According to the US Census Bureau, there are over 10 million car collisions across the country every year. These collisions are caused by a number of reasons – many of which are preventable.
Some car collisions are minor, requiring only windshield repair or a paint touch-up, but others are severely damaging and even fatal. In order to avoid both fender benders and serious accidents, it helps to know the top causes of collisions and therefore how to lower your chances of being in one. They are:
One of the number one causes of car collisions in America is distracted drivers. Making matters worse are the increasing number of distractions luring a driver’s focus away from the road. From smartphones that continually emit social media updates and text messages to GPS navigators and drive-thru espresso stops, drivers are constantly tempted to take their eyes off the road.
You may be surprised just how many road traffic accidents are caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel. When drivers start to feel drowsy, the instinct is often to power-through and get to the destination as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this is the wrong approach, as it leads to thousands of fatigue-related collisions every year. Instead, drivers are advised to pull over- perhaps in a nearby shopping centre or gas station – and take a nap.
In terms of preventable causes of vehicle collisions, intoxication is number one on the list. Despite being so easily avoiding, drunk driving is to blame for over 50% of fatal weekend crashes (2004 statistics, via sixwise.com).
The reason why speeding leads to so many road traffic accidents is because of the decreased reaction time it allows drivers. If you’re speeding, then you have less time to react to the changing traffic conditions in front of you, therefore increasing your likelihood of hitting something or being hit by something. Speeding is especially dangerous when you consider the fact that roads are often shared with pedestrians and cyclists.
Bad weather – such as rain snow and sleet – is to blame for many car accidents in American and across the world. One of the main reasons why poor weather conditions lead to such trouble on the roadways is the fact that drivers don’t adjust to the weather accordingly. If you find yourself driving in harsh weather conditions, remember to adjust your speed and drive with extra caution.