When an accident occurs on the road, not even the most experienced driver is exempted. Traffic accidents could result due to a variety of reasons, but the consequences are always the same: health injuries, property damage, and even death. In fact, it’s the number one cause of preventable deaths in the United States. As part of working towards road safety, all motorists should be aware of the most common causes of car accidents. Here are the top five:
- Reckless Driving
Most accidents are caused by human error. The sad thing is, these errors are not just mere honest mistakes. They are direct results of recklessness and negligence of road rules. Even a small amount of drugs or alcohol can significantly increase the risk of accidents, especially on holidays or weekends.
Other forms of reckless driving include over speeding, swerving, turning too abruptly, running a red light, and driving while drowsy. These rash actions often result in the worst kinds of collisions and cause the most severe injuries. Injured Call Today published an article that discusses different types of health injuries that are borne out of traffic accidents.
- Road Defects
Drivers would sometimes come across poorly designed and maintained roads. The most common flaws include uneven pavement, improper curve banking, narrow shoulders, and steep drop-offs.
Failure to install warning signs could also lead to serious accidents. This may be in the form of uncovered potholes, construction zones without a cordon line, defective guardrails, missing traffic cones, and inadequate lighting.
- Car Defects
Vehicles could malfunction on the road due to improper maintenance. Other times, it could be caused by defective design or dysfunctional auto-parts that the driver is unaware of. Either way, it could lead to an engine breakdown, brake malfunction, or tire blowout and increase the risk of getting into a serious accident.
Modern cars have injury prevention systems such as seat belts and airbags, but these could also malfunction during an accident. This is why it’s important to always inspect a vehicle before hitting the road.
Using a mobile phone, eating, or smoking while driving is extremely dangerous. Anything that takes the driver’s attention away from the road poses a great risk, including simple things like listening to music, browsing a phone, or turning the radio dial.
Many drivers think that they’re safe just because they don’t do the obvious forms of distracted driving, like the ones listed above. However, some drivers don’t realize that they are rubbernecking. Rubbernecking refers to the act of looking at anything that’s not related to driving. This includes people-watching and gazing at the sunset, even while driving at a slow speed.
- Poor Weather Conditions
Driving in bad weather can happen unexpectedly, so accidents caused by it are the most difficult to avoid. Heavy rain, fog, mist, and snowfall could make the roads very slippery and lowers road visibility. It’s even more dangerous if you are driving during the night because of limited vision.
Accidents can always happen. However, you can minimize the risks by simply observing extra care and diligence while you drive. Observing basic road safety rules such as wearing the seat belt at all times, driving at moderate speed, and keeping your focus on the road goes a long way. It also pays to maintain your car properly and be conscious about weather updates before deciding to go out for a drive.