Safety Benefits of a Car-Free Life
When you decide to live car-free, you are inherently living a much safer life. Every single time you get in a car, the chances that you will be injured (or die) in a crash increases significantly. Read more below about safety and your car.
How safe is driving your car? Not as safe as you think: Over 37,000 people die in road crashes in the United States each year, and an additional 2.35 million are injured or disabled. In New Haven alone, there were over 7,800 car crashes in 2015 and motor vehicles fatalities in Connecticut increased 45% during the first six months of 2016, according to a report that compares the same period in 2015. Distracted driving is one of the root causes of this rise.
New drivers are at an even higher risk for crashes. Drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 caused over 20% of crashes in the United States.
Worried that public transportation is more dangerous? In reality,
-riding commuter or intercity rail is about 20 times
safer than driving
-riding metro or light rail is about 30 times safer
-riding the bus is about 60 times safer
Factoring in pedestrians and cyclists killed in
crashes with vehicles, the effect is smaller but
still dramatic: the fatality rate associated with car
travel is more than twice as high as the rate
associated with public transit.
FBI data busts the myth that transit is linked to high levels of crime. On average, people riding transit are less likely to be victimized than car drivers, passengers, and owners.
Walking Safety Tips and Guide
Walking is the simplest alternative to using a car. In order to be a safer pedestrian, you can:
-Increase your visibility at night by carrying a flashlight when walking and by wearing retro-reflective clothing.
-Whenever possible, cross the street at a designated crosswalk or intersection.
-It is much safer to walk on a sidewalk or path, but if a sidewalk or path is not available, walk on the shoulder and facing traffic
Click here for more pedestrian safety tips
Biking Safety Tips and Guide
Concerned about bike safety? Here are some of our suggestions:
-Wear a Properly Fitted Bicycle Helmet
-See and Be Seen; wear reflective gear
-Watch for and Avoid Road Hazards
-Go With the Traffic Flow and Obey All Traffic Laws
Click here for more cycling safety tips, and here for a biking guide specific to New Haven Cyclists
Not ready to give up your car completely? We suggest: GoKid Carpooling
Here’s How Much Safer Transit Is Compared to Driving