Car accidents in the United States account for an overwhelming number of deaths and injuries every year, many of which could be prevented. The number one cause for car accidents in the United States is distracted driving. Simply keeping your eyes on the road rather than any screens or other distractions could save your life. Following distracted driving is
- Drunk driving
- Inclement Weather
- Running Controlled Intersections
Let’s examine how these situations can lead to accidents and how to avoid them.
If you’re on the highway going 60mph, you are traveling at 88ft per second. With such little room for error, it’s no surprise that distracted driving is the most common cause of car accidents. The most common distractions include using a phone while driving, eating, or drinking while driving, and interacting with passengers in the backseat. These distractions may seem small, but they can have massive consequences. Do your best to stay alert at all times while behind the wheel. Not only could it decrease your chances of causing an accident, but it may even help you avoid accidents caused by other distracted drivers.
Speed limits often seem slower than they need to be, but the truth is they keep people safe. Yet, one of the leading causes of car accidents is speeding. Speeding often leads to drivers losing control of their vehicle and crashing into others or crashing off the road entirely. Going over the speed limit decreases the driver’s time to react to changing road conditions, thus amplifying the risks of distracted driving. Increased speed also leads to a more severe impact in the case of an accident, increasing the likelihood of more severe injuries. Speeding puts you and others on the road at greater risk, so help keep your roads safe by obeying the speed limit.
Driving under the influence
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a leading cause of car accidents. Like speeding and distracted driving, alcohol decreases the time you have to react to changing road conditions. Drugs and alcohol impair your motor senses and ability to focus. Driving while intoxicated has one of the most severe criminal penalties when compared to speeding and distracted driving. In today’s world, where you can quickly call an Uber or text a friend to get picked up, it’s easy to avoid driving while intoxicated.
Inclement weather conditions such as rain, snow, and nighttime driving can make driving unpredictable and lead to frequent car accidents. Bad weather can be unpredictable and sometimes hard to avoid, so when caught driving in bad weather, take precautions like reducing speed, ensuring your headlights are on, and giving other cars on the road more space. To prepare yourself for bad weather conditions, make sure your tires have enough traction, your windshield wipers are working properly, and headlights and taillights are working properly.
Running Controlled Intersections
We’ve all been there, stopped at a red light with no other cars in sight, tempted to just cruise right through it. While it may seem easy to get away with, it’s quite dangerous and a major cause of accidents. Blowing through stop signs and red lights just because no one is around is a bad habit to develop and eventually leads to an accident or a ticket. Minimize your car accident risk by practicing safe driving habits and obeying all road signs and traffic laws.
“The common theme here is that the most common causes of car accidents are also the most avoidable. Practice these safe driving habits to avoid common causes of car accidents. Avoid distractions while behind the wheel, obey the speed limit, never drive under the influence, be prepared for poor weather, and obey stop signs and stop lights,” says car accident attorney Felix Gonzalez.