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Car accidents can happen to anyone at any time. One minute you’re cruising along a familiar street, and the next you’ve been hit by someone backing out of their driveway too quickly.
Studies have shown that more than half of car accidents happen within five miles of home — a scary statistic considering that we feel more comfortable driving on familiar roads.
Car accidents can be caused by many things, but the five most common causes are as follows.
You probably knew this was coming. Speeding is one of the leading causes of car accidents and one of the most preventable. Always obey speed limit signs, particularly in poor weather conditions. Wet or icy roads require driving at much slower speeds so that you have more time to react in the event of an accident. Always avoid speeding on highways, where greater speeds and more cars can create a perfect storm for fatal accidents.
We like to pin this one on teenagers, but adults are just as guilty. Whether you’re talking on the phone, texting, or simply adjusting the radio, distracted driving takes your attention away from the road and the cars around you. When you’re in the car, focus your attention on just driving. Be sure to adjust any mirrors, GPS devices, or comfort features before hitting the road.
Sometimes we let our emotions get the best of us while driving. If you’ve ever changed lanes abruptly or without signalling, sped up to pass someone in a no-passing zone, or followed too closely behind another car to encourage them to go faster, then you are guilty of reckless driving.
Reckless driving causes accidents. If you’re a reckless driver, then it is time to change your behavior. If you notice another driver behaving recklessly, keep your distance and monitor their behavior.
Running Red Lights and Stop Signs
Rolling through red lights or stop signs occasionally may seem like a minor infraction, but this offense is a known cause of car accidents. At intersections, running red lights can cause dangerous accidents. Even if you are diligent about stopping for red lights and stop signs, you should always take care to look both ways to make sure that no one else is putting you in danger by speeding through stops.
A blatantly obvious top cause of car accidents is drunk driving. It’s important to remember that even a few drinks can result in drunk driving, as your reaction time will be slowed and you’ll be putting others at risk. Always appoint a designated driver and never let your friends or family members get into the driver’s seat if they’ve been drinking.
Driving is such a common action that we often forget how dangerous it can be. Identifying the top causes of car accidents can help you practice safer, more responsible driving so that you always arrive safely.