Car accidents often result in life-changing injuries, property damage and even fatalities. Even if you conduct yourself responsibly behind the wheel, you may find yourself in a serious accident if you encounter a negligent driver.
That is why every driver must understand the common causes of car accidents to reduce their risk.
Distracted driving occurs when drivers divert their attention from the road, usually by using their phones, eating or adjusting the radio. To avoid accidents caused by distraction, it is important to stay focused on driving at all times. For example, secure your phone so that it is not accessible while driving.
Excessive speeding not only increases accident risk but can also worsen any injuries that result. When drivers exceed the speed limit or drive too fast for road conditions, they have less time to react to unexpected situations. Keep in mind that the posted speed limit is for ideal road conditions, which means you must slow down in bad weather.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs a driver’s judgment, reflexes and decision-making ability. Accordingly, motorists must never get behind the wheel if they feel impaired in any way. Drivers should instead designate a sober driver, take public transportation or use a ride-sharing service.
Disregarding traffic signals
Traffic signals are there to ensure the smooth flow of vehicles. When motorists disregard traffic signals, they put all other drivers at risk. Even if you have the right of way, you must ensure the intersection is clear before proceeding.
Fatigued driving can be as dangerous as driving under the influence. Lack of sleep impairs your reaction time and decision-making skills, much like alcohol and drugs. To prevent accidents due to fatigue, get an adequate amount of rest before long drives and take regular breaks during your journey.
New drivers, especially teenagers, are more likely to make errors on the road. If you have a new driver in the family, encourage them to take additional driving courses and gain experience under various conditions to improve their skills.
As reported by Forbes, most of the U.S. saw a rise in fatal car crashes between 2020 and 2021. While you cannot always avoid accidents, being aware of the most hazardous behaviors can reduce your risk of experiencing one.