A report by the World Health Organization states that roughly 1.25 million people lose their lives while an additional 20 to 50 million suffer from injuries as a result of road traffic crashes every year.
Many individuals and families suffer a considerable amount of loss due to these accidents. Driving carefully is critical because the moment you take the wheel you and your passengers’ lives are at risk.
There are a lot of factors involved in motor vehicle accidents, but here are some of the leading causes of car crashes that you may or may not be aware of.
1. Distracted Driving
When it comes to driving, multitasking is a terrible idea. Driving requires your full attention and anything that takes your focus away from driving for more than two seconds is a dangerous road safety issue.
Distracted driving significantly increases the likelihood of an auto accident. In the United States alone, 25-50% of all auto vehicle crashes are directly related to driver distraction.
Meanwhile, research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that nine percent of fatal crashes in 2016 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
Cellular phones are the main culprit of distracted driving. A study found that driving and talking on a cell phone simultaneously quadruples the risk of crashing.
Despite numerous warnings regarding the safety hazard of using a phone while driving, as many as 85% of cellphone owners or approximately 500,000 drivers use their phones at least occasionally while driving.
Even hands-free phones, which you might think reduces the risk of a car crash, are not that much safer.
Texting and driving is the most dangerous cellphone-related hazard due to the fact that it removes your eyes from the road. At 55mph, looking down to check your phone momentarily is enough time to travel the length of a football field.
Reaction time is slowed down by 38%, which is three times more than drinking and driving when surfing social media on your phone while driving.
Other common driver distractions include:
- Passenger Interference
- Taking in the View
- Listening to Music
- Applying makeup
- Dealing with Kids or Pets in the back seat
Most individuals realize the danger of driving while fatigued, but thousands of crashes each year are caused by drivers who become drowsy or fall asleep behind the wheel.
Fatigue is a condition that affects everyone, but it can be especially dangerous for drivers as it affects their ability to perform attention-based activities, such as driving.
Over 20% of road accidents and a quarter of fatal and severe accidents are direct results of driver fatigue.
Sleep deprivation, driving at the time of circadian impairment, and being tired from other activities or driving for too long can negatively impact your reaction time, reduce vigilance, and impair concentration which are the common culprits of an accident.
3. Driving While Intoxicated
Driving after consuming alcohol is a serious crime. A Safe driver needs the ability to concentrate, make sound judgments, and quickly react to situations.
Even a small amount of alcohol could severely impact your driving ability. Some drivers may not even show any signs of being intoxicated, but it doesn’t mean they can drive safely.
Drinking and driving puts yourself and others in danger. In 2016, 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the United States were caused by alcohol-impaired driving crashes which cost 10,497 people their lives.
4. Aggressive Driving
Even emotions like anger, resentment, and frustration can be deadly contributors when you’re behind the wheel. Aggressive driving contributes to at least 5 million car accidents annually. Over 50% of fatal collisions are caused by aggressive driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines aggressive driving as an instance that occurs when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses to endanger other persons or property.”
The most common form of aggressive driving is speeding, which caused 27% of traffic fatalities in 2016. Car accidents typically occur when an individual is rushing because it hinders the driver’s ability to detect dangerous situations and makes it difficult to stop the vehicle immediately.
Additional aggressive driving behavior includes lane blocking, failing to signal or yield the right of way, tailgating, and disregarding traffic controls. These behaviors can cause a crash.
The best way to combat aggressive behavior is by calming down, taking a deep breath, and relaxing when faced with a stressful driving environment or when you’re in a mood that makes you impatient and irritable.
The excessive number of car accidents can be reduced by practicing simple and safe driving techniques. However, there are some car crashes that can’t be avoided. Even the most experienced and careful drivers can be involved in an auto vehicle accident because of the negligent actions of another driver.
In the event that you have suffered injuries sustained in an automobile accident, it’s possible to obtain compensation from the party at fault.