Reducing traffic fatalities on Indiana’s urban and rural roads has been a consistent objective of the Indiana State Police and until this year success has been achieved with year after year reductions in deaths caused by traffic collisions.
In large part, the success has been the result of what is frequently referred to as the three “Es” – Enforcement, Engineering and Education.
The “enforcement” part of the three “Es” is self-explanatory: consistent aggressive enforcement of Indiana’s traffic laws contributes to more responsible driving so as to avoid being pulled over and cited for a traffic violation.
The “engineering” component reflects the ongoing improvement reflected in better engineered roads and better engineered vehicles which offer more protection for occupants.
And finally, but very important, is the “education” part of the three “Es.” Education comes in many forms – from the print, TV or radio story about local crashes to public safety announcements that educate citizens about aspects of risky as well as safe driving behaviors. Education also includes training and programs geared toward new and younger drivers to better prepare them to handle a vehicle responsibly.
As 2012 has progressed, the number of urban crashes is slightly lower but the number of rural crashes and deaths has increased. The Indiana State Police has analyzed this trend and, unlike the past, no clear pattern of location for these fatal crashes is materializing.
What we see are random fatal crashes occurring in unpredictable locations. What did materialize though are the factors resulting in these senseless rural crash deaths. They are: 1. Driving off the right edge of the road; 2. Failure to yield the right of way and disregarding traffic signals; 3. Unsafe speed; and 4. Driving left of center.
Historically, these violations are associated with inexperienced drivers or drivers that are fatigued or distracted by an array of electronic devices, other passengers or eating and drinking beverages while driving.