Car accidents are sadly very common across the world, and most of the time are down to human error.
The ramifications of a car accident are far reaching, unfortunately, fatalities are fairly common, and this will have long lasting effects.
The other results of car accidents are car insurance prices increasing, which in this time of economic downturn, no one wants to see.
Let’s have a look at some of the most common causes of car accidents, and how you can try to avoid them
This is probably the top reason for automobile accidents, but what exactly is it?
Distracted driving, is as exactly as it sounds, when the driver’s attention moves away from the task at hand; driving with their full attention.
Distraction can be a manual cause, when you physically move your hands away from the wheel, such as to get a drink. It can be a visual distraction, when you move your eyes away from the road, when searching for a radio station, or it can be cognitive, this means your attention is not on the road, such as daydreaming.
Using a mobile phone is one of the biggest forms of distraction, and involves all three of the above types of distraction. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking on the phone, or sending a text message, both are equally dangerous.
Using a mobile phone whilst driving is illegal in most places now, but if it is not illegal where you live, it is still important to recognise that a phone should never be used at the wheel.
Some cars have the availability to connect their phone to the radio system, so you can talk hands free, whilst this is safer, it is still a distraction, and should be used at a minimum.
You may think you are not distracted, but it only takes a moment of distraction, which can cause hesitancy in your decision making to cause a crash, which could be fatal.
The rate of distraction accidents is higher with younger people, so always discuss with them the need to be fully focused on the road whilst driving.
Breaking The Speed Limit
We all know we should not be breaking the speed limit whilst we are driving, and yet many of us still do it.
The speed limits on a road are there for a reason, the road will have been analyzed by the local authorities, and they have come up with the safest top speed for that specific stretch of highway.
The speed limit is the top speed anyone should be driving, and it does not mean that you have to drive that fast. If you feel that you should be driving slower, then drive slower.
Speeding causes many hundreds of accidents each year, sometimes with disastrous results.
Many people assume that speeding will get them to their destination more quickly than sticking to the speed limit, but this is simply not true.
If you are traveling at 10mph over the speed limit, you will reach your destination approximately one minute faster than if you were sticking to the limit, it’s simply not worth it.
In a 30mph zone, if you hit a pedestrian, there is an 80% chance they will live. If you hit the same person at 40mph, there is an 80% chance they will die. This is an incredibly sobering thought and a strong reason as to why you should be sticking to the speed limit.
If you are involved in a collision, you will more than likely be contacted by a car accident lawyer, and this is incredibly scary. It is better to be safe.
Driving Whilst Intoxicated
Driving when you have been drinking is an incredibly irresponsible thing to do. We have been fully educated on the risks of doing this and yet hundreds and thousands of drivers continue to do this every year.
Drunk driving is another of the most common causes of vehicle accidents across the United States and often results in fatalities.
Each state has a different maximum alcohol limit that you can consume and still be safe to drive, however it is much more sensible to not drink anything at all if you are going to be drinking.
People will say that they know how they feel on a certain amount of alcohol and that they are fine to drive, but this is simply not true.
Even after a small amount of alcohol, you may feel absolutely fine, but your reaction times and decision-making skills will be impaired, causing you to not be able to react so quickly if a collision is imminent.
If you are going out to an event where alcohol is available, and you do not trust yourself to not drink, then don’t drive there. Arrange for a life with a friend, a taxi, or public transport to get home.
If you have driven somewhere, and you do drink, do not drive home. Tell the homeowner, or bar staff that you will be leaving your car there and it will be collected when you are sober.
A common mistake is that people will get drunk, go to bed for a few hours and then drive home thinking they are fine to drive. Many people get caught out this way. Alcohol takes much longer to exit your system than you think. You should leave it a full twenty-four hours between drinking, and even considering driving.
Even if you don’t cause an accident whilst drunk driving, if you are caught, you could lose your license, and sometimes even your job. It’s not worth it.
These are the most common causes of car accidents, although there are others, including reckless driving, driving in bad weather, night driving, feeling drowsy, and not obeying the rules of the road.
Driving as fun for most of us, and an everyday occurrence which can lead to complacency as to how dangerous that 1.5-ton piece of machinery is, and the damage it can cause.
Be safe when you are driving, make sure you are alert and not distracted, and if you ever feel you are not in a condition for driving, then don’t.
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