What are the most common causes of collisions?
It’s upsetting to say the least when you get into a collision with your motor vehicle. It can be scary and frustrating, to be sure, but unfortunately, they’re all too common on the roadways in this country. A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that driver error causes 94 percent of all car accidents. Check out these top causes of collisions, with many of them needing extensive collision repair.
We’ve all put the pedal to the metal when late for an appointment, work or sports practice pickup. While common, it’s deadly. In fact, speeding increases the risk of all types of collisions, making it the second most common cause of accidents in the nation.
When you go too fast behind the wheel, the time it takes you to slow down is increased. You’re not as quick when reacting to traffic cues, too, and this includes other motorists and road obstructions. When a crash happens as a result of speeding, the impact is much higher, which in turn can lead to more grave injuries or death.
2. Distracted Driving
This is one of the top causes of car accidents in the United States, with more than 1,000 people being injured and nine people dying due to distracted drivers every day. Distracted driving involves anything that steals your attention from the road, such as adjusting the radio, texting, eating, drinking, talking with passengers, and more.
While we all have busy, stressful lives, we also don’t get enough ZZZs. When we are extremely tired and get behind the wheel, it’s easy to doze off. Driving while drowsy is another top cause of car crashes, because it’s so much more difficult to pay attention to the road. Slower reaction times result.
There are countless reasons why people fall asleep at the wheel. They may work long hours, or they may have consumed alcohol, drugs or medications that made them drowsy. They may have a sleep disorder, such as narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea. But many drivers don’t even know they’re tired and get hypnotized by the roadway. The key is to get more sleep at night.
Driving when under the influence of alcohol or drugs is the third top cause of collisions. According to the Insurance Information Institute, intoxicated drivers cause about 30% of all traffic fatalities. Driving after drinking or using drugs messes with your:
- Reaction time
5. Aggressive Driving
Driving is frustrating, that’s for sure. It’s all too easy to become enraged behind the wheel, especially when provoked by another motorist, or when in gridlocked traffic or road construction. Emotions can run high, leading to road rage behavior, such as screaming, rude gestures, tailgating, and more. When you’re being aggressive, you’re more likely to speed, merge without using a signal, or erratically change lanes.
6. Poor Weather
Did you know 21% of motor vehicle crashes every year relate to bad weather? Extreme weather conditions impair your ability to drive safely, putting you at risk of slippery roads and poor visibility. Fog happens to be one of the most dangerous weather conditions in which to drive. If you do have to drive in fog, ice, or rain, take it slow and keep your distance from other vehicles. On slippery roads, your car has less traction and you will need much longer braking times as a result. Give yourself some extra stopping time between your vehicle and the next.
You should be:
- Watching out for malfunctioning traffic signals.
- Using the right edge of the road or looking at the painted lines to help you stay your lane.
- Refraining from driving through flooded areas. Washed out roads are dangerous, as are hidden power lines or debris beneath the water.
- Aware of high temperatures and high winds as well as solar glare. Winds are even more dangerous when you cross over spaces like highway overpasses and bridges.
While there are several potential causes of collisions out there, it’s key to be aware of the most common ones like the above so you can prevent them from happening to you. Even if you’re unhurt in a smaller collision, your car may be totaled or require auto body repair. This can get expensive and very inconvenient.
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