Eyes on the Road: Top 7 Causes of Car Accidents and How You Can Avoid Them
Car accidents cause devastation for families. The loss of life is catastrophic and the injuries many sustain in a collision are life-altering. It is only logical that road users would want to do everything within their power to avoid being involved in a road traffic accident.
One way to effectively prevent car accidents is to understand what causes accidents. That way, you can modify your driving behaviour to make your driving as safe as possible for other road users.
Of course, you can’t control everyone else, but by making your driving safer, you can reduce your risk of death behind the wheel, and mitigate the damage caused by someone else’s reckless driving. If you are injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, contact a specialist car accident lawyer to fight your case.
Between 2006 and 2015, just over 30% of all car accidents that took place on America’s roads were due to speeding. Almost half of all accidents where deaths occurred took place at speeds greater than 55 mph.
This gives a clear message to road users. Drive within the speed limits, and if road conditions are bad, err on the side of caution and reduce your speed. Depending on the length of your journey, you are only likely to shave a couple of minutes off your journey time by speeding. It is hardly worth risking you and your passenger’s lives.
Every single day, 28 people die due to driving whilst under the influence of alcohol in the US. This equates to one death every 53 minutes. Drunk driving fatalities have been coming down in recent years, but they still account for around 30% of all fatalities on the roads.
Texting, talking on the phone, eating, doing makeup, and even reading, are all major causes of accidents. Unlike drunk driving, the volume of cases where distractions caused accidents is actually increasing. We are becoming more glued to our phones as a society, and this is evident in the numbers.
From 2010 to 2014, the number of car accidents caused by one party using a cell phone increased by 38%, with teenagers and drivers in their 20s the age group most at risk. Put the phones down and keep your eyes on the road.
The weather had a role in 22% of all accidents between 2010 and 2014. Wet conditions caused the most accidents. Wet roads double the stopping distance of your vehicle, and icy conditions can increase them by ten-fold. Drive slower and leave more space between you and the car in front in the rain, fog, snow, ice, and sleet.
Running Red Lights
While few road users blatantly ignore a red traffic light, many are involved in minor accidents when performing a rolling right turn on red. Car injury lawyers hear the same story, time and time again. A driver looks left, sees the road clear, and accelerates only to see that the car in front has not moved, a cyclist has pulled off the sidewalk, or a pedestrian has walked into the road. Be extra vigilant at junctions, particularly when turning right on red.
Falling Asleep at the Wheel
Most incidents of drivers falling asleep at the wheel go unreported. Few drivers will admit to drifting off in the outside lane, but experts believe that around 7% of all crashes are due to falling asleep at the wheel.
A staggering 37% of drivers have admitted to falling asleep at the wheel at least once in their lives, with 11% admitting to doing it in the past year. Take regular breaks from driving and ensure you are well-rested before long journeys to avoid falling victim to this deadly occurrence.
Sometimes, it isn’t the driver’s behaviour, but the car itself that is at fault. Tyre blowouts, brake failure, and faulty tail lights can all cause a collision. This is why it is imperative to stay on top of your vehicle maintenance and adopt the good habits of a responsible car owner.
Before you drive, remember that nothing is worth risking your life for. No matter how late you are for work, how much you want that last beer, how important that phone call is, nothing is more important than your life.