Top five causes of car crashes
Although we deal with various types of personal injury accidents in our practice, many of our clients are victims of car crashes. With this in mind, we thought it important to describe the top five causes of car crashes, in an effort to create awareness about how to avoid them. In truth, most motor vehicle accidents can be avoided by being a thoughtful, attentive and defensive driver.
Top five causes of car crashes and how to avoid them
1. Inattentive or Distracted Driving: The American Automobile Association (AAA) reports that driver inattention or distraction is the cause of 25-50 percent of all motor vehicle accidents in the U.S.
Distracted driving encompasses many different types of inattentive driving behaviors including texting and driving, talking on a cell phone, eating and drinking, changing the radio stations, putting in a CD, rubbernecking, putting on makeup, reading, reaching for something, and being distracted by passengers.
2. Driver Fatigue: Drowsy driving and falling asleep at the wheel is responsible for over 100,000 accidents annually. Such accidents usually occur between 11 p.m. and 8 p.m. and again from noon to 2 p.m.
Protect yourself and others from drowsy driving by following these tips.
If you are going on a long trip, leave in the morning, after a refreshing night’s sleep, and not after a long, tiring day at work.
It helps to stay alert by taking a short break from driving every 2 hours.
Certain medications can make you sleepy. Do not take them if you need to drive.
Alternate driving responsibilities with another driver.
3. Drunk Driving: Drunk drivers are responsible for the deaths of an estimated 10,874 people in 2017. The National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 29% of the total traffic accident fatalities in the same year.
The best way to prevent driving drunk is a no-brainer. Don’t drink and drive, don’t ride with a drunk driver, and insist on a designated driver, if you are going to be drinking.
4. Excessive Speed: Excessive speed is responsible for approximately the same number of deaths (27%) as drunk driving is. Speed creates a greater potential for loss of vehicle control and reduces the effectiveness of occupant protection equipment, such as seat belts and air bags. It also increases the degree of crash severity. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) states that when a driver increases his or her speed from 40 to 60 mph, the energy in a crash more than doubles.
We all know that speed kills. Take your time, don’t be in a hurry, don’t exceed the speed limit and stay patient.
5. Road Rage and Aggressive Driving: It really does seem like everyone is in a hurry these days. This can lead to aggressive driving and aggressive driving can lead to reckless driving and car crashes. Aggressive driving and road rage driving behaviors include frequent lane changes, tailgating, physical and verbal assaults, obscene gesturing, disregarding traffic laws, light flashing, and sudden, deliberate breaking.
To avoid an accident, steer clear of an angry or aggressive driver; if you in the fast lane, move to one on the right; keep a safe distance; and don’t pass unnecessarily. It is also very important that you not respond in kind. Stay cool and calm and drive safely.
Hopefully, knowing the top five causes of car crashes, you will be able to avoid a traffic accident and arrive at your destination safely.
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If you have any questions about this topic or any other questions related to personal injury law, please call us at 920-725-8464, or toll free at 1-800-529-1552. Our personal injury consultations are always free.
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