Written By: Salvatore Shaw
Unfortunately, car accidents are a regular occurrence on our roads. CAA reports that in a single year alone, approximately 80% of collisions and 65% of near crashes are a result of a driver being distracted. Car accidents are a tragic reality that everyone needs to be familiar with, so they can take proper precautions to make the road a safer place. Here are the top 5 causes of car accidents that occur.
1. Distracted Drivers
Distracted driving is a factor in many car accidents. According to Alberta Transportation, distracted drivers are three times more likely to be in a crash than attentive drivers. The most common, and often the most deadly type of distracted driving, is texting and talking on the phone while behind the wheel. However, eating, reaching for a lost item, and grooming are also common driving distractions.
2. Drunk Driving
Drunk driving is extremely dangerous and is never acceptable. Not only does driving under the influence of alcohol put you at risk of serious civil and criminal penalties, it also endangers your life and the lives of others on the road. MADD reports that by the time someone’s blood alcohol level reaches .10%, they are 51 times more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash. If you’re drinking, call a cab or friend so that you know you can get home safely.
3. Reckless Driving
We have all seen the reckless driver on the road; it is the car that is car that is speeding excessively, weaving in and out of traffic, and driving in a fit of road rage. Although these drivers may believe that they are in control of their vehicle, the statistics prove otherwise. The economic cost of speed-related crashes is approximately $40.4 billion each year. Speed is a factor is approximately 30% of traffic fatalities, according to SmartMotorist.
4. Fatigued Drivers
Driving while fatigued is an issue that many people overlook. They do not consider that when you are tired, your responsiveness and alertness is decreased, which subsequently increases your chances of getting in an accident. Falling asleep at the wheel may seem unlikely, or even impossible, but it happens more than you think. In fact, one-third of drivers have admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel.
This common cause of accidents goes hand-in-hand with reckless driving. Driving too close to the vehicle in front of you is the leading cause of read-end accidents. Although you may not believe that a fender bender can cause death or injury, don’t be mistaken. These types of accidents are a major cause of personal injury claims, and being on either side of the party is never a good idea. As a rule of thumb, you need at least 2 to 3 seconds to brake suddenly, and 5 to 6 seconds in bad weather conditions. By leaving a car and a half-length in between you and the vehicle in front of you, you can avoid this common cause of accidents.
As a driver on the road, it is your responsibility to drive safe and protect not only yourself, but also those that you’re sharing the road with.