Car accidents are common, and they can result in major damages and injuries. If you are worried about car accidents, or if you simply want to know more so you can better protect yourself, check out these five leading causes of car accidents.
1. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is one of the most common factors in accidents caused by driver error. The leading cause of distracted driving is talking and texting on the phone. In fact, this accounts for about 26 percent of all car crashes. Other common causes of distracted driving include using the GPS, adjusting the music, talking to passengers, and not looking at the road.
If you were injured in a car accident and the other driver was distracted, you and your attorney will want to prove the driver wasn’t paying attention to better build your case. This can be hard to prove, however, unless there are witnesses or the driver admitted to being distracted.
2. Drunk Driving
Drunk driving is another common problem; in the US alone, about one person dies from a drunk driving crash every fifty minutes, resulting in over 10,000 deaths a year. In the US, you cannot legally drive if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher because of how alcohol affects your mind and body.
By the time your BAC reaches 0.08%, muscle coordination is poor, and your judgment is impaired. This makes you slow to react, which is detrimental when on the road. Proving the other driver was drunk is usually easy because their BAC will be tested. Ideally, the driver will have their BAC tested immediately, before the body has time to process and remove the alcohol.
3. Poor Weather Conditions
The weather can affect your ability to drive in several ways, but rain and snow are the more dangerous conditions. Your tires work by gripping the road, which helps them turn easily without slipping and skidding. Water, however, makes the wheels lose their grip, and ice is even worse.
For this reason, during the winter, drivers should switch to winter or snow tires. If you were hit by someone on a snowy day and they weren’t using proper tires, tell your attorney.
Even in the summer, however, the weather may impact driving because of the sun. If the sunlight is too bright and reflecting off the road and other cars, seeing clearly may be difficult. Drivers should keep sunglasses handy. If you were hit by somebody who neglected to wear the proper eyewear on a sunny day, let your attorney know.
4. Nighttime Driving
Driving at night naturally increases the risk of accidents because of reduced visibility. In fact, some people suffer from night blindness, which makes seeing at night even more difficult. Causes of nighttime blindness include things like nearsightedness and cataracts.
Driving at night isn’t the only problem; driving at dusk or dawn has its own special set of complications. During dusk and dawn, the light is constantly changing as the sun sets or rises. These changes in light can irritate the eyes and make seeing difficult. For this reason, people are more likely to hit you because they can’t see well.
Speeding is another leading cause of accidents, and it is particularly dangerous because the faster a car is going, the more impactful the collision. Naturally, the type of road also plays a role. In 2018, for example, 45% of crashes caused by speeding took place on a dirt/gravel road, but only 16% of crashes caused by speed were on dry roads, according to Injury Facts®.
Speeding has another problem: it makes reacting in time difficult. The faster a driver is going, the longer it will take for them to stop once they apply the brakes, so even if the driver tries to avoid the accident, they may not be able to.
Car accidents happen every day, but that doesn’t mean they have to affect you. While you may be a defensive driver, however, you can’t control other drivers. If you would like to know more, or if you’ve been injured in an accident, contact us at Family Insurance Centers today.