Here is a thought when considering whether to teach Roadside Survival and how much priority it should have in a driver education program, especially until the “4.0” curriculum comes along – hopefully requiring greater emphasis on preventing and contending with breakdowns:
NTSA estimates that 5.8 million vehicle crashes of all types occur annually in the US (average for 2005-2015). This compares with 30 million yearly calls for assistance to AAA alone (33 million in 2017); I know from experience that this number from AAA represents only a small fraction of total breakdowns. So breakdowns are at very least five times as likely as crashes; likely this figure is much higher. I estimate that the ratio of breakdowns to crashes is 20:1.
Safety implications are obvious: The safest breakdown is the one prevented so it doesn’t happen! The safest breakdown that happens is the one with minimum exposure to risks – normally a function of time stranded.
Consequences from an accident generally are more serious than from a breakdown. But vehicle breakdowns, whose chances of happening are so much greater, usually involve inconvenience, lost time, discomfort, anxiety, and sometimes injury and death – when another vehicle hits one broken down and when human predators prey upon folks in a broken down vehicle. Injury also is possible when a stranded motorist tries to help himself but is neither trained nor equipped to do it safely.
Driver Education teachers may copy and use material from this PowerPoint file I use for presentations to driver education conferences around the country (all I ask is that users credit me as their source!): (Click here).
The book is available at bulk rates far below retail; see the attached pricing schedule: (Click here).
Teachers may prefer to not provide copies of the book directly to students and their parents. Instead, teachers may want to recommend the book and then distribute this flyer (printed, or as a file attached to email): (Click here).
With onset of widespread snow and ice in January, 2016, I prepared a 2-page listing of “Winter Driving Tips” which just could be an outline for a chapter in the future. Click to see attachment: Winter Driving Tips