While not every car accident is avoidable, there are things you can do on the road to help keep you and others around you safe. The more you know about car safety and common causes of car accidents, the better equipped you will be the next time you see something about to occur. You can learn how to stop car accidents and prevent them by staying safe and alert while driving. While some car accident causes are more obvious than others, like drinking and driving, you might be surprised at some other causes. Here are five common causes of a car accident and what you can do to help prevent car crashes in the future.
5 Common Car Crash Causes
You might think a car accident will never happen to you, but car crashes happen daily, so it is best to know the most common causes. Here are five common car crash causes.
Distracted driving is the most common cause of traffic accidents. Consider the number of distractions in front of us, from cell phones to touch screens built into the dashboard. So many things can distract you for even a moment, and all it takes is one second of your eyes off the road for an accident to occur. Many states in the US are tightening driving laws by restricting the use of cell phones while driving. Texting, playing music too loudly, and talking to backseat passengers can distract you from driving. Eating and drinking while driving can also distract you from staying safe and alert on the road.
Reckless driving refers to speeding, aggressive driving, tailgating, and swerving in and out of traffic. Whether you are running late for work or frustrated with a slow car in front of you, neither is worth getting into a car accident. Speed limits are there for a reason and help keep drivers safe, especially in high-traffic areas or near schools where pedestrian traffic increases. Remember that you’re not the only one with a place to be, and try to be courteous to other drivers while on the road. Speeding might not seem like a big deal, but the faster you go, the harder it becomes to slow down in time if a surprise or emergency happens.
Drunk driving is still one of the most common causes of car accidents in the US. However, it has moved out of the number one spot thanks to drunk driving campaigns and zero tolerance policies in certain counties and states. However, you should still stay vigilant for others on the road who might be inebriated. When someone is drunk, they tend to lose their ability to react quickly and effectively to a situation. Suddenly changing lanes or weaving in between the lanes could indicate that another driver is under the influence. And, of course, you should never get behind the wheel if you’ve had alcohol to drink. Always plan for a designated driver or call a ride-share service if you’ve been drinking and need a safe ride home.
You might not think driving while tired could lead to an accident, but it is unfortunately common. In fact, driving while you are tired can have the same effect as if you had been driving drunk. Tiredness and fatigue can negatively affect your judgment and slow your vision time. When you are drowsy, it can also impact your vision, and you might find your eyes drooping or have difficulty staying awake. Before you know it, you could lose concentration and drift off to sleep, putting you and others around you in serious danger. If you feel drowsy while behind the wheel, pull over and take time to rest before getting back on the road.
You have probably experienced bad weather while driving at least once. Perhaps a sudden downpour comes out of nowhere, or an eerie fog settles in one morning on your way to work. While you can’t always avoid driving in bad weather, you can practice safe driving. Drive slower than you normally would so you can better prepare for sudden issues, like hydroplaning or other drivers having difficulty in the bad weather. If pouring down rain starts to impair your vision, you may want to pull to the side of the road until the storm passes and visibility improves. If you live in areas where snow isn’t common, you might not be as prepared to handle snow and ice on the ground. Try to avoid driving in the snow or with ice on the ground, especially if you do not have a four-wheel drive vehicle or chains on your tires.
How to Prevent Car Accidents
While you can’t control what other drivers do around you, you can control how you respond to other cars on the road. Practice these safety tips to help prevent car accidents and keep you and your passengers safe while on the road.
Follow Traffic Rules
Traffic rules like red lights, stop signs, and speed limits exist for a reason, and you should always obey them. Running a red light or speeding can put you and others around you at risk.
Drive with Care
Remember that any passengers in your vehicle trust you to be a safe driver on the road. Practice safe driving and stay alert for any potential issues while on the road.
Stay in Your Lane
Always stay in your lane and use your turn signals when changing lanes or turning. If you veer too closely outside your lane, you risk putting yourself and other cars in danger.
Practice Defensive Driving
Take a class or watch a video on defensive driving tips you can practice while behind the wheel. Defensive driving techniques are designed to help reduce the likelihood of a car accident by helping you identify potential hazards and respond accordingly.
Invest in Regular Maintenance
Make sure you get regular oil changes and other routine car maintenance to ensure your vehicle’s safety.
Getting Treatment for Car Accident Injuries
If you do get into a car accident, visit a car accident chiropractor for a thorough examination, diagnosis, and treatment plan to help you recover. Visit Pro-Care Medical Centers near you to learn more about how our team of car accident doctors will support you through your healing and rehabilitation after a car wreck.