Driving is such a normalized part of life that most of us don’t think twice before hopping behind the wheel. The truth is that there’s nothing flippant about steering thousands of pounds of metal.
Learning the most common causes of car accidents will help you steer clear of risks before wrecks occur. Take a look at this list of car crash causes you should know.
1. Ugly Weather
Folks who enjoy driving tend to prefer sunny and dry conditions, but there are times when there’s no avoiding driving in rain or snow. Ugly weather is a major contributor to car crashes. The easiest way to avoid a weather-related wreck is by staying off the road when conditions are rough.
If you can’t do that, make sure your car is set up to handle the weather. Talk to your local tire shop to see if you should get all-weather tires, snow tires, or chains before driving in harsh conditions.
2. Inebriated Driving
Driving under the influence is among the most-mentioned auto accident causes. Although educators and traffic safety professionals try to educate drivers about the dangers of inebriated driving, people keep doing it and causing wrecks.
A good DUI lawyer can help you get out of a jam if you drove when a little tipsy or lessen your sentence if something worse happened. Still, nobody wants to be in those situations.
There’s never a good reason to be behind the wheel when under the influence of alcohol, cannabis, or any other impairing drug.
When you don’t want to abstain from substances, you always have other options available. Catching a ride with a sober buddy, calling a taxi or rideshare service, public transport, and walking home are a few of many methods to choose from. Taking advantage of the wide variety of ways you have to get home is so easy that there’s no reason to risk getting a DUI for swerving—or, worse, for causing a wreck.
3. Foolish, Rushed Decisions
Most anyone who’s ever driven has been in a rush and made a foolish decision on the road. You may have failed to switch lanes before your turn and zip across without taking much caution. You might be tempted to make a U-turn in a tricky space where they’re banned for safety reasons.
The harm these rushed choices cause isn’t worth the tiny bit of time you’ll save by executing the maneuvers. Drive to the next road or exit and turn around somewhere it’s safe to do so.
4. Distractions in the Car
It might not seem like a big deal to have a snack, a raucous conversation, or to switch songs while you’re on the road. Yet, over 1,000 people every day suffer in car accidents caused by distracted driving.
Public campaigns and regulations about distracted driving focus on phone use, but many other in-car distractions pose danger.
Unsecured pets climb all over your car and make messes and can get between you and the wheel. Putting pets in carriers while you drive isn’t cruel. It protects the critters themselves, motorists, and others on the road.
Other distractions seem less risky, like passengers and music.
Changing the radio station or CD while you’re driving takes a few seconds. That tiny bit of time is no big deal, right? Think again!
When you’re zipping down the highway at 60 miles an hour, you travel 1/60 of a mile—about 88 feet—per second. If it takes seven seconds to switch CDs or playlists on your phone, you’ll travel 616 feet without paying attention! If traffic stops on a dime in front of you, a high-speed crash could occur in an instant.
Talking to passengers poses a similar risk. Sometimes, drivers crash their cars after turning their heads to talk to passengers. If you get caught up in a passionate conversation or argument, you might lose focus without looking away from the road.
Work with your passengers and pick someone to manage the music. Have another adult around to watch children and pets and make sure they don’t get out of control whenever it’s possible. Get in tune with how distracted you feel at any given moment so you can pause conversations and other passenger problems before it’s too late.
5. Distractions Outside of the Car
Everyone knows you’re supposed to keep your eyes on the road when you’re driving, but that advice isn’t specific enough. There are a lot of distractions on the road and focusing on them can lead to crashes as in-car distractions do.
If you spot a wreck on the road, proceed with caution or stop to help the person out, and call emergency responders if someone needs help. Understandably, a horrific sight might catch your eye. Still, staring at such a distraction on the road for a few seconds could lead to a traffic accident of your own.
Don’t get too distracted by animals on the road, either. As much as you don’t want to hit a squirrel, swerving and crashing your car is a much worse fate. Billboards and road signs you think are funny are a couple of other surprising dangers.
Consider updating “keep your eyes on the road” to “focus on driving.” That’s what people mean when they say that phrase. Rewording it reminds you that there are things drivers need to focus on within the car and that all you should focus on outside of your car are things that impact your driving.
Learn About Causes of Car Accidents and All Other Areas of Life
Now that you know these common causes of car accidents, you know what to look out for when you’re on the road. Rather than getting caught up worrying about the risks, adjust your driving practices to protect yourself, your passengers, and other drivers.
If you want to learn more vital information like these car accident causes, take a look around this site. We have articles to help you improve all areas of your life, so don’t hesitate to click on another and learn to live well.