Quick question, reader: do you consider yourself a good driver?
If you do, you’re not alone. Most people firmly believe that they’re good—or at least above-average—drivers. Unfortunately, the stats don’t bear this out.
According to the ASIRT, over 38,000 people die in road crashes on U.S. roadways each year. If you include the whole world, this number jumps to an astounding 1.35 million people.
Want to lower your chances of this happening to you? Here are the five most common car accident causes and what to do to avoid them.
1. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving has always been the number one cause of car accidents. With the advent of smartphones, things have only gotten worse. Any time you’re driving, you’ll see people who are both driving and texting.
The main issue with distracted driving is that it’s easy to get away with. The more you do it, the more entrenched this habit becomes. It causes you to feel like you’ve mastered the art of multitasking, which is when you’re at your most vulnerable.
Speeding isn’t limited to kids with a brand new driver’s license. Every day, people speed up because they’re late for work or just need to get somewhere fast. As a result, they get into an auto accident causing death or serious injury.
If you’re in a hurry, speeding up is fine—as long as you’re within the legal limits. Remember: the faster you go, the less control you have over your vehicle.
3. Impaired Driving
Speaking of things to avoid behind the wheel, impaired driving is near the top of the list. Most DUI cases involve drunk driving, but drugs and prescription pills cause a fair share of accidents as well.
Found yourself far from home while intoxicated? You have plenty of good options, from calling a taxi to staying at a friend’s place. Similarly, stay away from your car after taking medication that induces drowsiness.
4. Bad Weather
You can’t always avoid driving in the rain, but you can be more vigilant about it. Rain can drastically change road conditions by reducing visibility, increasing slippage, and so on.
If pulling over and waiting for the rain to stop isn’t an option, try to maintain a low speed. Don’t hesitate to give way to anyone behind you who thinks you’re wasting time. Also, avoid driving through pools of water whenever possible.
5. Reckless Driving
Reckless driving can involve speeding, but it’s also a more general term. It can include sharp braking, making illegal U-turns, driving between lanes, and more. All of these can be contributing factors to car accidents.
Reckless driving is frustrating because it’s completely avoidable. If you feel you’re not in the right frame of mind to drive, don’t get behind the wheel. We all face internal or external pressure from time to time, but angry driving is not a solution.
Car Accident Causes and Aftermath
Most car accident causes on this list will seem obvious to experienced drivers. If you belong in this group, good for you—you don’t need our help! Otherwise, keep this list in mind the next time you go for a drive.
Unfortunately, sometimes prevention isn’t the best cure. If you’ve already gotten into a car accident, your best bet is to head to an auto body repair shop. We can help you—contact us right here!