Many of the cars on our roads today are equipped with some of the most technologically advanced safety features, features that weren’t there a few decades ago. Some of these features are meant to help the driver drive safely, and even help avoid accidents where the driver couldn’t. In spite of all these car safety features, fatalities due to car related accidents have been on the rise, with approximately 1.2 million (global statistics) individuals losing their lives on roads annually.
According to research, most of these accidents could be avoided had the drivers been attentive and fit to drive. Aggressive driving, drunk driving, and being distracted on the road are some of the factors that cause road accidents today.
If you have been injured in a car accident you should seek legal help from an experienced lawyer. Discussed below are some of the main causes of car accidents today.
- Distracted Driving
Research shows that distracted driving is the leading cause of car accidents in the country today. Distracted driving contributes to at least 30% of all recorded road accidents today. Texting while driving, reading the newspaper, grooming, eating, talking on the phone, and adjusting the CD player or radio are some of the common factors that lead to distracted driving. Although you may only need a few seconds to switch to another radio station or pick up a call, that is all it takes to cause a fatal accident.
- Driver Fatigue
Driving while tired can also lead to crashes. Fatigued drivers have a slower response time with many experiencing heavy eyelids, fluctuating car speeds, frequent yawning, and dozing off while on the wheel. Daydreaming and feeling fidgety while on the road is another sign of fatigue. Studies also show that accidents that occur between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. are related to driver fatigue.
- Drunk Driving
Commonly known as driving under the influence, drunk driving is one of the leading causes of fatal accidents today. One thing about driving under the influence is that the driver is incapable of making right judgment on time. Drunk driving is often characterized by running red lights, swerving all over the road, unable to maintain a lane, and disregarding traffic safety rules. Almost all accidents caused by drunk driving could have been avoided were the driver sober. The police, however, have tools that make it easy to determine whether one is too drunk to drive, with stiff penalties for those arrested driving under the influence. Having a designated driver, or taking a cab, if too intoxicated is recommended to avoid such.
- Tailgating and Aggressive Driving
Driving aggressively increases one’s chance to cause accidents regardless of their experience on the road. While you may be good on the wheel, you cannot be sure about the other driver. Aggressive drivers tend to get in the way of ‘safe’ drivers, run traffic lights, and flashing lights, and change lanes unsafely. Aggressive drivers are accustomed to speeding, a factor that causes accidents. Tailgating, or driving too close to the car in front of you, is another cause of accidents today. While you may be trying to save time, or need to overtake the car quickly, tailgating leaves no space for braking should the other driver brake instantly.
- Failure to Obey Traffic Signals and Signs
Careless driving, failure to give way, running traffic lights, and overlapping can cause a major accident within a split second. There’s a good reason why most of these road signs and traffic rules are there in the first place. Failure to follow this causes a confusion which almost always leads to crashes. Some drivers are even tempted to speed after ambulances in the name of saving time – this is against the law and not recommended at all.
Following traffic rules, driving with a sober mind, not talking on the phone, and giving way where possible are some of the best ways to stay safe on the road. Always have a designated driver whenever going for a drink with friends.