The Top Six Causes Of Car Accidents And How To Avoid Them

Posted on 28 June 2013 by Tony Santos

The Top Six Causes Of Car Accidents And How To Avoid Them

The United States is a nation of doers, and this is the reason why multi-tasking is common practiced nowadays. Between emails, phone calls and text messages, people are rushing to get things done easier, faster and more effectively, while wasting no spare time.

However, it is always important to slow down when it comes to driving a vehicle. The safety of the driver and the occupants is top priority. Additionally, thousands of avoidable car accidents occur every day. Many result in the serious injury or death of pedestrians, passengers and drivers. There are a number of causes of car accidents that if you can learn about them, you can avoid them!

First Cause: Distracted Drivers

Distracted driving is the main cause of road accidents in the United States. Eating, grooming, talking, texting and making phone calls are just a few ways that drivers get distracted behind the wheel. Research conducted by the American Automobile Association showed that 25 to 50 percent of motor vehicle accidents are caused by driver distraction. To avoid being distracted, drivers should do the following:

  • Use a cell phone only when not driving, and if you must be on a call while driving, setup your hands free device before you turn your car on.
  • Resist the temptation to eat while driving. Why not try to pull into a shaded area, maybe somewhere with a view, and enjoy your meal? If you’re going to be rushing, have some cereal bars handy. Don’t try to eat a bowl of cereal or a burger while driving, it’s just not safe!
  • Manage the music before traveling so you’re not looking through your playlist or CDs while behind the wheel.
  • Primp after or before a drive. If you need to wake up earlier to get the right look, plan accordingly.

Second Cause: Driver Fatigue

Drivers who are fatigued are involved in nearly 100,000 accidents annually in the U.S. This risk is greater between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. This is the time when many people are used to being asleep. However, a number of people also get drowsy from noon to 2 p.m. Some of the symptoms of driver fatigue include frequent yawning, heavy eyelids and misjudging traffic situations. To avoid being involved in an accident due to fatigue, drivers should do the following:

  • Don’t plan on driving if you’ll be drinking on the same day.
  • Avoid long drives after working a long day.
  • Pull over when a loss of concentration occurs. Grab some coffee and give yourself a chance to either energize or take a nap before getting back on the road.
  • Get a good night’s rest before going on a long trip.

Third Cause: Speeding

Speeding is one the most common causes of car accidents. The faster a vehicle goes, the harder for it is to stop. This is the reason why lower speed limits are imposed in busy pedestrian areas and school zones.

Reckless driving is also related to accidents. This is because the driver willfully disobeys traffic regulations. They also exhibit aggressive traffic tactics, like changing lanes without signaling for instance. To avoid accidents caused by speeding, individuals should do the following:

  • Always follow the speed limit.
  • Always maintain moderate speed when traveling, try using the cruise control to stay at a safe speed.
  • Always take ample time to reach a destination.
  • Always plan the route that will be taken to get to the destination on time.

Fourth Cause: Drunk Driving

In 2004 alone, it is estimated that nearly 16,654 individuals were killed in alcohol-related accidents. Every 53 minutes, an individual dies due to a drunk-driving crash. At the same time, one-third of this problem comes from repeat offenders. This includes crashes, deaths, injuries and arrests. Taking away their licenses is not enough. This is because 50 to 75 percent of them drive anyway. There are some ways to avoid accidents due to drunk driving:

  • Choose a designated driver.
  • Call a taxi.
  • Hide the keys from a person who is planning to get drunk.
  • Always drink responsibly.

Fifth Cause: Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving describes a way of driving where people behave in a manner that increases their chance of having an accident. They may drive so imprudently and recklessly that they can kill or injure a bystander and/or themselves. Some of the things that aggressive drivers do include: tailgating, excessive lane changing and speeding. To avoid being involved in accidents due to aggressive driving, people should do the following:

  • Keep an appropriate distance between your vehicle and the vehicles around you.
  • Remain calm. If you or someone you know gets road rage when behind the wheel, it may be time for some anger management.
  • Only change lanes if it is safe to do so, take your time.
  • Do not attempt to overtake illegally.
  • Maintain proper speed and ignore hostile gestures from other drivers who may suffer from road rage.

Sixth Cause: Drug Use

Drug use is frequently tied to car crashes. This is because some of these substances can alter driver perception and affects their capability to drive a vehicle. These substances include OTC drugs and illegal substances. To avoid getting into accidents due to the intake of these substances, people should do the following:

  • Avoid drugs that cause drowsiness when driving.
  • Read the drug label and follow warnings before consuming.
  • Have someone else drive if a person takes a drug that alters their concentration and consciousness.

Keeping these things in mind can help you be a good driver. If you can model good driving, people close to you will learn from you and help spread these good habits. Above all, it may help save lives.

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