Are you a victim?

Do vehicle crashes affect more than the people who are directly involved in them? When we hear of a collision, we immediately think about who was injured; or worse, who has died in the crash. That’s important to know this in our society, but are there other “victims” of crashes. Perhaps you’ve been a victim in the past but never really noticed.We all know that as a driver or passenger of a vehicle in a crash that we could be injured, or killed. We also know that our insurance is affected if we’re involved in a crash, but could you be affected in other ways? Perhaps if we know what they other ramifications would be if we’re involved in a crash, we could do more to avoid getting into crashes.
We’ve all experienced our auto insurance increasing recently, but is there anything we can do about it? When the insurance industry has to pay out more to crash victims, it hikes up our annual rates as well. Someone else’s crash hurts my wallet too. If I gave drivers space and became more cooperative in traffic, maybe that would stop other drivers from taking chances in traffic. Maybe it’ll stop them from weaving in and out of traffic because they’re late for work. Maybe that will reduce crashes. Maybe.

Crash victims tie up the hospital staff when they are injured. They ensure that auto body repair shops are busy, which means it’s tougher to get your vehicle repainted, for whatever reason. Crash victims tie up the traffic and cause inconvenient traffic jams. Even if the crash isn’t on your side of the road, it causes slow downs because people want to slow down to see what happened. Refer to ( http://safedriving.wordpress.com/2009/07/30/are-you-a-bobblehead/ )

Crash victims can also tie up the courts and make it more difficult for others to get a reasonable court time. Since transport trucks may be delayed, it may also hike up the cost of certain items in the stores; due to the delay in their arrival. Don’t forget what it may cost companies due to lost employee hours at work.

Being involved in the crash costs more than your health, your vehicle repairs and your insurance rates. What about the fact that you may be hospitalized; which may mean lost wages. You may have a driver’s license suspension or points on your license; along with fines. If you did something wrong that caused the crash, you may have criminal charges laid against you.

Your actions that involved you in a crash may get you some jail time, loss of auto insurance because you’re now a high risk to the insurance company. You may even lose your job if it involves a vehicle; to which you’re not licensed to drive any longer.

I recently read where a driver was pulled over for exceeding the speed limit by more than 20 km/h. The driver could not produce a driver’s license, so the officer checked his name and found out that his license was suspended and the reason he was in a hurry; so he could get to jail. He had to serve a weekend sentence for impaired driving. Now, I know this wasn’t a crash, but this is the type of poor decisions that drivers make that affect other people around them.

The effect of vehicular crashes has a huge effect on our society. Insurance claims account for billions and billions of dollars of claims on an annual basis, but we also need to think of the other consequences. Think about what your crash does to everyone else; and what their crash does to you and your life. If we work together, perhaps we can reduce the overall impact that crashes do to our society.


Author’s Bio: Scott Marshall is Director of Training for Young Drivers of Canada (www.yd.com). Recently he has been a judge on the first three seasons of Canada’s Worst Driver on Discovery Network. Scott started writing columns on driving for his community paper over 4 years ago. Since then his columns have been printed in several publications including newspaper, magazines and various web-sites. Now he has his own blog at http://safedriving.wordpress.com. You can reach Scott via e-mail with any questions or comments at safedriver36@yahoo.ca.