If you’re a driver, you’ve probably seen your fair share of roadway accidents. You may have even been involved in one. The carelessness of other drivers can be frightening, and it often results in vehicle damage, severe injury and even death. Here are the 10 most common causes of car accidents and the reasons you need to keep your eyes on the road when behind the wheel.
Failure to observe posted speed limits is the top cause of accidents in America. It’s not only dangerous for the driver, it’s dangerous for everyone on the road. Speed limits are there for to keep us all safe.
2. Driver Distraction
Use of a mobile phone or other electronic device while driving is a major cause of serious accidents. Distraction also arises from eating, smoking, reaching or searching for objects inside the car or talking to other passengers. When behind the wheel, stay focused on driving.
3. Driving While Drunk
Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs produces a 900 percent increase in the risk of an automobile accident. Don’t drink or use other mind altering substances, including over the counter medications that can cause drowsiness when driving.
4. Driver Fatigue
About three percent of roadway-related deaths in the U. S. are related to driver fatigue or falling asleep at the wheel. Drivers with a history of this behavior can face criminal charges. If you feel too tired to drive, get off the road until you are able to drive safely.
5. Aggressive Driving
Drivers who operate their vehicles in an aggressive manner with no regard for the safety or rights of others on the road can easily cause accidents. Aggressive driving behaviors include tailgating, flashing lights, cutting others drivers off, blowing horns repeatedly, making rude or obscene gestures, deliberately blocking other drivers, engaging in verbal or physical abuse, ignoring traffic signals and failing to yield the right of way. Staying calm on the road is vital for safe driving.
6. Automobile Defect or Malfunction
Sudden mechanical malfunctions and defects in the construction of an automobile can cause serious accidents and severe injuries. Examples include tire defects, poor design of SUVs and defective seat belts and airbags.
7. Bad Weather
Icy roads, fog, poor visibility in rain and high winds can easily lead to accidents. Take special care when driving in poor weather.
Rubbernecking refers to the practice of looking at other things in the environment instead of paying attention to the road. It often occurs while driving through scenic areas and trying to get a better view of a roadway accident.
9. Roadway Defects
Improperly installed or poorly placed traffic signals are responsible for hundreds of roadway accidents every year. That’s why staying aware of your surroundings keeps you safe on the road.
10. Poorly Marked Construction Zones
Roadway construction is necessary for expanding infrastructure, but it can become a source of accidents when construction zones are not well-marked.
Stay Alert and Put Safety First
Although you can’t control the actions of other drivers, you can reduce your risk of being involved in a serious accident by making sure your car is in working order and keeping your attention focused on the task of driving.