Car accidents happen all the time. While some are relatively minor, you never want to get in one since they can cause your insurance premiums to skyrocket. Also, even what seems like a little fender bender can have unforeseen medical consequences for months or even years to come.
Let’s take a little time to talk about some of the more lethal car accident causes you might encounter. You can control some of these, while others are outside of your direct influence.
How Serious is the Car Accident Problem?
Before we actually get into the specifics of what often causes car accidents, you may wonder how serious of an issue this is. Sure, car crashes happen, but is it as bad as we’re making it seem?
Judge for yourself. Studies show that in the US, about 36,000 people die in car accidents every year. They also cause more than 2.7 million injuries per year.
Considering that there are only about 330 million people in the United States, you can easily see that car accident injuries and deaths are cause for legitimate concern. Still, there’s no reason to get so fearful that you stay off the road from now on. It’s more prudent to follow all traffic laws and to act sensibly when you drive.
Now, let’s look at some of the more perilous vehicle behaviors and other factors that can cause accidents.
Many individuals drive when they have not had sufficient rest. That could happen if you are working at a job that requires you to work a double.
Many people leap at the chance to work a double shift because they know that extra money will look good on their paycheck at the end of the week. Maybe you rarely have the chance at those sorts of hours, so every time you can do a double, you don’t hesitate to take it.
That’s your prerogative, but if you’re driving home from work afterward, you might feel exhausted. You can certainly drift off for a second while driving, and you might wreck the car in that instant.
You might also feel exhaustion because you have a new baby in the family that won’t sleep through the night. Maybe you’re feeling anxious, or you have a higher stress level because of coronavirus concerns or familial strife.
Whatever the reason for your exhaustion, if you’re tired and you feel like you might fall asleep while behind the wheel, either chug some coffee or an energy drink or else get someone to drive you home. You can also take public transportation and come back for your vehicle if you feel the need.
Making Illegal or Improper Turns
Illegal or improper turns also cause many accidents. For instance, it is not legal for you to turn right at a red light in some states. When you learn to drive, or you are visiting another state, make sure you know whether it’s legal to turn right on red.
Even if it’s legal to do so, remember that if the light is red, you do not have the right of way. You can execute a legal turn, but only if no cars are coming. If you feel like it’s not safe for you to turn, then don’t do it, even if vehicles are honking behind you.
You also need to watch out when you’re turning left at a four-way intersection. The light might be in your favor, but if you don’t have a green left-turn arrow, you do not have the right of way. The car coming from the opposite direction does because while you are turning, they are going straight.
Don’t try to turn left in these situations if the traffic coming toward you is moving too fast. If it is, and you try to turn anyway, you risk a T-bone collision. You also might get a traffic ticket if a cop sees you making a risky turn.
Some people bring their emotions out onto the road with them. Aggressive driving can easily lead to what lawyers and the court system call road rage.
Road rage often occurs when someone is in a bad mood already when they decide to drive. Maybe you and your spouse or partner argued before you went to work. Perhaps your boss passed you over for a promotion, or you got some alarming medical news.
You should try to drive only when you’re calm and tranquil. While that can’t be possible every time, even if you feel like you’re experiencing some emotional turmoil, you can’t let that affect your driving decisions.
If you tailgate the cars ahead of you, speed, or change lanes without signaling, the police will consider any of that aggressive driving, and they can pull you over and ticket you if they see you doing it. They are right to do so. Aggressive driving is one of the activities that are highly likely to injure you or someone else, such as another driver, pedestrian, or cyclist.
Bad Weather Driving
Bad weather driving often causes accidents. This is something that you can’t control since sometimes, you need to drive somewhere, and you have to get there regardless of whether it’s raining hard, snowing, hailing, or whatever else is happening.
While you cannot control the weather, you may at least control your driving behavior as it’s happening. You can drive slower than usual if it is raining. You can turn on your windshield wipers and headlights to cut through the rain and improve your visibility.
Also, some people won’t let bad weather deter them from driving. For some, it’s almost like a matter of pride. They won’t let any weather, no matter how poor, keep them off the road.
It’s foolish to think that way. It’s much better for you to swallow your pride and pull over if the snow or rain is pelting down so hard that you risk life and limb by continuing to drive in it.