusing people’s attention on simple safety practices, such as maintaining proper speed, staying alert and avoiding distractions while driving.