Sometimes, it’s easy to see why a car accident occurred – but sometimes, even the driver who was at fault isn’t quite sure what went wrong, and the real reason for the car accident is harder to pinpoint. A car accident lawyer, however, knows that there are six main reasons why car accidents happen, and being aware of them may make it easier to avoid accidents.
1. Distracted Driving
We all know that we should keep our eyes on the road and our hands on the wheel, but despite this, distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents, fatalities and injuries. Distractions are manual (doing something with your hands when they should be on the wheel), visual (taking your eyes from the road) or cognitive (thinking about things other than driving). They can also be a combination of two or three of these things. Fiddling with a mobile phone, for example, means that all three types of distraction have come into play at once.
2. Fatigued Driving
There are many reasons why fatigue and driving are a potentially deadly combination. When you’re tired, your judgment isn’t as good as it should be. Your reaction times are slower. And even if you aren’t actually falling asleep behind the wheel, you’re more prone to being distracted. The message is clear. If you’re overtired, don’t drive. And if you’re doing a long trip, be sure to factor in rest breaks including opportunities to get some sleep.
3. Driving While Intoxicated
Have a designated driver. Take an uber. Stay where you are and sleep it off. Whatever you do, don’t allow yourself to drive when you’ve been drinking. You’ll find guidelines like the “one drink an hour” rule of thumb, and there are even calculators that look at things like height, weight, gender and what you’ve been drinking. Don’t trust any of them. The safest assumption is that if you’ve been drinking, there’s some level of impairment, and avoid driving!
4. Failing to Obey the Rules of the Road
If we didn’t know the rules of the road, we wouldn’t have drivers’ licenses. But despite that, there’s hardly a person alive who hasn’t taken the occasional chance with the highway code. It could prove fatal. In the wrong lane? Wait for the next exit! In a hurry? Remember that you’re not “literally dying” to get there. Keep yourself and other road users safe by adhering to the highway code.
5. A Defective Car Part
From burst tyres to steering and brakes that don’t work as they should, car defects are one of the causes of car accidents over which you have the least control. Minimize your chances of causing an accident by maintaining your car well, inspecting it before you get in, and having any signs of trouble attended to as soon as you can.
6. A Defective Roadway
The sixth possible cause of a car accident is a rare one, but it can and does occur: bad roads. You could lose control of a car after hitting a pothole, for example. Do be very alert to the road ahead and slow down when roads are wet or visibility is poor. If you see dangerous defects in the road, be sure to report them to the authorities. You can help to keep roads safe for other drivers by being a concerned citizen.
Know Why Accidents Happen and be Mindful
Knowing why accidents happen can help you to be safer on the road. Pass on this knowledge to your children and set a good example for them to follow. You may never know how many accidents your family avoids by driving mindfully – and that’s something to be grateful for.