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5 Common Causes of Car Accidents and How to Avoid Them

We all know accidents can occur when we are on the road, but did you know that auto accidents are one of the most common causes of death in the United States? Motor vehicle accident deaths accounted for nearly 30 percent of all injury-related deaths in 2021. If you have ever been in an auto accident, you know just how devastating it can be. In fact, although only 1% of people will experience a serious car accident, about 60% will file a claim for damages at some point in their lives.

Automobile drivers and passengers are especially liable to get into serious car accidents, along with drunk drivers and those who do not wear seat belts. According to the National Safety Council, more than 100 people die every day from car accidents. Whether your car is damaged or you suffer injuries in an accident, you may want to hire a lawyer from bridge city law to help with your case. 

Here are the five causes of car accidents that are most common:

1. Falling asleep at the wheel

Falling asleep at the wheel is one of the most common causes of car accidents. Drowsy driving can also be dangerous because it can lead to a number of other potentially serious problems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that as many as 56,000 car accidents every year are caused by drowsy driving.

How do you avoid falling asleep at the wheel? 

  • Avoid driving when you’re tired. 

If you know you have to get up early for work and that your schedule makes it hard to sleep well the night before, try to schedule your day so that you don’t need to drive in the morning. If that’s not possible, make sure to get a good night’s sleep before driving in the morning.

  • Get enough rest. 

Even if you don’t feel tired, if you haven’t slept enough, it’s time to get off the road. Driving on no sleep is actually more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol; at least with alcohol, drivers are less likely to fall asleep or even lose consciousness behind the wheel.

  • Get regular exercise. 

Regular exercise helps keep drivers alert and improves reaction times. It also helps drivers stay physically healthy and improve their emotional outlook, which both help prevent drowsiness while driving.

2. Failure to stop at a red light or stop sign

Did you know that 25% of all accidents are caused by drivers who fail to stop at a red light or stop sign? This is a very common mistake that can have devastating effects on the lives of drivers, passengers, and people on the road.

Red lights and stop signs are put in place to help control traffic flow and avoid accidents. When drivers fail to heed these warnings, they can cause injuries or even death to themselves or others on the road. To help ensure you’re as safe as possible while driving, be sure to follow all traffic laws and take advantage of your car’s safety features.

Make sure to always Follow Traffic Rules

This is why it is necessary for drivers to follow traffic rules and stay within the recommended speed limit. Not only does this help prevent accidents, but it also helps prevent speeding tickets. Speeding tickets can be very expensive, especially if you are caught doing so multiple times. By following traffic laws, you are less likely to receive a speeding ticket and more likely to arrive at your destination safely.

3. Distracted driving

You can spend hours at the gym, eating right, and driving safely. But if you are distracted while behind the wheel, you are putting yourself and others at risk of an accident. Trying to text or talk on a cell phone while driving is one of the worst forms of distracted driving. Cell phones have become an integral part of our lives but it’s important not to let them take over yours.

Don’t allow technology to put your life in danger. If you are texting or talking on a cell phone while driving, you are not paying attention to where you are going and that’s very dangerous. When you drive distracted, you increase your chances of being in an accident by 400%.

Ways on how to avoid distracted driving:

Put your cell phone away when you get behind the wheel. It’s best to leave your phone in the glove compartment or purse and turned off when driving. Don’t touch the phone while driving even if it vibrates or rings because it could take your eyes off the road and lead to an accident. 

If you need to respond to a text message, wait until you drive somewhere safe such as your home or work parking lot, and pull over before sending your response.

4. Driving under the influence (DUI)

A car accident can happen for a variety of reasons. But if it happens due to your drinking and driving habits, then it would be devastating to you as well as other people riding in the vehicle with you. There are many risks involved when you drink while driving a vehicle. One risk that is obvious is that you are putting yourself and others at risk of getting into an accident. Another risk is that you are putting yourself at risk of getting arrested for DUI (driving under the influence). You may also find yourself having to deal with court fees or fines from being arrested for DUI.

The most commonly used substances for driving under the influence are alcohol, prescription medications, and illegal drugs. Some of these substances can lead to drowsiness and affect a driver’s ability to pay attention to the road and other vehicles around them. The results of this can be serious accidents and even death.

Don’t Drink and Drive

The best way to avoid all these risks is to not drive if you have been drinking alcohol. When you do get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol make sure that you have a designated driver with you or use public transportation such as taxi services or public transport buses or trains so that you don’t drink and drive and put yourself at risk of getting arrested for DUI or causing any accidents on the road.

5. Overspeeding

The faster a car drives, the more difficult it becomes to control it. At high speeds, even experienced drivers may lose control of the vehicle and cause an accident. Speeding is a problem at least during the two most dangerous times on the highway: rush hours and holiday weekends.

When one vehicle is traveling at high speeds relative to others on the road, it typically creates a sense of urgency in other drivers. Many people feel the need to get out of the way of the speeding vehicle because they don’t want to be hit by it. This means that other drivers will be more likely to take risks and swerve out of their lanes or change lanes quickly in order to avoid an accident with a speeding driver. This can cause them to crash into another car or object on the road, which can cause serious injuries or fatalities.

Plan ahead and follow recommended speed limits

Try to get to places early so you aren’t in a rush. Plan your route ahead of time and plan for what traffic areas will be like. This can help prevent rushing and taking unnecessary risks. 

Follow the speed limit. While it may seem like everyone else is going over the speed limit, following it is important to prevent an accident or being pulled over by the police. Driving with the flow of traffic is always safer than trying to race through an area or trying to catch up when you’re late.

About the Author Jim Dwyer

Jim Dwyer is a relationship-driven attorney, who has been practicing law for over three decades and comes from a family of experienced and responsive personal injury lawyers.  He is passionate about helping people who have suffered from life-changing injuries navigate how to make the best possible choices about their specific situation and circumstances.  His number one goal is to ensure that people get the information they require, the care they need, and the justice they deserve.

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