At least one person dies in a car accident every thirteen minutes on average. While many factors can contribute to these accidents, four of the most common causes are here.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents and has been linked to thousands of deaths yearly. Despite the well-publicized dangers of distracted driving, many people continue to engage in this risky behavior. The most common form of distracted driving is cell phone use, which includes talking on the phone, texting, and browsing the internet. Even hands-free devices can be distracting, as they can take a driver’s attention off the road.
Distracted driving is hazardous because it increases the chance of an accident by factors such as: reducing reaction time, impairing judgement, and causing driver inattention. In addition, distracted driving can also lead to more severe accidents, such as head-on collisions and rear-endings. These accidents are often much more likely to result in injuries or fatalities. Even if you are a safe driver, you are at risk when others are distracted behind the wheel. That is why it is essential to always pay attention when driving and avoid distractions.
Driving Under The Influence
While drunk driving is a severe offense that can lead to jail time, it is also a leading cause of car accidents. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol-impaired drivers were responsible for nearly one-third of all traffic deaths in the United States in 2021. The dangers of driving under the influence are well-known, but many people continue to take the risk. Driving while impaired by alcohol slows reaction times, impairs judgment, and makes it difficult to stay in one’s lane.
In addition, drunk drivers are more likely to speed and engage in other risky behaviors. As a result, car accidents involving drunk drivers often have tragic consequences. If you drink alcohol, have a designated driver or take a taxi, it is not worth risking your life or the lives of others.
Non-Use Of Safety Equipment
A significant number of accidents are caused by the simple failure to use safety equipment. For example, a recent study shows that over half of all motorcycle fatalities in the United States could be prevented if riders wore helmets. Similarly, seat belts have been shown to reduce the risk of severe injury or car accident with death by up to 50%. Yet despite these clear dangers, many people still choose not to use safety equipment when they get behind the wheel. Sometimes, this may be due to a simple lack of awareness. But in other cases, it may result from complacency or even arrogance. The failure to use safety equipment is one of the most common causes of preventable death on the roads today.
Unsafe Road Infrastructure
Every year, countless lives are lost due to car accidents. While some of these accidents are caused by factors like driver error or intoxication, a significant number are also caused by unsafe road infrastructure. Poorly designed roads, inadequate signage, and missing guardrails can all contribute to severe accidents, especially when drivers travel at high speeds. These accidents could be prevented in many cases if the roads were better designed and maintained. However, the responsibility for ensuring safe road conditions often falls on local governments or private developers, who may not have the necessary funds or motivation to make the required improvements. As a result, unsafe road conditions continue to cause needless tragedy daily.
Despite the many dangers on the road, most accidents are preventable. If we all take a little extra care when driving – obeying traffic laws, paying attention to our surroundings, and not drinking and driving – we can make the roads safer for everyone. Remember, it only takes a second for a life to change forever. Let us all do our part to keep our streets safe.