Car accidents are common almost everywhere in the world. Despite exercising the utmost caution, you never know when an accident may just be lurking around the corner. The good news is that most accidents are still considered minor. This means that the damage is only limited to the car itself. Unfortunately, however, fatalities can also occur.
There are many ways to minimize car accidents as a driver. This begins with staying safe behind the wheel. Another way is by also being aware of the leading causes of accidents. When you know this kind of information, you also subconsciously become a more responsible driver.
That said, this article enumerates the most common causes of vehicle accidents. Continue reading below to find out more.
1. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of accidents when driving. Drivers today are bombarded by a lot of distractions while on the road. Distracted driving has resulted in many more reckless accidents compared to speeding and drunk driving. With speeding, you’re still aware of how fast you’re going, which makes it easier for you to gain control over the wheel. But with distracted driving, your mind loses its focus.
Common distractions include the following:
- Daydreaming during long drives
- Thinking of problems, stress and other anxieties
- Loud music while inside the car
- Talking to the passengers too much while inside the vehicle
- Using a cellphone while driving
- Drinking or eating while driving
2. Drunk Driving
Despite the presence of many anti-drunk driving laws and devices on the road, this still exists. It’s widespread and can be more prevalent during the weekends since this is when everyone seems to have a good time to relax from the work week or school week that has passed. Even if the amount of alcohol you had is minimal, this can still affect your brain function—what more when you’ve had too much to drink?
Some examples of how intoxication can affect your driving:
- You may hallucinate with bright lights on the road
- You might not have a sturdy grip and full control over the wheel
- You may become sleepy
- You may still feel the effects of drinking even while driving
In general, your mindset and vision are impaired. If you can’t walk along a straight line, then you likely won’t have full control over a vehicle. When you’ve had one drink too many, it’s best just to let someone else drive, or spend the night at your friend’s house. Don’t force it and think that you’re still okay. Remember that accidents that may first appear to be minor can later prove to be complicated.
Going beyond the speed limit is one of the most common causes of high casualty and fatal accidents. Yes, there are many speed limit cameras and warnings in place, but these haven’t completely prevented motorists from going over the speed limit anyway, especially at night on highways. When there isn’t much traffic, some drivers may want to go faster to arrive earlier or simply to test out their car’s capacity.
However, drivers often tend to forget the basic equation: The faster your car is, the longer it takes to slow the vehicle down to a total halt. Within a matter of seconds, this can be a fine line that separates what could’ve been an accident avoided and a collision. Additionally, the faster the car, the less control you have over the wheel. Making sudden turns can cause your vehicle to swerve dangerously over curves. This can be deadly.
4. Reckless Driving
Reckless driving pertains to the act of deliberately disobeying road rules. These rules are there for a reason, and that’s to maintain order and safety on the road. This includes who goes first, who gives way, where to turn, why not to turn, and so on. If drivers continue to bend and disobey these rules, then accidents will surely happen.
For instance, a driver goes through a one-way street just because it’s late at night. If a collision happens, then you’re held responsible. Another instance is when a driver makes a U-turn on a non-U-turn slot. A good driver is one who submits to the rules of the road. Unfortunately, not all are obedient.
Car accidents aren’t solely caused by man. Nature has a lot to contribute as well. One of the most common causes of car accidents involves harsh weather conditions, such as rain.
When it’s raining hard, it tends to have the following effects:
- First, it impairs visibility on the road. This makes it difficult for drivers to see other vehicles, especially when they’ve failed to put their headlights on.
- Second, it makes the road slippery. This makes drivers lose their grip on the road, and be more prone to skids and slides.
- Third, new drivers may also tend to panic.
When driving under harsh weather conditions, therefore, every inch of your focus must be on the road.
Every day, thousands of accidents occur in the country and all over the world. If you spend an hour browsing through different news channels, it’s almost close to impossible not to hear a single thing about a vehicle going through an accident. Some are minor, but others, unfortunately, claim lives. Awareness is one of the best ways you can be a more cautious driver. Now that you know the common causes of accidents, it should help you in trying your best to avoid these, so as to prevent an accident.