The National Safety Council reports that an estimated 27,000 car accidents occur daily. While not all reported accidents have fatal results, thousands of drivers and passengers are killed in accidents each year. Many of these accidents, regardless of statistical cause, have one common thread- over-confident drivers make mistakes.
Car accidents may occur for any number of reasons from mechanical failure to operational mistakes, however, the majority of accidents are preventable, especially texting while driving. Here, we take a closer look at the most common causes of all car accidents, and what drivers can do to prevent them personally.
The Most Common Causes of All Car Accidents are the Following:
In the most recent data released at Distraction.Gov, over 3,000 people were killed in car crashes involving a distracted driver while over 400,000 people were injured in similar accidents in 2013. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents among young drivers under the age of 20. While the main culprit of distracted driving is cell phone use, everything from eating, drinking, navigating with a GPS, and even talking to a passenger can be deemed as a distraction.
Experts remind drivers of all ages that there is no such thing as multitasking and it should not be attempted while behind the wheel. When you are driving, you hands should be on the wheel and your mind and eyes should remain on the road.
For years, it could be assumed that the only “drowsy drivers” on our roadways were long haul truckers, but over the years the demographic of sleep deprived drivers has broadened. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conservatively reports that 5,000 to 6,000 annual accidents are due to a drowsy driver.
While many drivers spend more time in the car than not, drivers are reminded to catch up on sleep, know the side effects of any medications, and pay attention to how you feel. If you are too tired, don’t drive.
Speeding and Reckless Driving:
Many drivers seem to be in a hurry these days, but it’s not a good enough reason to speed and drive recklessly. Sadly, posted speed limit signs and hefty fines are not enough to keep fast drivers under control. Drivers who speed are more likely to engage in other dangerous driving habits such as aggressive driving and other potentially fatal maneuvers.
If you are a habitual lead-foot, consider the consequences. If you are speeding to make up for running behind, change your routine by leaving the house earlier. Small changes change can make a noticeable difference.
Poorly Maintained Car:
While there are countless reasons for a car accident, many car owners don’t think about their car as the cause. A car that works well and has routine maintenance are less likely to be the cause of an accident. For example, if you don’t check your tires often, you could be at risk of a tire blowout on the road, which could lead to you losing control and having an accident. It’s easier and wiser to invest in routine maintenance than risk losing your car, an injury, or even a life.
Texting While Driving:
Of course, texting while driving is considered just another form of distracted driving. But it has become a major statistic as of late. USA Today reports that one in every four accidents is a result of using a mobile phone. That could be texting, or talking. However, it is very interesting to note that only 5% of these accidents were a result of texting. Most of them were talking on a cell phone, even a hands-free phone. So I say, just don’t use do it. When you are driving and the phone rings, just wait until you stop to check who called.
Despite all the causes for thousands of car accidents every day, accident statistics could decrease dramatically if even just a small percentage of drivers would reconsider the way they drive.