How to Identify the Top Five Common Causes of Car Accidents
Year after year, car accidents claim tens of thousands of lives in our country only. 2019 saw a decrease in the number of car accident fatalities. Nevertheless, 4.4 million still suffered severe injuries that required medical attention from vehicular accidents in the same year.
This means that as a driver, you need to be more alert and cautious on the road. Most car accidents that happen are preventable if each driver plays their part by practicing the duty of care to other road users.
Identifying the leading causes of car accidents is essential in ensuring that you do not cause one.
1) Distracted Driving
Distracted drivers are a hazard because their focus is not where it should be: on the road.
Recently, there has been an increase in crashes caused by distracted driving, thanks to technology. A driver might be distracted when speaking on the phone, texting, eating, drinking, grooming, or talking with other passengers in the car.
One of the dangers of distracted driving is that the more times you maneuver the road while multitasking, the more you are likely to keep doing it. A distracted driver has less time to react should something that requires quick action happen on the road. The sudden collision also takes you by surprise, increasing the chances of a bigger impact.
If you need to do something urgent while driving, consider pulling over to a safe place and completing the task before getting back on the wheel.
It is tempting to push the pedal to the metal when you are running late for a meeting or when there is little traffic on the road. But this could cost your life and those of other road users.
It takes longer for a car that is on high speed to slow down, in case of an emergency. This, in turn, aggravates the injuries and other damages sustained from car accidents caused by speeding.
Ensure that you are driving within the legal limits to prevent a collision. If you see a speeding driver on the road, give them the way and remain at a safe distance from their car.
3) Reckless Driving
The most common forms of careless driving on our roads include speeding, making sudden stops without warning, tailgating, driving too closely, running red lights, and changing lanes without indicating.
Reckless driving is always a result of other equally risky road behaviors such as distracted driving and intoxication. If you spot a reckless driver, drive slower, and maintain a safe distance from them.
4) Driving While Intoxicated
The effects of driving while under the influence of any type of drug cannot be overstated. The same goes for prescribed medicine that causes drowsiness.
Alcohol and drugs impair one’s judgement, slows response time, and distorts decision-making skills. This is especially dangerous because you are operating a machine on a road with other cars and pedestrians.
Drunk driving, especially on holidays and weekends, is also likely to cause a hit and run accident because the driver is afraid of being charged with a DUI.
Weather-related factors are also a leading cause of car accidents. Rain introduces other factors like poor vision, slippery roads, and reduced car performance, which increases the possibility of an accident. Poorly-maintained cars such as low-grip tires are also at a greater risk of causing an accident during heavy rains.
Heavy rains can also conceal large potholes, especially on unfamiliar roads, leading to a crash or vehicle damages.
If you cannot wait at a safe place for the rain to pass, drive slowly and exercise great caution when approaching corners.