More than 6 million people are involved in car accidents every year, they’re happening all the time all around each of us. It goes without saying that no one wants to have these experiences or the consequences that follow.
And that’s why it’s so important to do everything you can to avoid any situation that might cause an accident. You can’t control everything on the road but you can control yourself and have a plan to handle unexpected things on the roadways. Preparing is half the battle in these situations.
Understanding the most common causes of car accidents is a great place to start to know where you can improve your driving habits.
- Distracted Driving
If you’ve been around and driving for the past decade or so, you’ve certainly seen the car accident statistics regarding distracted driving. They’re unbelievable and hard to swallow. And yet, a lot of us still participate in some of these behaviors.
Distracted driving includes using or talking on your cellphone, listening to loud music, putting on makeup, handing something to the back seat, or anything that takes your focus off the road for even a few seconds. Many drivers believe that they can handle the distractions with their skills but that’s simply not true.
Distracted driving is the leading cause of car accidents for a reason.
- Going Too Fast
A lot of kids dream of growing up and driving fast. It’s depicted in movies, books, and TV shows as something interesting, cool, experienced people do. But in reality, it’s extremely dangerous and should be avoided as much as possible.
For many new drivers, speed limits can seem like a bummer. But they’re actually very specifically designed to keep you, your passengers, and everyone else on the road as safe as possible. They take into account the surrounding area and how the road is configured to come up with the optimal speed for stopping and maneuvering as needed.
Going too fast leaves you with much less control over your vehicle than sticking within the legal limits.
- Poor Visibility
One of the first things you learn about driving safety is to continually monitor your visibility. Obviously, being able to see the road, other cars, and surroundings is an important aspect of avoiding car accidents.
Many people allow their windshields to become obstructed, often from snow or mud. Making sure you have good quality windshield wipers can help to avoid accidents that are caused by poor visibility and the inability to see something ahead of you. It’s also important to quit driving if the weather creates those situations where you can’t see well.
- Aggressive Behavior
Road rage is a very serious problem many drivers face. It’s easy to become frustrated by the other drivers on the road and begin to allow your driving to reflect those feelings.
In the times we’re in, this is more true than ever with many people experiencing higher emotions in their daily lives due to the pandemic. If you experience a car accident during COVID-19, you are definitely not alone.
- Poor Technique
A lot of drivers take driving for granted and forget that it’s a very specific skill set that has to be refined and worked on. Not everyone is a naturally good driver.
Oftentimes these poor driving techniques that turn into habits can end up causing car accidents down the road. Things like not checking your blind spot before merging into the other lane or not using your turn signals don’t seem like a big deal when you get away with them but can cause major problems when you don’t.
It’s important to always drive with proper technique to ensure the safest ride possible.
- Mental Impairment
An easy answer to the question of how to avoid car accidents is to make sure that you always have a clear mind before you even start the vehicle.
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol greatly impairs your ability to process what’s happening on the road around you. These things can also slow down your reaction times, which will cause its own set of problems.
The best thing you can do to avoid this situation is to make a commitment up front to never drive while you’re impaired in any way, it’s never worth it.
- Driver Fatigue
Another form of driving impaired happens when the driver is overly tired or drowsy behind the wheel. It happens to everyone and gets justified away more often than not.
But driving while tired is a serious risk and should be avoided as much as possible.
When you’re feeling this way, your brain can’t function at its full capacity. That means you’ll have similar issues as you would if a substance was involved as well. It puts you at risk of making an error that could cause serious harm to you or others. It’s better to pull over and take a short nap or wait until you feel rested enough to go on.
- Road Design
Sometimes the road itself can be blamed for a car accident. There are some roads that almost seem to be inviting car wrecks based on their design and the flow of traffic.
In these instances, it’s important to stay as vigilant as you can to avoid the issues involved in the road. This is especially important on a road you travel often. It’s easy to become complacent while driving a familiar route and fall into a trap of a poorly designed road.
Most Common Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents often cause a lot of physical, mental, and financial distress to everyone involved. The consequences of a bad car accident can last for a lifetime, everyone knows someone who is proof of that.
When you have a good view of the most common causes of car accidents, you’re better prepared to be a responsible, cautious driver. You will make the roads you travel a safer place for you and the drivers around you as well.
If you’re interested in learning more about cars and automotive safety, check out our other articles today!