There are a variety of common causes for auto accidents. All drivers should be responsible and take the time to learn about the causes and how to avoid them!
Keyword(s): auto accidents
If you’re a regular on America’s highways, then you know that getting on the road is a potentially dangerous thing to do. Naturally, you do what you can to stay safe, but you can’t always rely on other drivers to keep you safe, particularly when you’re on a motorcycle.
So what do you need to avoid when you’re on the road? Read on to learn about the leading causes of auto accidents, so you can stay safe whether you’re in a car or on your bike.
You see the commercials all the time — the nightmare scenario where a driver is distracted by an incoming text message or phone call and they end up in a massive accident. The commercials are frightening and for good reason, over 3,100 people died in 2017 due to distracted driving.
Distracted driving doesn’t just happen when you’re looking at or responding to text messages. It also happens when you reach in the backseat for your purse or check your hair in the rearview mirror. The bottom line is this: when you’re out driving, keep your eyes on the road and always be ready to act when you notice other distracted drivers.
When you think unnecessary deaths and injuries on the road, you no doubt think about accidents caused by drunk drivers. It’s the first thing you think about because drunk driving is a huge issue in the United States. Approximately 10,500 people died in accidents caused by drunk drivers in 2016.
So what can you do to avoid getting injured by drunk drivers? The best thing you can do is to make sure you never, ever get behind the wheel or on your bike if you’ve been drinking. The same goes for your friends and loved ones.
If you spot someone on the road who you think may be impaired, do not hesitate to contact your local police. It could save a life!
Speeding and Reckless Driving
If you’re a motorcycle rider, you know how great it can feel when you get out on the open road and fly. The sunlight and scenery are breathtaking and you feel free. Unfortunately, riding or driving at unsafe speeds poses a huge risk to your and other drivers’ safety.
Speeding and reckless driving may seem fun at the moment, and it may seem like your best option when you’re running late to work or an important meeting, but it’s also super dangerous. Why? You run the risk of losing control, particularly if you hit a sudden curve too fast or if someone ahead of you brakes suddenly.
Whenever you’re stressed about getting somewhere on time, remember that arriving alive is far more important than timeliness.
You know the joke in Texas, as soon as it starts raining, everyone forgets how to drive. Texans make the joke because it’s true, more accidents occur when the weather changes from dry to wet, particularly when the rain first starts to fall.
The same is true in Texas and many other places in the country when you’re hit by winter weather like snow, ice, and black ice. In some severe weather instances, no amount of preparedness can keep you safe from natural hazards.
The take away from this is that you should always know what’s going on outside before you get behind the wheel. If you’re driving in snow and ice, bring your snow chains. If flash floods are forecast, stay home if you can.
If you’re old enough to have a teenager who is about to start driving, you’re probably wondering how it could possibly be safe for them to drive. The truth is, new drivers are a huge safety risk on the road. New drivers are more easily distracted and, surprisingly, less cognizant of potential safety risks.
Also included in inexperienced drivers are people who are not used to the current driving conditions. For example, if you’ve spent your whole life driving in Southern California, you’re not going to be prepared to drive after a heavy snowfall. If you have lived in a small town your whole life, you’re not going to be prepared to drive in Austin’s gridlock traffic.
If you’re going to be driving in conditions you’ve never experienced, brush up on safety before hitting the road.
Running Red Lights and Stop Signs
You probably aren’t surprised that running red lights and stop signs placed on this list. We all know at least one person who was injured when someone else ran a stop sign and totaled their car. No matter whether the driver that runs the light or stop sign is distracted or they think they don’t have to stop, the injuries they inflicted on other drivers is monumental.
A good rule of thumb to avoid accidents like these is to take special care to make a full stop at a stop sign to make sure that other drivers aren’t going to enter the intersection before they have right of way. Then, before you enter the intersection, be sure to check both ways to make sure other cars aren’t coming.
Driving at Night
Driving at night presents its own set of problems that make it a huge contributor to the rate of auto accidents. It is more difficult to see at night, even if you have otherwise perfect vision. You won’t always see a deer running out into the road until it’s in front of your car, street signs won’t always be visible until you’re in the intersection.
Take your time when driving at night. Always be aware of what’s going on in your peripheral vision, and don’t drive when you’re sleep-deprived.
Drive Safe and Avoid Auto Accidents
As you can see, the majority of the leading causes of auto accidents result from human error and negligence. It’s uncommon that actual mechanical issues result in an auto accident (but it’s possible). Whether you’re behind the wheel or on your bike, remember to stay focused on the road and any potential hazards and you’ll be in good shape.