At least 38,000 people die each year in vehicle accidents in the U.S. While a less dire outcome, millions more still suffer injuries that are serious enough to need medical care.
Driving always comes with a level of risk, but that’s why we have safety measures and laws in place. That said, car accidents still happen despite our best efforts.
The question is, what causes car accidents?
Luckily, many car accident causes are highly avoidable. Read on to learn about some of the most common causes of car accidents so you can protect yourself on the roadways.
1. Driving While Distracted
The most common cause of car accidents is something all of us have done at one time or another: being distracted.
That includes eating a snack, changing the radio station, or answering our cell phones. Maybe we’ve had a tough day at work and our mind is still mulling over the day. Maybe we’re handing something to our child in the back seat.
Distracted driving is an easy habit to start, but avoiding multitasking while driving will keep everyone safer.
Exceeding the speed limit is also another common cause of accidents. Speed limits exist for a reason.
When we drive too fast, it takes longer to make sudden stops for other cars or pedestrians. That’s why the safest course is to always obey the speed limit when you can. Being a little late is better than getting into a car accident.
3. Driving Under the Influence
Whether you’re taking a new prescription drug or you’ve had too much to drink, it’s not safe to drive. Your reaction times are slower and you’re not thinking clearly.
That’s what leads to accidents. If you don’t feel like you can drive, call a friend or relative to pick you up. While you may feel embarrassed in the moment, it’s always better than getting into a bad car accident.
In some cases, you may need legal help. This site offers a great resource and outlines the process if you’re ever in a truck accident.
4. Inclement Weather
Another common cause of car accidents is the weather. Rain, snow, and ice can all make the road more difficult to navigate.
Rain and ice make the road slick, which can make it more difficult to stop. Snow can be unpredictable and may make you accidentally run into another vehicle.
Pay attention to weather forecasts and always take your time while driving in bad weather.
5. Reckless Driving
Reckless driving also causes car accidents. Anytime you’re driving aggressively or not being as careful as you normally would, it’s considered reckless driving.
Think speeding, aggressive lane changes, or road rage. Try to remember that you’re putting yourself and others in danger when you drive recklessly. Avoid driving when you’re angry or upset and give yourself time to cool off.
Avoid These Accident Causes When You Get Behind the Wheel
If you know about the most common accident causes, you’ll be better equipped to protect yourself. Before you get behind the wheel, try to stay focused, pay attention to the weather, and don’t be afraid to ask for a ride if you’ve been drinking.
To find more tips on living a safe and healthy lifestyle, keep scrolling through our blog.