According to recent statistics, approximately six million auto accidents occur on America’s roads each and every year, leaving countless people injured and causing many untimely deaths as well. These accidents can happen anywhere, at any time of day or night, from big-city environments to quiet rural roads, and there are many different causes that may be to blame when an accident occurs.
Some crashes and collisions are caused by drunk drivers, others are caused by bad weather, and there are plenty of other possible causes too. By knowing more about these causes and the risks you may face whenever you get behind the wheel, you can help yourself be better prepared to deal with the dangers of the road and avoid accidents yourself. This guide will introduce you to some of the most common auto accident causes.
According to lawampm.com, speeding is a major factor in a large percentage of auto accidents, with many drivers failing to follow the speed limits that are designed to keep people safe and reduce the risk of crashes and collisions. Too often, drivers simply ignore these limits or feel that the rules don’t apply to them, and many people admit to speeding because they think that it isn’t a big deal or argue that the limits are arbitrary.
In reality, speed limits are established and evaluated by experts and designed to make the roads as safe as possible. Going above them can put yourself and others around you in danger, and the logic behind this is simple; the faster you drive, the harder it can be to slow down, stop, or change course to avoid hazards ahead, resulting in a higher likelihood of crashes and collisions.
Reckless driving is also an oft-cited cause of car accidents, and recklessness can be seen in many forms on the roads. Speeding, as described in the previous point, can be classed as an example of reckless driving, for example. Reckless drivers may also fail to use their mirrors and turn signals, or they might ignore stop signs or drive in dangerous ways, swerving from lane to lane without any care or regard for those around them.
Recklessness is therefore one of the most common causes of car accidents, and countless drivers can be accused of driving recklessly at one time or another. Even the simplest oversight, such as not checking your mirrors before you change lanes on the highway, can be classed as a reckless act and could cause a nasty accident. This is why it’s so vital to always remember the fundamentals of safe driving and keep your focus on the roads.
3. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is another serious issue that needs to be taken seriously, causing countless accidents, deaths, and injuries every single year, both in the United States and elsewhere around the world. A simple definition of distracted driving is when a driver allows themselves to get distracted by something, taking their concentration away from the road so that they don’t notice or respond to a hazard or dangerous situation ahead.
For example, a driver might get distracted by their phone and fail to notice the car in front of them stopping. They might then not have enough time to respond when they look back up, resulting in a rear-end collision with the car ahead. There are many possible distractions in and around your vehicle, but it’s important to avoid them and keep 100% of your concentration on the roads if you want to avoid accidents.
4. Alcohol and Drugs
A lot of auto accidents can also be linked to drugs or alcohol in some way, with countless drivers making the mistake of getting behind the wheel while under the influence of these substances. Drunk or intoxicated drivers can be immensely dangerous, as they have slow reaction times, poor decision-making abilities, and a general lack of control over their vehicles.
Each day, statistics show that approximately 29 people will die in the United States in crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers, and countless Americans admit to drinking and driving, even while knowing the risks. Even getting behind the wheel after one beer or glass of wine can be a terrible decision, and it’s always best to find other options, like picking a friend as a designated driver, to avoid these kinds of situations in your life.
5. Road or Weather Conditions
It’s also possible for poor road conditions or bad weather to play a part in causing accidents as well. Poorly-maintained roads, for example, can have cracks and potholes. These aren’t just cosmetic issues; they can be real dangers too, as hitting a pothole at high speed could cause a tire to blow out, which can lead to a driver completely losing control of their vehicle.
The weather can also be dangerous. When it rains, for example, drivers are encouraged to slow down and keep greater distances between their own cars and other vehicles around them, as slippery road surfaces lead to higher brake times. Driving in ice and snow can also increase your chances of having a crash or collision due to unexpected skids.
If you’ve been driving for a long period of time or are driving at night, it’s really important to take breaks now and then and give yourself a chance to rest. Otherwise, you may end up in an accident caused by your own tiredness. When drivers get tired, they can be slower to react to things like traffic lights, stop signs, and cars around them; this makes accidents likelier to occur.
There are even situations in which drivers fall asleep at the wheel and have no control over their cars, causing them to drive off the road entirely. This can happen for various reasons, from overworking to driving for too long without a rest or even as a side effect of medication you may be taking. To avoid such problems, always take breaks and don’t drive if you feel sleepy.
There are many possible causes of auto accidents, as this list shows, and it’s important for all drivers to make efforts to stay safe and set a good example for others to follow.