Legal Guide

3 Common Causes of Car Accidents and How to Steer Clear of Them

Did you know there are north of 5 million vehicle accidents each year in the U.S.? While they’re called “accidents,” the reality is that fender benders usually result from poor driving habits. 

Even if you’re a defensive driver who keeps enough distance between you and others, accelerates responsibly, and leaves enough room for evasive maneuvers, all it’ll take to create problems is one lousy driver. So, all you can do is increase your chances of avoiding car accidents, and that’s worth the effort.

But have you ever wondered about the most common causes of car accidents? 

Here are three of them and some tips on how to avoid problems.

1. Distracted Driving

Around 3,000 people die because of distracted driving annually. It’s an unfortunate statistic when considering how unnecessary it is. Driving is the only thing you should focus on when behind the wheel. Keep an eye on the road, maintain a safe distance from other cars, and don’t allow other things to absorb your attention.

Consider, too, that taking your eye off the road for a mere five seconds while traveling at 55 miles per hour is equal to traveling the distance of a football field without looking. 

If you’re driving with passengers, that’s not the time to engage in unnecessary chatter. You’ll also want to avoid fiddling with the radio or climate control buttons, and don’t eat or drink while driving. Again, when driving, focus on the task at hand. Everything else can wait.

2. Aggressive Driving

Many drivers operate like they own the road. But driving too fast, making hasty lane changes, tailgating other cars, or exercising other antisocial behavior on the road can increase the risks of accidents that hurt or kill drivers and pedestrians. When driving, you need to relax and respect others on the road. Aggressive driving is never a good idea. It boosts the risks of major issues.

If you drive aggressively to get to work, consider leaving house earlier so there’s no need to drive like a speed demon. Since aggressive driving is a primary cause of accidents on the roads and highways, you must get a grip and drive responsibly to lessen the odds of causing accidents.

3. Impaired Driving

While anyone with a driver’s license has been warned not to drink and drive, the message seems to go in one ear and out the other for some people. Drinking too much alcohol can cloud judgment, slow reaction times, and make a driver incapable of safely operating their car. 

If you’re out with friends and consume alcohol, get a ride home from someone who didn’t drink, call someone to pick you up, or book a ride with a cab or rideshare service. There’s no good reason to get behind the wheel of your car when under the influence.

When impaired drivers get into accidents, the results can be tragic for themselves, other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, and property. If you’re going to drink, don’t drive. It’s that simple.

These are some of the causes of car accidents. Distracted driving, aggressive driving, and impaired driving are behaviors drivers can avoid if they behave responsibly on the road. Many problems can be fixed if people resolve to treat driving like a privilege rather than a right.

If you’re ever involved in a car accident, the first thing to do is contact a car accident lawyer. Even the best driving habits can only reduce, rather than eliminate, the chances of accidents. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may need to take time off work, seek medical assistance, and attend physiotherapy appointments. A car accident lawyer can help you get the compensation and medical care you deserve so that you can get back on your feet.

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