Common Causes of Auto Accidents
Statistics show that approximately six million auto accidents occur in the United States every single year. Tragically, countless people are injured in these accidents, suffering a range of mental and physical issues as a result, and the worst accidents of all prove to be fatal, breaking families apart and causing terrible losses for all involved.
While it may not be possible to predict the future and prepare for every possible eventuality on the roads, we can still take action to defend ourselves from common road risks and put ourselves in a better position to avoid any accidents, and the more you know about driving hazards, the better prepared you'll be to avoid them. This guide will therefore cover some of the most common causes of auto accidents.
Of course, one of the biggest contributors to the huge tally of auto accidents in America is reckless driving. Countless accidents are caused by drivers simply failing to follow the rules and choosing to behave in dangerous ways, not only endangering themselves and their own passengers but also endangering the lives of other road users they encounter along the way.
From a legal perspective, reckless driving basically refers to any form of driving which is deemed to be dangerous or indifferent to the safety of other people or property. It includes everything from speeding to tailgating, changing lanes without using mirrors or signals, failing to stop at stop signs, and so on. This is why it's vital for drivers to behave safely and sensibly, setting a good example for others.
Driving Under the Influence
Another major cause of car accidents across the US is when people get behind the wheel of their car while under the influence of alcohol. Every single day, 29 people in the US are killed in accidents involving an alcohol-impaired driver, and even though the dangers of drunk driving are well-known to all, a lot of people still admit to driving after having one or more drinks.
When you drive while drunk or even just after a single drink, you'll inevitably be more of a threat to yourself and other drivers, as your reaction times will be slower, your decision-making abilities will be impaired, and your general ability to keep your car under control will also be impacted in a negative way. It is therefore imperative to never drive while drunk and always look for other, safer ways to get home.
Bad Road Conditions
It's not all that common for crashes to occur because of bad roads when compared to other risk factors like reckless or drunk drivers, but it can happen and there are many cases each year of people getting into accidents because of issues like cracks and potholes in the roads they use, with many accidents leading to physical injuries, mental distress, and legal drama too.
Poor quality roads can make it harder to control your car, especially in wet or icy conditions, and drivers need to be extra careful when driving on these kinds of surfaces. It's also recommended to report poor roads to the appropriate authorities in your area in order to get them improved and try to find alternative routes to avoid particularly dangerous areas.
Distracted driving is a very serious issue in the US and many other parts of the world, and it leads to a lot of accidents every year. In simple terms, distracted driving refers to situations in which a driver gets distracted, usually be something inside their car like the car's radio or GPS or their own smartphone, and takes their attention away from the road, leading to crashes and collisions.
Taking your eyes away from the road, even for a second, can be very dangerous, as you never know when someone might step out in front of you, a car ahead might suddenly stop or slow down, or another kind of hazard could present itself. It's so important to keep distractions to a minimum at all times and never fall into the trap of using your phone while behind the wheel.
Speeding, in many ways, is a form of reckless driving, but it deserves its own section in this guide, as it's a huge individual contributor to a large number of auto accidents all over the globe, and this is proof that speed limits are absolutely necessary and should be followed at all costs because those who break these limits can put themselves in huge danger.
While it can be tempting to go a little over the speed limit when you're in a rush or late for work, it's never a good idea. Not only is it illegal, but it's also very risky. The faster you go, the longer it will take for you to slow down and stop if you need to, and those extra seconds can be the difference between safety and disaster.
Drowsiness and Fatigue
Another big issue that causes a lot of crashes and collisions on American roads is drowsiness. A lot of drivers can start to feel tired after driving for a long time or when driving in the evening, and it's also not uncommon for drivers to experience fatigue and drowsiness when driving after taking certain kinds of medication, so you should always check the label for any reported side effects.
When you're tired, you're more likely to make mistakes and you tend to have slower reaction times too, so you might not be able to respond in time to avoid an accident if someone stops suddenly in front of you. You'll also be more likely to close your eyes and there are even cases of people actually falling asleep at the wheel, so be sure to take breaks and pull over if you feel the signs of fatigue.
It's clear to see that there are many possible causes of auto accidents, and it's vital to do what you can to avoid each one. Try to drive safely, minimize distractions, keep a close eye on road conditions, and follow the rules of the road to give yourself the best chance of safe, incident-free journeys.