Stephen Hasner | Car Accidents | March 23, 2023
About every six minutes, a car accident happens somewhere in the United States. These crashes kill more than 100 people per day and injure thousands more. So what causes all these wrecks, and can we do anything to reduce those numbers?
There are several common factors that tend to lead to car accidents, and the good news is that you can control most of them. Read on to discover the top twelve common causes of car accidents and how you can prevent them.
It should come as no surprise that drunk driving is one of the most common culprits behind car accidents. In fact, about one in three traffic accident fatalities in the United States involves a drunk driver. Each year, about 10,000 people die as a result of crashes with drunk drivers.
After drunk driving, distracted driving is perhaps the most common cause of car accidents. Every year, close to 3,000 people die in crashes with distracted drivers. Distracted driving behaviors can include texting, talking on the phone, reading emails, putting on makeup, searching for something in the car, and blasting the radio.
Driving is a skill that gets better with practice, so it makes sense that many wrecks are caused by inexperienced drivers. Young drivers, in particular, may tend to be more reckless and are more prone to speeding and trying to run intersections (both behaviors that often cause crashes). There’s a reason that teenagers have the highest insurance premiums of any age group.
Unfortunately, one of the most common driving behaviors is also one of the most dangerous. Speeding is a factor in about a third of fatal motor vehicle crashes. When you’re going too fast, it takes you more time to stop for obstacles in the road, and resulting crashes tend to cause more destruction.
Aggressive driving goes hand in hand with speeding – in fact, speeding is one of the markers of this driving style. This behavior involves intentionally ignoring safe driving practices, either out of anger or to punish the other drivers around you for not driving in a way you approve of. Aggressive driving behaviors can include speeding, tailgating, cutting other drivers off, brake checking, running intersections, and more.
On the subject of running intersections, this behavior tends to contribute to a lot of crashes across the United States. Running an intersection involves trying to speed through a yellow light before it turns red or just running a red light altogether. Unsurprisingly, this tends to put you in the path of other drivers who are proceeding through the intersection legally.
Bad Lane Changes
Bad lane changes can result in sideswipe collisions, as well as crashes with stationary objects on the side of the road. Poor lane change behaviors can include merging without using a turn signal, merging too close to another driver, drifting into another lane, weaving in and out of traffic, or blocking a driver who’s trying to change lanes.
Navigating one-way roads can be tricky, especially in an area you’re unfamiliar with. But driving the wrong way on one-way streets can result in head-on collisions with other drivers. Always check that you’re driving the right way on a street before you turn onto it, especially when driving in a new area.
Turning through intersections can be extremely dangerous if not done correctly. Sometimes, a driver may refuse to yield the right of way, and sometimes distracted drivers may turn into an intersection without checking if there’s another car coming. It’s important to always use your turn signal and check that an intersection before turning into it.
Most of the car accident causes we’ve discussed so far have dealt with driver behaviors, but sometimes, crashes are caused by factors outside of your control. Bad weather, including rain, snow, ice, or fog, can increase your chances of being involved in a collision. Always use extra care when driving in bad weather, and slow down to give yourself more time to stop if needed.
Much like bad weather, darkness reduces visibility and makes it harder for you to see obstacles in time to stop for them. Other drivers may also have a harder time seeing your car and might accidentally run into you, especially if your headlights aren’t on. Slow down when driving at night, and keep a sharp eye out for animals, pedestrians, other vehicles, and obstacles in the road.
In some cases, a crash may be caused by a problem with the mechanical systems in your car. Tire blowouts can send you spinning out of control, or a brake failure could cause a rear-end collision. It’s a good idea to perform routine maintenance on your car and to make any needed repairs as soon as possible.
Get Compensation for Your Injuries
Although car wrecks are staggeringly common, the good news is that most factors that cause them are preventable. Never drive drunk or distracted, and avoid speeding or engaging in other aggressive driving behavior. When driving at night or in bad weather, slow down and use more caution.
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, you could be entitled to compensation. The Atlanta personal injury lawyers at Hasner have over 80 years of combined experience and are ready to go to bat for you. Schedule a free consultation with us today to discuss the details of your case.
For more information, please contact the Atlanta car accident law firm of Hasner Law P.C. at our nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
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