What are the Main Causes of Car Accidents?
Keep both hands on the wheel, eyes straight ahead, and your mind on the road. That’s all you must do to be a good driver and avoid an accident, right? Well, maybe not. In fact, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Not to mention that not everything is within your control.
There are so many things out there that can distract us or other drivers and cause us to end up in a crash. It doesn’t mean that you’re not a good driver, but you can’t account for what’s happening in everyone else’s vehicles. So, what should you be on the lookout for?
What causes most car accidents?
Distractions: The most common cause of vehicle crashes is distracted driving. There are so many things that can cause a driver’s eyes and mind to wander. There are three major types of distractions. The first is the kind that takes your eyes off the road, such as looking down to change the radio station or adjust the air conditioning. The second is the type of distraction that takes your mind off the road, such as daydreaming or talking to your passengers. The last one is taking your hand off the wheel. If you’re reaching for something you dropped or trying to eat or drink, that’s the type of distraction that fits this category. One of the worst types of distracted driving is texting and driving because it involves all three. It takes your mind and eyes off the road, as well as your hands off the wheel.
Speeding: Driving too fast is one of the biggest causes of accidents on the road. When a speeding driver caused a car accident, it’s even more likely that a fatality occurred. While many drivers don’t think twice about hovering above the speed limit, they’re not only breaking the law, but they’re also putting themselves at a much greater risk of losing control. It’s a lot harder to stop or slow down if a sudden obstacle, such as a deer crossing the road, pops up. Even just a few miles faster than the posted speed limit can increase the risk of an accident.
Drinking and Driving: Drunk driving is a common cause of vehicle crashes and an even bigger risk on weekend nights and holidays. When drivers are impaired by alcohol, their ability to pay attention, focus, and quickly respond is slowed down. The easiest way to avoid an accident if you’ve been drinking is to have a designated driver. Someone who isn’t drinking should have your car keys and be responsible for getting you home safe. That’s keeping everyone else on the roads safe, too. If you don’t have a designated driver, take a taxi, or use a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft.
Reckless Driving: Certainly, road rage and everything that causes it would fit into this category. Switching lanes without looking to see if it is clear, tailgating, and running red lights are all examples of reckless driving. Both speeding and drunk driving can play a role in reckless driving. The bottom line: The reckless driver doesn’t really care about anyone else on the road, and that’s dangerous.
Bad Weather: This one might be the most obvious. If it is raining, storming, or snowing, you could be at risk for a car accident. It may not feel like a dangerous situation if you’re just encountering a little rain, but don’t be fooled. The beginning of a rainstorm can bring oil up to the surface of the road causing hazardous slick patches. Heavy rain can impact visibility, making it difficult for a driver to see the lines on the road or even the drivers around him. Fog and snow can also be issues for driver visibility. Snow and ice present hazardous conditions, especially on untreated roads.
If you’ve been involved in a vehicle accident for any reason, contact us at Jeff Martin Law today to see if we can help.