Car accidents are not to be taken lightly. In 2009 alone, there were 10.8 million car accidents reported in the United States, and over 35,000 deaths from those accidents! Many of the ways people get into car accidents can be avoided, and the best way to avoid them is to learn what they are so that you can stay sharp while behind the wheel. Below are the top 7 causes for car accidents in America:
1) Disobeying Road Signs
Drivers who make right turns on red lights when they aren’t supposed to or make a left when they don’t have the right of way put drivers in danger. Many drivers are also unaware of what to do when a traffic light is flashing or is not working. Always look around for oncoming traffic before making a turn even if you have right of way.
2) Excessive Speed
Driving too fast for the road conditions can make it impossible to stop if another driver stops in front of you. Trying to speed through a red light or a stop sign is another easy way to cause an accident.
3) Bad Roads
Road conditions can play a role in a car accident. A car that slips on a patch of ice could go careening right off of the highway. Wet roads are also conducive to hydroplaning or otherwise losing control and crashing into another car.
4) Bad Weather
Your windshield wipers don’t always do the best job clearing heavy rain or snow from your windshield. Ice or fog can easily collect on your windows if your heating or cooling system isn’t working within your car. During humid, rainy or snowy days, seeing the car in front of you can be extremely difficult.
5) Faulty Brakes
You won’t be able to stop your car if your brakes don’t work. If you are driving down a hill, you are at the mercy of gravity to stop you before you run into a car or a pedestrian. If you notice that your brakes are failing, pump them continuously to increase friction until your car slows down.
6) Driver Impairment
Drunk driving increases your chances of getting into an accident. The same is true if you are driving on little to no sleep. Smoking marijuana or doing other drugs before getting behind the wheel also makes it more likely that you will cause a car accident. This is because you will not be paying attention to road signs or the actions of fellow motorists. A good deterrent to driving impaired in the first place would be to think of the costs associated with getting a DUI or DWI. Think not only of the immediate impact, but of things like getting your auto insurance back, you’ll need an SR22 proof of insurance, and all of those things add up quick!
7) Distracted Driving
Small children can be distracting to their parents driving them to preschool or to the park. Teenagers are known for using their cell phones or focusing on their friends instead of the road. Adults love to eat in the car on the way to work. Unfortunately, these distractions make is harder to focus on the road. Distracted drivers are more likely to get into a crash because they are not paying attention.
There is nothing fun about getting into a car accident. The next time you get behind the wheel, make sure that you are focused and alert. If you have been drinking, doing drugs or have not slept in the past 24 hours, do not drive. You are putting your fellow motorists in danger as well as any pedestrians who may be crossing the streets that you are driving on.