The 7 Leading Causes of Road Accidents

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A road accident is the most unwanted thing that can happen to anyone, even though they happen often. And apart from new technological advances like adaptive headlights, backup cameras, and forward-collision avoidance systems, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that almost 36,560 people were killed in road accidents in 2018.

Also, most accident victims sustained injuries that required visiting medical institutions. So, whether the accident was minor or severe, it can affect a person’s life drastically. Accidents can lead to pain, suffering, and loss of salary or worse, a permanent disability.

That said, even if traffic accidents are common, you should not ignore them. The main cause of accidents is usually human error, however, other reasons include unsafe road design, poor road visibility, and mechanical errors.

The following are some common causes of road accidents:

1. Over speeding

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Many deadly collisions happen due to speeding. Speed is a natural human psyche to thrive, and from running late for work to keeping up with traffic, man can achieve infinity by speeding.

However, the road is something that is shared and you will always be behind or in front of another car. So, increasing your speed because you are running late doubles the risk of collisions and the severity of the aftermath. A speeding car is more susceptible to accidents than a slower one. In addition, a speeding car will have a severe impact in case of an accident.

That said, beware of your speed and always stay below the legal limits. In case of an accident, consult a personal injury lawyer like GibbsAndFuerst.com, whether you are injured or not. Your lawyer will give you sound legal advice, so you will be able to move forward with confidence.

2. Drunk driving

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Every day, driving under the influence of alcohol causes car accidents. Drunk driving, also known as impaired driving, involves drinking alcohol and operating a motor vehicle.

Motor vehicles aren’t just cars. Think motorcycles, commercial trucks, and bicycles. And according to the NHTSA, an estimated 10,265 people were killed in a collision resulting from drunk driving in 2015.

Also, in all the accident fatalities that year, more than 29 percent were alcohol-related.

In addition, every year, almost 1.5 million people are apprehended for DUIs. That said, drunk driving continues to be a grave public health and traffic safety problem for the whole nation.

To prevent drunk driving, it is advisable to find a designated driver, plan activities that don’t involve alcohol, and be responsible.

3. Reckless driving

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Most people are not aware but reckless driving is very dangerous. In fact, driving recklessly is not only a traffic violation but also a criminal offense. That said, the definition of reckless driving refers from one state to the other.

However, generally, reckless driving is driving a motor vehicle in vicious ignorance for the safety of road users and property. To be considered reckless, a driver must show something more than simple negligence in operating a motor vehicle.

Reckless driving can involve a lot of things, for instance:

  • Avoiding law enforcement
  • Racing other cars
  • Speeding
  • Running stop signs
  • Distracted driving
  • Intentionally refusing to give way  to other cars or pedestrians

4. Drowsiness or fatigue

Source: sleepfoundation.org

Because many people are suffering from sleep deprivation, and drowsiness is as dangerous as drunk driving, drowsiness and fatigue become another major contributor to driver inattention in the United States. That said, if you cannot stay focused and awake on the road, avoid getting behind the wheel.

Also, driving when fatigued doesn’t necessarily mean that you are driving at night. It means that you are tired, driving for a long-distance, or are driving at a time that you would be normally sleeping, for instance very early in the morning.

It is also vital to remember that lack of focus and tiredness can be a symptom of stress. So look out for signs of fatigue like yawning, heavy eyelids, difficulty concentrating, and when your eyes start to roll.

You can consult with the attorneys at Christensen Law to get help if you’ve been injured in a car accident.

5. Distracted driving

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According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each day, at least eight people in the U.S, are killed in accidents caused by a distracted driver. Nearly everyone has seen a driver using a cell phone, eating, or doing something else that requires them to take their hands off the wheel. You won’t realize that that driver is you when you are the one distracted.

Additionally, despite the common belief, the human brain is not able to concentrate on many tasks at the same time. So, when driving and talking on the phone or texting, your brain is switching between tasks and cannot focus on the road.

6. Poor road visibility

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When on the road, the most important factor is being able to see the front roadway, so without enough visibility, there is no way of knowing when to stop, slow down, or evade an obstacle.

That said, poor road visibility can be referred to as when the road is not visible at a certain distance due to hostile conditions like sun glare, rain, fog, dust, smoke, or low light. Everyone has been in a situation where the road can hardly be seen, whether driving at night or when it is heavily raining.

So, to avoid accidents that can be caused by poor road visibility, make sure that your car is well-maintained before you hit the road, know how and when to use your light, slow down, keep enough distance between you and the car in front of you, and take care of your eye health.

7. Tailgating

Source: driving.co.uk

Most drivers on the road are reckless and impatient; they tend to drive so closely behind other cars that if something happens, they will have no time to respond.

Also, most fatal car crashes have happened when a car is riskily tailing another driver at a high speed, so, you can prevent these collisions by giving the car in front of you enough time and space.

Bottom Line

Life is really worth living, so even before you hit the road, make sure that you tend to every task and have had enough sleep.

Be extra proactive by taking precautions and getting rid of everything that can take your mind and eyes off the road. Avoid tailgating, don’t drink and drive, and more importantly, do not speed.