Do You Know the Health Risks of Driving?

The Doctor Weighs In
5 min readJan 4, 2019

By: Noah Rue

Besides car crashes, health risks of driving include stress, anxiety, air pollution & back pain. Luckily there are tech & low tech alternatives to driving.

Photo source: Pixabay

We don’t typically think that much about driving being the single most dangerous thing that we do every day. For the majority of us, hopping into the car to take the kids to school, drive to work, or run a few errands is second nature. Thoughts of being in a serious accident or suffering any injuries while in the car seem like they won’t ever happen to us and often take a backseat to more pressing matters, such as making it to a friend’s birthday dinner on time.

But the stats associated with driving accidents can be very sobering. An average of 6 million people in the U.S. alone are in car accidents every year. Of those 6 million, approximately half experience an injury, roughly 2 million people per year will suffer from serious, life-altering injuries. It is estimated that 90 people die in car accidents every single day in the U.S.

With this in mind, getting into a vehicle for any amount of time seems a little crazy. One estimate indicates that you are 24 times more likely to die in a car accident than skydiving. And that number does not take into account many of the more nuanced issues that arise from so many drivers on the road.

The Risks We Hear About

If we do take time to think about driving risks, our minds almost immediately flock to the obvious risks of driving — things like getting distracted and running a red light, being hit by another driver that isn’t paying attention, or sliding off slick roads into a ditch. These are often the most damaging car-related issues, and the most directly linked to vehicles specifically.

Many of these issues aren’t going away no matter how many public awareness campaigns take place. For instance, the number of drivers testing positive for being under the influence of drugs in fatal accidents almost doubled between 2005 and 2015. Although a variety of safety messages discussing the dangers of using technology and driving are prevalent, many drivers still feel inclined to send text messages while on the road.

The Doctor Weighs In

Dr. Patricia Salber and friends weigh in on leading news in health and healthcare