Car accidents are never a pleasant experience, regardless of how serious they may be. Even minor car accidents can cause painful injuries. This is why it is especially important to be familiar with some of the common causes of car accidents and understand what you can do to avoid becoming involved in an accident. Below are 10 of the most common causes of car accidents.
1. Distracted Drivers
Topping the list, distracted driving has become the most common cause of car accidents in the U.S. Texting, chatting on the phone, looking up directions, and other distractions caused by cellphones are partly to blame, but these aren’t the only thing causing drivers to become distracted. Eating in the car, driving with children, and changing the radio are all common distractions.
Speeding doesn’t have to mean that you are driving faster than the posted speed limit. It is possible to be speeding when you drive faster than is safe for the conditions. While it can be easy to go too fast—speed kills. Speeding accidents are the leading cause of fatal car accidents in the U.S. Slowing down for bad conditions, construction, and slower speed limits can save your life.
3. Driving While Intoxicated
Whether under the influence of drugs, prescription medications, or alcohol, driving while impaired is dangerous for everyone on the road. Substances like alcohol, marijuana, and painkillers can slow reaction times, impair your judgement, and make it difficult to handle the situations you face on the road.
4. Reckless Driving
Street racing, speeding, failing to use turn signals, cutting off other drivers, and weaving through traffic are common examples of reckless driving. Aggressive drivers are unpredictable, which makes it difficult to know what they will do next or if it will involve you. Practice defensive driving techniques, like allowing plenty of space between you and the next car and leaving yourself escape routes should something unexpected occur.
5. Poor Weather Conditions
When driving in anything but clear conditions, you will need to take care while driving. Rain, snow, and ice can make the road slippery and make it challenging to maneuver and stop safely. Fog, dust, and other poor weather conditions can reduce visibility and lead to accidents when drivers are traveling faster than the conditions permit.
6. Ignoring Traffic Signals
Traffic lights and signs are in place for a reason, and ignoring them can have deadly consequences. Running red lights and stop signs are two common causes of accidents. Always look carefully when approaching intersections and check before proceeding after stopping.
7. Dark Roads
Night-driving is much harder than day-time driving because the darkness and artificial lighting can make it much more difficult to judge what you’re seeing. Many drivers also are in the habit of driving faster than their headlights can reveal what’s ahead. If they suddenly something in the road, they may not be able to safely avoid it. Slow down at night, even in well-lit areas, so you have additional time to react to sudden hazards.
8. Auto Defects
In the past few years, consumers have faced several significant auto recalls for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, there is little consumers can do to avoid an accident caused by a defect, except bring your car in for recall repairs when there is a known defect. If you’ve been injured by a defective auto, don’t hesitate to get in touch with an experienced Clearwater personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal options.
A form of reckless driving, tailgating occurs when one car follows another too closely. This greatly increases the risk of a rear-end accident. Allow yourself plenty of additional space in between you and other cars on the road while driving, and try to let others pass you if they are tailgating you.
10. Drowsy Driving
Sometimes, it can be difficult to avoid driving while tired. Whether you’re running late for work and didn’t have time for coffee or stayed out too late and are trying to get home, you may feel that you have little choice. What many people don’t realize, however, is how similar drowsy drivers and drunk drivers are. A lack of sleep can slow reactions, impair judgment, and affect coordination in the same way that alcohol would. Try to avoid driving while tired. Take regular rest breaks on long trips and schedule in plenty of time to drink coffee, move around, and get yourself fully awake before getting behind the wheel.
Many accidents are prevented by careful driving and awareness, but negligent drivers can still cause severe accidents. If you’ve been injured in an accident due to another’s mistakes, you may be entitled to receive compensation. Bryan Caulfield is a knowledgeable, highly experienced Clearwater car accident attorney. He has the tools, professional connections, and insight to help your case prevail.
Want to learn more? Contact his firm by calling (727) 308-6060.