8 Extremely Common Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents are not going anywhere. More than 42,300 Americans died in car accidents in 2020. That’s up from 39,107 deaths in 2019.
These statistics may be scary, but you shouldn’t feel helpless. If you study the major causes of car accidents, you can take straightforward steps to keep yourself from getting hurt.
What are the most common car accident causes? How should you adjust your driving to prevent accidents? What should you do to prevent distractions or medical problems on the road?
Answer these questions and you can avoid car accident injuries for decades to come. Here are eight major causes of car accidents.
The faster you drive, the more space you need to stop your vehicle. Traveling at 60 miles per hour means you need more than 120 feet to stop your car. By the time you realize you need to hit the brakes, you may get into an accident.
You should always drive below the speed limit. It’s okay to go over so you can pass vehicles or avoid dangerous situations, but keep your foot near the brake and bring your speed down as soon as possible. If you’re worried about exceeding the limit, you can put your vehicle on cruise control.
Drinking one beer can impair your vision, reflexes, and decision-making abilities. Never drive after you have consumed alcohol, even if you don’t feel impaired. Your blood alcohol level can rise above legal limits while you are driving and cause problems.
You should also avoid driving a car after you take medication. Many medications cause drowsiness and blurred vision. Wait for at least an hour until the side effects pass before you start driving.
3. Medical Problems
Sleep deprivation can have the same effects as alcohol. If you are feeling tired while you are driving, you should find a rest stop and take a nap. If you must drive while you are sleep deprived or tired, you should go slowly and stay off of major roads.
Anxiety and panic attacks can occur while you are driving, particularly when you encounter angry or dangerous drivers. If you start to feel the symptoms of an anxiety attack, you should pull over and perform some deep breathing techniques. Talk to a car accident doctor to learn about techniques you can use.
4. Inclement Weather
Rain and snow create slick roads, which make it harder for you to stop your vehicle. You should drive well below the speed limit, and you should start to brake as soon as you notice an obstacle in your way. Use your windshield wipers to remove any rain or snow on your windshield.
You should install snow tires on your car before the winter begins. If you don’t have snow tires, you can wrap chains around your tires to give you a better grip on the road.
5. Dangerous Road Conditions
Many roads have abrupt or sharp turns, which can cause your vehicle to flip over or slide into objects. If you have to make a sudden turn, ease into the turn and reduce your speed instead of turning the wheel quickly. Once you’re out of the turn, you should ease your steering wheel toward the center.
As you are going up a hill, you should put your foot on the accelerator so you have enough speed to overcome gravity. But as soon as you reach the top, you should scan your surroundings and ease your foot off the accelerator. If you maintain the same speed, you risk colliding with objects on the other side of the hill.
6. Cell Phones
While you are talking on your phone or texting, you are not paying attention to the road. Do not drive with a cell phone in your hand. You can keep it in your pocket, in the glove box, or in a compartment on the door.
If you get a call, you should not answer it, even if you have a hands-free device. Wait until you can pull over and then take a look at your phone.
7. Conversations With Passengers
Many types of auto accidents occur while the driver is talking with someone else in their car. It’s okay to say something briefly to a passenger. But the more you talk to them, the more distracted you can be, and the worse your car safety is.
Do not turn your head or avert your eyes to look at someone in your car. You can miss obstacles around your vehicle. If you need something, ask your passenger to hand it to you while you are at a red light.
8. Broken Parts
Your brake pads can wear out after a few years, especially if you live in a city and stop frequently at red lights. Even a little wear on your brakes can make it harder for you to prevent accidents. Get an inspection of your brakes every year and get them fixed if they show any signs of damage.
Your engine can become clogged or overheated, which can result in a total breakdown on the road. Make sure you are using the right engine oil and stock your engine with coolant.
The Major Causes of Car Accidents
There are many causes of car accidents you need to be aware of. Stay below the speed limit and keep away from alcohol or drugs before you drive. Pull over whenever you feel tired or if it becomes too rainy or snowy.
Remain attentive to changing road conditions, especially abrupt turns. Never talk on the phone and keep conversations with passengers to a minimum. Maintain your car with regular inspections and fixes at repair shops.
These tips are mere essentials. You must keep studying good defensive driving tips to stay safe. Read more driving guides by following our coverage.