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Mike Bryant
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Do Higher Gas Prices Save Lives?


The Mitchell, South Dakota Daily Republic had a very interesting editorial recently. They suggested that maybe we should keep gas prices high. It’s clear that people drive less. When people drive less, less people are killed on the roads. While it’s an interesting idea in economic social engineering, it seems to me that they are simply looking at the reduced number of deaths and pointing out the changes:

If statistics move you, that’s an 11 percent improvement. If you’re a people person, that’s 55 loved ones who made it home safely from sporting events, work, vacations and trips to the grocery store.

The editorial goes on to get to it’s real point, that while high gas prices may have a helpful result, there are many other areas where lives can be saved:

Every motorist can commit to driving less, obviously. The less time you spend on the road, the less likely you will be a traffic statistic.

Motorists also can control other factors that help prevent accidents, especially fatal ones: Wear a seat belt, don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, keep your car in good condition, obey traffic laws and slow down.

Finally, drivers can pay attention.

Highway officials say driver distraction contributed to one in four crashes last year.

When you’re driving, just drive. Don’t text, make phone calls or fiddle with the radio. Focus on the road, not that GPS your child gave you for Father’s Day.

There are things that we can all do to make the roads safer. As Injuryboard members have been writing for some time; buckle up, slow down, and pay attention.


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  1. Daniel 8791 says:
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    I think with higher prices, I see more people driving like lunatics; as the road is “only theirs’ and nobody elses”. Seems that they feel that they have the right to drive as fast and careless as they want because they’re paying a higher cost to drive their vehicle. I noticed this trend when I was driving about 300 miles a day for my job back in 2000/2001, when prices were lower than they are today. Seems like the same this today from what I see. You listed the three factors to safe driving for everyone regardless of the price of fuel; buckle up, slow down and pay attention. Those are the real factors that can actually save lives and prevent tragedies for families.

  2. Mike Bryant says:
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    Interesting thought that less cars would increase the number of dangerous drivers. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.