Every driver is always told that the best way to prevent an accident on the road is to be a defensive driver, rather than being an offensive driver. While this certainly still holds true, it isn’t the absolute best way to keep yourself safe behind the wheel. Take proactive action at the first sign of danger and removing your vehicle from its current path is another excellent way to avoid a wreck, but that starts with knowing the signs to watch for. To that end, learn each of the leading causes for car accidents in the United States and globally.
Are Car Accidents Frequent?
The unfortunate truth of getting behind the wheel is that car accidents are statistically quite common. Based on data compiled in recent years, as many as thirteen car accidents occur every minute in the United States, with far more occurring around the world. Over the last few years, the economic cost of these accidents has numbered in the hundreds of billions, going to show the devastating consequences of a wreck.
The Main Leading Causes of Car Accidents
While there is a myriad of reasons for why a car accident may occur on the road, the following five causes of car accidents are among the most common:
- Drunk Driving
This first cause of car accidents should come as no surprise to seasoned drivers. Drunk driving is a serious problem around the world and it leads to many accidents by impacting the motor control and cognitive function of the average person. Considering that understanding cognitive, visual, and manual distractions is vital for road safety, it’s clear why being inebriated is a horrible and illegal idea.
- Distracted Driving
Drivers who choose to take their attention off of the road may find themselves in an unfortunate car accident. Whether it’s a person choosing to text while they drive or even just changing the music on their vehicle, distractions lead to accidents. Take the time to remove any and all distractions from your car before taking off on your journey.
- Reckless Driving
Reckless drivers lead to a number of car accidents through their actions whether they be seemingly small, such as running a stop sign, or major, such as speeding. Following the rules of the road is essential for staying safe behind the wheel, so never make your own rules when you get into your car.
- Driving in Poor Weather
An overlooked cause of accidents on the road is simply poor weather conditions which make driving nearly impossible. Finding yourself faced with unfamiliar conditions is daunting, but it’s best to not try and tackle the challenge if you’ve never been in those conditions before. Instead, hold up wherever you are and wait for the weather to pass before getting behind the wheel.
- Driving with Limited Visibility
Finally, building off of the last point, getting behind the wheel when there is limited visibility on the road can lead to many accidents. Whether this lack of visibility stems from poor weather conditions or the sun falling below the horizon, not being able to see everything on the road naturally leads to many wrecks.
Quick Tips for Avoiding a Wreck
Considering all of the above common causes for car accidents are avoidable, it’s helpful to learn some quick tips for avoiding an accident. The most prominent of these tips includes:
- Leave enough following distance between your vehicle and other vehicles on the road
- Scan the road far enough ahead of your vehicle so that you have adequate reaction time to anything
- Handle preventative maintenance on your vehicle to avoid a breakdown on the road
- Never mix alcohol or drugs with getting behind the wheel of a vehicle
- Practice driving in poor weather during controlled conditions to familiarize yourself with it
- Never get behind the wheel if you feel drowsy late at night
- Remove any and all distractions from your vehicle prior to departing from your destination
Stay safe on the road today
Regardless of how good a driver may be on the road, there are some situations which are unavoidable. Should you ever find yourself in a car accident, inspect yourself for injury right away and contact emergency services if there are injuries. However, by understanding each of the above common causes for car accidents, you can start to watch for the signs that an accident may be about to occur and avoid the situation before it escalates.