Car accidents are quite common globally. Some can be minor, causing property damage and small injuries. However, some serious collisions can result in permanent disability, and others can even become fatal.
In most instances, accidents can be caused by human error while on the road. But in other cases, car collisions could also be out of a vehicle operator’s control, such as the condition of the road and the vehicle. The good thing is that unfortunate car accident can be prevented by simple actions like exercising care while on the road, observing traffic rules and regulations, and being attentive when driving.
In this article, we’ll explore the top causes of car crashes and ways you can avoid them. Read on to learn more.
1. Reckless Driving
One of the common causes of car accidents attributed to human error is reckless driving. This includes switching lanes improperly, failing to follow traffic signs, tailgating, and not using signals. Furthermore, speeding, running stop signs and red lights, overtaking on another motorist’s shoulder, driving in prohibited areas, and not giving the right of way to appropriate vehicles can also be categorized under reckless driving.
Driving recklessly can put your life and other pedestrians on the road at risk. Take note that the way you drive and behave while on the road does not just affect you but other motorists as well. In fact, several cases of fatal crashes have been reported in the past that involved reckless driving and failing to follow traffic rules like speed limits. For instance, look here. This is just one of the many examples of unfortunate road incidents that could’ve been prevented simply by abiding by regulations.
Reckless driving is wholly in your control as a driver. In most states, this is considered a criminal offense, which can subject the violator to fines, lawsuits, and even jail time. Besides that, your car insurance company might also raise your premium rates, as they’ll consider you a higher-risk driver and find you more likely to file claims in the future.
With that, it’s always best to ensure that you properly operate your vehicle and exercise care when driving to avoid accidents. This also means operating your automobile in a manner that doesn’t put you, your passengers, or other road users at risk. You can do so by driving at the required speed limit, signaling whenever necessary, obeying traffic signs, and practicing other responsible driving habits.
2. Driving Under The Influence
Another leading cause of car collisions is driving a vehicle after taking drugs or alcohol. Though this behavior is generally prohibited by law, some people tend to commit this, leading to severe injuries. And in some cases, even fatal accidents.
Driving while intoxicated is dangerous, especially since alcohol and drugs are believed to cause improper reasoning, poor muscle coordination, slowed reaction time, and impaired vision. Operating a vehicle after taking some medications can also be risky. This is particularly when taking those that cause drowsiness, impaired judgment, slowed movement, inability to concentrate, or blurred vision.
Since accidents related to intoxicated driving are fully preventable, it’s always best to only operate a vehicle when sober and fully awake. If you need to go somewhere but perhaps, you have had a drink or two, ask a friend or loved one to drive you instead. Alternatively, book a ride-share service or ask someone you trust to order one for you.
3. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving can mean a lot of things. It can be texting, applying makeup, reaching for an object, grooming, talking, or making or receiving a call while operating a vehicle. While these may seem like simple activities that take less than a minute, they make you lose your attention and focus on the road. Usually, an accident happens quite unexpectedly, so taking your eyes off the road for even a few seconds could be hazardous. You might cause a collision or have less time to react to another reckless motorist or passenger.
Crashes caused by distracted driving are also fully preventable. Hence, as much as possible, observe safety tips such as paying full attention while on the road and limiting possible distractions before you start operating your vehicle. For instance, ensure children and pets have their seatbelts on, loose items are secured, and side mirrors and seats are appropriately adjusted.
Furthermore, practice safe and responsible driving by not eating or holding food or drinks, not engaging in serious conversations with your passengers in the car, and avoiding using your phone while behind the wheel. You could also use technology to help you stay focused while on the road. For instance, you could use call, text, and email blocking applications.
Car safety features like automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assist (LKA), and forward-collision warning (FCW) could also assist you. AEB helps ensure that your car can engage its brakes automatically if the system senses a potential crash before you can react. LKA helps stop or steer your vehicle if it starts drifting out of a lane. The FCW feature, on the other hand, can warn you through a tactile, visual, or audible alert of a potential collision with another vehicle.
4. Road Defects
Potholes, malfunctioning traffic lights, missing guardrails, uneven pavements, poor drainage, and other road defects can also cause car accidents. Unfortunately, these are beyond a driver’s control. In most instances, these issues result from poor road maintenance or design by the relevant authorities.
Suppose you got yourself in an accident caused by road defects. You could sue an agency for the injuries or damages resulting from the crash. In this case, however, you’ll need a good lawyer to represent you.
On the other hand, prevention is still the best cure. And so, among the ways you can minimize the chances of accidents that road defects could cause is to always drive while sober and only operate your vehicle within the required speed limit. Avoiding distractions while on the road can also help lower the risk of such crashes.
By exercising care on your part, you can help reduce the risk of falling victim to car accidents due to poor road conditions.
Around the world, road accidents are believed to be among the leading causes of death. In this article, you’ve learned that some factors that can cause car crashes are fully preventable while others might not. For instance, road defects are beyond a vehicle operator’s control. However, careful driving can help one reduce the risk of a collision.
Some preventable causes of accidents are operating a vehicle while intoxicated, reckless driving, and not paying attention while on the road. As advised, avoiding all these and ensuring responsible driving is always best. This way, you can safeguard your life and the life of your passengers and other motorists and pedestrians on the road.