In 2019, 36,096 people died in 33,244 motor vehicle crashes in the US. Auto accidents not only put the driver at risk but put many other people’s lives in danger as well.
The causes of auto accidents can vary widely. Let’s take a look at the most common causes of car accidents and see what to do if you are involved in one.
Distracted driving has been a problem for a long time. Looking away from the road at another object can cause not only the head, but the whole body to turn. This can create a dangerous situation that can lead to crashes.
People who use their cell phones and smartphones while driving have made distracted driving an even bigger problem. They call or text while driving, believing they can effectively multitask. However, the brain cannot fully focus on either task, making it difficult to react while driving.
Other people are distracted by eating or grooming themselves. Even daydreaming or in-car distractions such as changing the radio can cause the mind to lose focus enough to make driving dangerous.
If you need to complete a task before you get to your destination, pull over to a safe spot while you do it. The additional risk caused by distracted driving is not worth it.
Driving in a Compromised Condition
Drunk driving is the most common cause of DUI crashes and is one that can be prevented. But, using other drugs is also considered driving under the influence, including marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, among others.
Even prescription pills can cause conditions, such as drowsiness, that can make driving dangerous.
Driver fatigue can be a problem even if it is not caused by drugs. Being tired can cause serious accidents, especially at night. In fact, being tired while driving can be just as dangerous as driving drunk.
If you are under the influence of a substance or even feeling fatigued, wait to drive. You can call a taxi or a friend instead of driving.
People speed every day for many reasons. Maybe they are late for work or rushing to get somewhere due to an emergency. Unfortunately, speeding is one of the major car accident causes.
You have less control the faster your vehicle moves. If there is an unexpected situation, you may not have enough control over the vehicle to prevent an accident. These accidents can lead to death or injuries such as whiplash or concussions.
Make sure you always drive within the speed limit. It is there to protect you and others on the road.
Reckless driving is an easy way to cause a major car accident. Speeding is just one example of reckless driving, but there are other reckless actions people take on the road.
People may ignore stop signs and red lights or brake or speed up suddenly. Others may not stay in their own lane or make u-turns where it isn’t legal. Being aggressive or taking curves sharply and quickly or taking actions without indicator signals are also reckless actions.
It’s very important to be predictable and calm while driving. You should also be aware that others may drive recklessly as well. Maintain a safe following distance so that you have time to react to reckless driving from others.
Weather can make road conditions dangerous for many reasons. Rain, snow, and ice reduce traction and make slipping a concern. Potholes can be hidden by snow. Fog or precipitation can cause reduced visibility. Even nighttime driving can be hazardous.
Even though you can’t control the weather, you can control how you drive in different weather conditions. Always drive slowly in uncertain conditions. You should also make sure you are fully focused on driving.
Road and Vehicle Defects
Unmaintained roads may cause tires to pop or deflate, making it harder to brake adequately. Or a large pothole can cause you to lose temporary control of the vehicle. Sometimes parts of your car can malfunction.
While these may not seem like major causes of concern, they can cause auto accidents. Always make sure your car is in road-ready condition and try to watch for road hazards as best as you can.
What to Do if You Are in an Accident
It’s important to do everything you can to avoid an auto accident. Unfortunately, they do still occur. After an accident occurs, it is important to know how you should react.
The first thing to do is to make sure you get yourself and any other drivers or passengers to an area of safety. Try to get off a busy road if at all possible. After this, you may need to call law enforcement or an ambulance if necessary.
You should also be sure to get the insurance information from the other driver(s) if there is one. Taking pictures of the scene can also help make the insurance claim go smoother.
If you have trouble resolving the accident claim through the insurance company, you should contact an auto accident attorney. They can help protect your legal and financial interests in this situation.
Different types of auto accidents will necessitate different responses. For example, the process for a distracted driving accident case may look a lot different than one caused by a car defect. A lawyer can help navigate this process easier, giving you better peace of mind.
Avoiding the Common Causes of Car Accidents
Avoiding the common causes of car accidents is a critical step to protecting yourself and your loved ones. If you are in an accident, be sure to reach out to an auto accident lawyer for additional car accident help.
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