About thirteen car accidents happen in the United States every minute. In the time it takes you to read this post, about fifty-two car accidents will occur. So what causes all these crashes, and how can we prevent them?
There are several things that tend to cause car accidents. Read on to discover the twelve most common causes of car accidents and how you can avoid most of them.
1. Distracted Driving
It may come as a surprise to learn that distracted driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents in the United States.
Distracted driving behaviors can include
- Talking on the phone
- Checking social media
- Reading emails
- Putting on makeup
- Searching for something in the back seat
When you’re distracted, you have less time to react to stopped cars in front of you or other obstacles in the road.
Speeding is incredibly common, so it makes sense that it is one of the most common causes of accidents. For one thing, going faster than the safe speed limit increases your risk of missing tight turns, hitting bumps or defects in the road, and having to weave in and out of traffic to keep up your pace. And when you speed, you have less time to get stopped if there is an obstacle.
3. Drunk Driving
When you drive drunk, you make poorer decisions, have a slower reaction time, and have impaired vision. Drunk drivers kill about thirty-two people every day in the United States. You should never drive drunk or buzzed, even if you think you’re fine.
4. Reckless Driving
Reckless and aggressive driving causes thousands of wrecks every year; in fact, some of the accident causes we’ll discuss later fall under this category.
Reckless and aggressive driving behaviors can include
- Tailgating someone to make them go faster
- Accelerating through yellow lights
- Cutting in front of someone when changing lanes
These behaviors reduce your reaction time and put you too close to other cars, making it even harder to stop in time.
5. Bad Weather
Sometimes, wrecks aren’t the result of a driver engaging in unsafe behavior. Snow, rain, and ice all reduce the amount of traction your vehicle has, which can make it harder to stop or can even send you sliding. Fog and rain can also make it harder to see obstacles in time to stop.
6. Running Stop Signals
Almost all of us are guilty of running through the occasional yellow light, and chances are you’ve run a red light or stop sign in your time. The problem is that, when you have a stop signal, other drivers expect you to stop. If you fail to do so and they keep going through the intersection, it can cause a crash.
Driving is one of those things that you learn by doing, and the less time you’ve spent doing it, the worse a driver you are.
Because teenagers are such new drivers, they tend to cause wrecks more often than older adults. They also tend to engage in reckless behaviors more often, which can also lead to wrecks.
8. Driving at Night
Unfortunately, nighttime driving poses almost as many risks as driving in bad weather. Your traction may stay the same, but you can’t see as far ahead of you, and headlights can make it hard to see the road clearly. Many drivers also get drowsy at night, which can increase their reaction time and lead them to make worse decisions.
9. Poor Road Conditions
Sometimes, the blame for an accident falls on the city, rather than either of the drivers involved. Potholes, narrow roads, or inadequate signage can all put drivers too close to the cars around them and may lead to wrecks.
While poor road conditions are frustrating, try to avoid swerving into other lanes to avoid potholes and so on.
Tailgating is the practice of driving too closely behind another vehicle, often in an attempt to make them speed up. The problem with this behavior is that it puts you too close to the leading car and makes rear-end collisions more likely.
Always try to stay at least two seconds behind the car in front of you – three seconds if the weather is bad.
11. Wrong-Way Driving
Navigating a new area can be confusing, and it’s easy to wind up going the wrong direction on a one-way street. The trouble is that if another car comes along, you may have nowhere to go.
Always be extra careful when driving in a new area, and get off one-way streets as quickly as you can if you notice you’re going the wrong way.
12. Unsafe Turns
There are a number of mistakes drivers make while turning that can lead to crashes. Turning from the wrong lane, failing to use a turn signal, and ignoring right-of-way can all cause accidents.
Start signaling your turn early and always double-check that the way is clear before turning.
What to Do After a Crash
Thousands of car accidents happen every day, and most of them are preventable with a little extra care. Never drive drunk or distracted, and avoid speeding or driving recklessly. Be cautious when driving in bad weather, at night, on poor roads, or in areas you aren’t familiar with.
If you are involved in a car crash and you get hurt, you may need a personal injury lawyer on your side. Schedule a free consultation with us today to discuss the details of your case.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA
If you were injured in an accident in Los Angeles, CA or you lost a loved one and you need legal assistance, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. One of our Los Angeles car accident lawyers at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers will get in touch with you soon.