Whether it’s the result of an unseen stop sign, a pedestrian who fails to notice oncoming traffic, or even ourselves making risky decisions while behind the wheel, car accidents are everywhere.
Although these highly avoidable events can lead to severe damage and injury, they’re still extremely common in today’s modern world. So if you’ve ever wondered what causes car accidents, here are some of the most common factors.
When we speed, our reaction times are shorter (less time to react to a hazard), and when the brakes are applied, the stopping distance increases. For example, if you’re driving at 50mph in a 30mph zone with your brakes fully applied, it would take an extra 22 meters per second before ‘you’ stopped compared to someone who was only driving at 30mph in the same space.
That means that if an individual were to step out into the street unexpectedly while you were speeding by, you might not have enough time to stop to avoid hitting them!
2. Distraction/Disobeying Traffic Laws
When talking on the phone, eating a burger, putting on makeup, or any other activity that takes your attention away from the road can be incredibly dangerous. Distractions cause drivers to take their eyes off of the road, which usually results in some form of reckless driving behavior.
For example, if you were to try to change lanes while putting on your mascara, it’s possible that you wouldn’t see another car coming up beside you until it was too late!
3. Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol remains one of the most severe causes of car accidents worldwide. Suppose an individual has far over the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC). In that case, they will likely struggle with focus/concentration as well as reaction times — both of which are necessary for safe driving.
Similarly, if an individual were to drive under the influence of drugs (whether it be recreational or prescription), they’ll likely struggle with personal judgment and coordination problems; these factors will affect their overall ability to avoid hazards on the road!
When we’re tired, our reaction times are drastically reduced, as well as our overall personal judgment (i.e., such as missing obstacles such as stationary/slow-moving traffic).
If you find yourself struggling to keep your eyes open while on the road due to fatigue, pull over into a rest area and try to catch some zzzs!
5. Unfamiliar Roads
If you’re driving on a road you aren’t familiar with; it’s important to drive slower than normal since you won’t have the necessary information to make decisions.
For example, if you begin to approach an intersection while driving in an unfamiliar city, it would be wise to slow down and proceed through it carefully, even if the light is in your favor!
6. Road Design/Geography
If an individual were driving on a curvy mountain road or through densely populated city streets, it would drastically increase their chances of getting into an accident; this is due to the fact that they’ll have much more difficulty avoiding hazards in these environments.
If possible, stick predominately to major highways and avoid back-roads for personal safety.
7. Speed Cameras/Traffic Enforcement
In some countries around the world, speed cameras are set up on popular roads/high to deter speeding drivers.
While these are important for personal safety, it’s important to note that they do not actually cause car accidents; they simply catch drivers who are speeding to issue them a ticket eventually.
8. Weather Conditions
Weather plays a significant factor in car accidents because, during heavy rainfalls, visibility is often significantly reduced (similar to driving during the night).
It’s important that you should start slowing down if it starts raining because you won’t be able to stop as quickly as normal!
9. Other Drivers/Vehicles
While other drivers are another major cause of accidents, it’s important to keep in mind that they are the ones responsible for the personal injuries you sustain.
Let’s say, for example, an individual ran a red light and crashed into your car, causing significant injury; if you were to take them to court, they would be responsible for any harm or property damage fees — not you! Contact a personal injury attorney immediately if you find yourself in this situation.
10. Defective/Improperly Maintained Vehicles
It’s essential to have regular checkups on your car to ensure that everything is in good working order; for example, if your brakes are not properly maintained, you could end up crashing into another car, which is obviously very dangerous!
So now that you know what causes car accidents make sure you keep yourself and your family safe by observing all traffic laws (especially speed limits) when driving!