Accidents happen daily; so if you want to avoid accidents, there are some things to be aware of. The adage 'knowledge is power' applies to this area of driving and avoiding collisions. Knowing what causes accidents can help you make better choices while driving. Here are five common causes of highway accidents.
Tires and Brakes
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation tires and brakes are some of the chief problems causing accidents. 43.3% of tires and 25% of brakes were critical for pre-crash conditions. Making sure our vehicles are in good running order needs to be a priority. Tire pressure and tread depth are essential to tires dependability.
Ice and debris on the roads, making it slippery, account for 49% of all accidents according to the USDOT. As drivers we must make wise decisions to stay off of the roads when officials ask us. Also, driving more cautious would help reduce highway accidents.
Distracted drivers caused 3,450 deaths in 2016. This includes looking at others in the vehicle, dialing the phone, having a conversation, playing the radio, and retrieving fallen objects. Talking while driving for the age group of 16-25 year old has the highest rate of accidents. Anything that takes us away from driving is a distraction and can attribute to an accident.
Driving drunk caused 10,497 deaths in 2016 according to US DOT. Drunk driving is on the increase by 1.7%. With speeds up to 70mph, driving drunk is a recipe for highway accidents causing death. Taking the keys away from your drunk friend is being a true friend.
Driving drowsy can cause death! We know our bodies have limits and need rest, yet we still continue to push ourselves past the limits. We overwork ourselves and do not take the time to rest. Young drivers, shift workers, and individuals with sleep disorders are considered the highest risk for fatigue driving deaths according to the Transport Accident Commission.
A study conducted by the Adelaide Centre for Sleep Research concluded a person awake for 24 hours is seven times as likely to have an accident. Truck drivers have accidents 11 times every day, partly due to driver fatigue. There are 4,000 deaths a year, and 100,000 injuries due to truck crashes. Though, according to Swapp & Associates, it's possible for a car accident to be caused by multiple parties. For example, if roadside construction site extended too far into the road or there wasn’t a proper warning (this also means you might be able to receive compensation if you identify both parties).
In the occasions where we can’t help the accidents we’re part of, so a dash cam might help keep up with the aftermath. But making sure we know what causes accidents can help us make wiser choices while we are driving. Reducing driving deaths and injuries is ultimately up to us as the drivers. Making sure our vehicles are in proper running order, knowing road conditions, paying attention, and staying off the road if we are drunk or tired will reduce accidents.