Car accidents are sad realities of life. While some are inevitable, there are certain accidents that could have been avoided with responsible driving. To reduce your chances of getting into an accident, make sure that you are aware of the common causes of vehicle collisions.
Distracted driving is reportedly one of the leading causes of vehicle accidents. Distractions come in several forms, and it only takes a few seconds for an accident to happen. Many drivers tend to multitask, causing them to take their eyes off the road, or drive with only one hand on the steering wheel. They could either be drinking, eating, texting, reading, or applying their makeup. As a responsible driver, it is important that you stay focused whenever you are behind the wheel.
Speed limits were made for a reason. However, several drivers intentionally ignore them because of the urge to reach their destination faster. Speeding increases the chance of a car accident, which usually results in severe and fatal injuries. When you drive over the speed limits, you reduce your reaction time to a road hazard and limit your ability to control your vehicle.
According to NHTSA, around 28 people in the United States die every day in car accidents caused by drunk driving. Whenever you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your cognitive functions and motor coordination suffer. Intoxication also impairs your decision-making skills and reaction time. Some drivers think that as long as they keep their blood alcohol level below the legal limit, they can drive. However, that is not true at all. Driving while under the influence, regardless of the amount of intoxication, can still be dangerous since some of your senses are still compromised, reducing your chance to make better driving decisions.
When someone ignores traffic laws, they are risking their lives and of others around them. Some examples of reckless driving include tailgating, swerving, switching lanes unnecessarily or too quickly, and cutting other drivers off. Aggressive driving to some extent, can also be considered as reckless driving. It also often escalates into road rage, which in some states is categorized as a criminal offense.
Fatigue or drowsiness
Drowsiness and sleepiness can also impair your ability while driving. Driver fatigue can be as dangerous as driving while under the influence. Some of the causes of driver fatigue, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include:
- Long periods of inactivity
- Being awake for several consecutive hours
- Sleep disorders
- Medications that lead to drowsiness
- Unable to sleep for several days
Bad weather or road conditions
According to Dennis Hernandez & Associates, several drivers fail to adjust to hazardous road conditions such as fog, snow, ice, or rain, resulting in a catastrophic collision. Even if you are a skilled driver, bad weather and road conditions can still cause you to drive poorly. If your road visibility has been compromised because of a weather-related condition, it would be best if you pull over in a safe location and wait for it to pass.
Car accidents, especially those caused by human error, can be avoided by simply making better choices. Remember that driving is a privilege, and you are accountable for your actions every time you are behind the steering wheel.