The United States has one of the highest rates of death by car accidents in the developed world with almost 90 people dying in wrecks each day. If you don’t want to be one of them you need to learn about some causes of car accidents.
By identifying some common car accident causes you can learn what to look out for on the road. Car accident injuries and deaths are avoidable most of the time if you drive safely and know what behaviors to avoid.
Here are some of the most common causes of car accidents that you need to be aware of. Read on so that you can keep your family safe on the road and know what to do if you get in a wreck.
Alcohol is involved in at least 28% of all crash fatalities. Drunk driving kills people and ruins lives. It can be easy to spot a drunk driver as they often drive erratically or swerve from lane to lane. If you suspect a drunk driver, call 911.
Never drive drunk yourself and make sure to intervene if any of your friends attempt to drive under the influence. The blood alcohol limit for drunk drivers is .08% which is usually a drink or two in one hour for most people.
Drivers Impaired by Other Substances
Alcohol isn’t the only substance that causes car accidents on the roads of America, other drugs can do as much damage and account for plenty of accidents. Marijuana in particular causes many accidents nationwide.
Prescription pills and illegal substances such as methamphetamine or heroin can alter users’ minds and make them drive unsafe. Officers crack down on substance abusers but you should stay vigilant on the roads to avoid them.
Cell Phone Use
Cell phone use such as texting or talking while driving leads to plenty of accidents each day. Looking away from the road only for a few seconds can lead to a deadly accident if you are traveling at a high speed.
Never text while driving and if you must answer the phone make sure you are communicating using a hands-free device. Headsets and BlueTooth are two great ways to talk while operating a vehicle.
Driving While Tired
If you start to get sleepy while driving it is time to pull over and take a brief nap. Long road trips in particular are risky for fatigue to set in. Long haul truckers are often victims of falling asleep at the wheel.
If you notice a truck around you swerving, driving bad, or drifting into your lane they may be tired. Slow down and give them plenty of room as you don’t want to have to learn more about why getting in a truck accident is bad.
Behavioral Causes of Car Accidents
When somebody loses their cool behind the wheel and starts driving dangerously this is known as road rage. Oftentimes people enter into a fit of road rage if they feel as if another driver wronged them.
Your best bet to avoid road rage-related car accidents is to always drive defensively. In addition, don’t cut people off or tailgate them as these behaviors lead to road rage if people feel threatened.
Rain, snow and ice storms can wreak havoc on road conditions and lead to serious accidents. Many drivers don’t have any experience driving in snowy or icy conditions and can be major hazards on the roads during bad weather.
If you aren’t confident in your abilities to drive during inclement weather or lack the equipment, don’t put yourself in harm’s way. Wait until the weather clears until you take to the roads if you want to avoid risk.
Speeding not only causes accidents, but the severity of accidents tends to increase with the speed of vehicles involved. A car crash at 75mph will be much more devastating than one at 30mph.
Always obey posted speed limits and avoid accelerating or decelerating too fast. If you notice somebody speeding try to get out of their way so they don’t cause harm to you or other vehicles. Let the police handle speeders.
Distracted and Inattentive Drivers
From that beautiful coastal view to that unexpected sun glare, driving distractions come in many forms. You need to stay focused while driving and avoid getting complacent or distracted.
If you notice somebody in front of you displaying signs of distracted driving, slow down and give them a wide berth. They may veer into oncoming traffic so be prepared to make a split-second decision and stay vigilant.
When your vehicle breaks down during a drive you are faced with a dangerous situation. Anything from a tire blowing out to your engine seizing up can cause a dangerous accident. Catastrophic incidents like losing a wheel can be worse.
Keep your car well-maintained and take it to the mechanic to be inspected often to avoid catastrophic vehicle breakdowns. If you blow a tire or have a vehicle error, slow down and pull to the side of the road.
What to Do After a Car Accident
After a car accident, you should remove yourself from harm’s way and call emergency services. Check to see what condition the other driver is in as well. If they can exchange insurance information do so at this time.
Never admit fault at the scene of an accident. Your next step is hiring a lawyer to help guide you through the post-accident phase. A good lawyer will provide you with instructions on what to do next following your accident.
Remain Safe and Vigilant on the Road
Knowing the common causes of car accidents is an important part of avoiding them. You can drive safer now that you know what to look out for on the road. If you stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings you should do great.
Use the information in this guide to help you identify hazardous drivers and maintain your safety on the road. Make sure you cultivate your driving habits to steer clear of these behaviors too.
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