Why Do So Many Efforts to Stop Auto Accidents in North Carolina and Beyond Misfire?

December 25, 2012, by Michael A. DeMayo

With the exception of programs like Michael A. DeMayo’s Arrive Alive program, a disturbing number of strategies to reduce auto accidents in North Carolina don’t live up to their promise.


Why are some programs successful? Why do others yield middling to lackluster results? Furthermore, what can an analysis of this phenomenon teach you about how to be a more effective, accurate plaintiff in a North Carolina auto accident case?

The Big Problem with the Received Wisdom: The Law of Unintended Consequences

Here’s a seemingly foolproof way to decrease the number of serious accidents: get more people to purchase vehicles with better safety equipment, such as anti-lock brakes, ABS, computerized collision warning systems, etc.

Sounds good on paper, right?

However, in his exhaustively researched book, Traffic, author Tom Vanderbilt shows that the advent of automatic brakes made a surprisingly meek dent in auto accident statistics. Why? Vanderbilt argues that people who bought safer cars felt entitled to take more risks behind the wheel. This extra riskiness washed out the benefits of the brakes. People followed other cars more closely, for instance, because they felt comfortable that their ABS system would save them.

The ABS debacle is a classic example of the law of unintended consequences: you create a clearheaded plan only to have it blow up in your face in an unexpected way.

Empirical Validation: The Gold Standard for Automotive Safety

To develop better safety approaches, we must rely more on data. What works? The Arrive Alive program works, for instance. Other safety initiatives also work. If we can figure out what programs work, we can then scale them up and diversify them as appropriate. If we can likewise find the courage and mindfulness to understand what doesn’t work (so we can all stop doing that stuff!), then maybe we can save time, energy, and money… all while reducing injury and fatality statistics.

Here’s the bottom line. Whether you’re a recent accident victim or someone who’s just passionate about making our roads and highway safer, our goal should be to avoid “reinventing the wheel.” if and when possible. Rather than “guess” about best practices for your case, talk to an experienced, results-proven Charlotte auto accident law firm, like the DeMayo Law Team or a similarly venerable firm. There is no reason or need for you to “rediscover” these key insights.

Find out what works. Then try that, before you go “out of the box” or “off on your own” to solve your problems.


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