Every year, thousands of people are injured in car accidents in the United States, even though today’s cars are safer than ever thanks to accident prevention technology that is available in most newer models. In some cases, accidents occur when snow, ice, or freezing rain causes dangerous road conditions. However, other accidents are caused by drivers who make irresponsible, unsafe decisions when they get behind the wheel. Unfortunately, these are some of the most common causes of car accidents in this country. By following the rules of the road and making safety a priority, many of these accidents can be avoided.
The following are examples of the most common causes of car accidents:
Distracted Driving: In the United States, up to 50 percent of all car accidents are related to distracted driving. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that nine percent of fatal car accidents in 2016 were caused by distracted driving. Smartphones are one of the main causes of driver distractions, but the following are other examples:
– Zoning out
– Applying makeup
– Changing the music or radio station
– Interacting with other passengers
Drowsy Driving: Fatigue can affect a driver’s ability to react quickly to a situation, like being cut off by another driver, or avoiding debris in the road. Sleep deprivation can also impair concentration and reduce vigilance. In some cases, fatigue can have the same effect on a driver as being under the influence of alcohol.
Drunk Driving: It is common knowledge that driving while under the influence of alcohol can have devastating consequences, yet people continue to get behind the wheel after consuming too much alcohol. Depending on your height, weight, and other factors, even a small amount of alcohol can impair your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. In addition to jeopardizing your own safety, you jeopardize the safety of the other passengers in your car, as well as other motorists in the vicinity. In 2016, close to 10,500 people lost their lives in drunk driving accidents in the United States.
Aggressive Driving: When motorists let their emotions take over, it can have very dangerous consequences. Speeding is the most common form of aggressive driving, but other examples include lane blocking, tailgating, failure to signal or yield the right of way, and ignoring traffic controls. Over half of all fatal car accidents are caused by some form of aggressive driving. To avoid this type of behavior, take a moment to calm down, take a deep breath, and pull over to a safe spot until you can regain your composure and drive safely.