Since the time cars hit the road, accidents have become part and parcel of vehicular traffic. Previously, road accidents were not as serious, since cars were slow and less in number. Today, with faster cars, these accidents have taken catastrophic proportions taking lives of thousands every year. In the US alone, there were 37,461 fatalities in 2016 alone.
Although road safety measures try to keep pace with the increasing traffic, car accidents remain a step ahead. This is because of a number of reasons.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
#1 Getting Distracted
Smartphones have become a major distraction for car drivers, who, more often than not, are caught looking at their phones, instead of paying attention to the traffic, resulting in a crash. Eating, reading and grooming are other reasons.
#2 Driving Under Influence
Whether it is alcohol or drugs, both are a ready recipe for disaster, since both impair judgement and numb the senses. This prevents car drivers from taking evasive actions, resulting in accidents.
Signage’s such as ‘Speeding thrills, but kills’ are often found displayed on the road with good reason. The urge to speed is hard to resist, so it comes as no surprise that speeding is the second most common cause of accidents.
#4 Not Following Traffic Rules
Jumping red light, changing lanes without indicating, racing with other cars, moving in the wrong direction in a one-way lane, taking abrupt turns, driving recklessly in speed zones, and other violations of traffic rules lead to accidents.
Keeping a safe distance from the car in front is important and higher the speed, more should be the inter se distance. This is because the driver gets reaction time to brake in time without crashing into the car ahead and initiating a pile up.
#6 Adverse Weather Conditions
Rain, sleet, hail and storm, and other adverse weather conditions impair visibility and make the road slippery. High winds may uproot trees and cause road obstructions by blowing objects on to the road. These all are likely to cause accidents.
#7 Adverse Road Conditions
Broken and potholed roads pose a grave risk for driving. At times, construction work on the road is not marked with warning signs. All this may lead to accidents.
#8 Nighttime Driving
Despite headlights and high beams, nighttime driving remains risky. This is because darkness limits visibility and high beams of oncoming cars can blind the drivers for a few seconds to cause accidents.
#9 Underage Driving
Teenage drivers with their impulsive nature are a serious road hazard. Their lack of experience and propensity for distraction are likely to cause accidents.
#10 Car Condition
Lack of maintenance of the car is another reason why accidents happen. Worn out tires may go flat and make the car swerve unexpectedly or over inflated tire may burst, leading to accidents. Engine stalling suddenly in the midst of the road may also cause accidents.
If you are a driver, you would already be aware of these and many more road hazards. Anticipating such hazards and inculcating self-discipline while driving is half the battle won. Read more about how you can prevent such accidents from happening.