Why Most Car Accidents Happen And How To Avoid Them

businesswoman driving car and talking on cell phone concentrating on the road

There are millions of car accidents annually and getting into one can lead to drastic consequences including injuries, financial struggles, and even detrimental emotional well-being. 

Even though accidents may sometimes be unavoidable, they are reminders of what to pay attention to, so you can be more aware of your surroundings. Hence, being well-armed with some root causes and some appropriate actions to prevent unwanted situations may come in handy.

This article will to some extent help you understand some of the main causes of car accidents and how you can prevent them. 

5 Common Causes And Preventions For Car Accidents 

1. Distracted Driving

The most common cause of car accidents is distracted driving. This occurs when drivers let something else take their attention off the road. 

There are many different distractions, most of which come from the technology available on cell phones and vehicles such as texting, changing songs or radio stations, and talking on the phone. A few others include eating food, assisting kids in the backseat, picking up items that fell on the floor, or even checking appearance in the mirror.

Multitasking while driving is extremely dangerous because our brain, according to many studies, doesn’t work that way. That’s also why distracted driving is the most possible cause that involves drivers in a car accident. Thus, although collisions may not be completely avoided, there are still some actions you, as a motorist, can effortlessly take to protect yourself from unwanted circumstances. Below are what you need to consider:

  • Limit your cell phone usage for emergencies only.
  • Avoid eating or attempting any personal grooming while driving.
  • Don’t attempt to multitask behind the wheel, let passengers help with the babies, or find addresses and directions for you.
  • Never text while driving.

2. High Speed

It may be the hustle and bustle of tons of responsibilities and waiting tasks that urge you to rush on the road. And you probably think that you’re able to maintain control at high speeds, but what if something went wrong? Then, you and your loved one’s if not mentioning your car would be at significant risk. 

Speeding down the highway is immensely dangerous because you have less time to react to unforeseen hazards and obstructions. Hence, never assume that speeding can do wonders for your time, it is simply not worth the potential pain.

To avoid speed-related accidents, it’s a no-brainer to slow down and pay close attention to the posted speed limit.

3. Poor Cognitive Conditions

Despite strict and mandatory regulations, there are still repeating cases of drunk driving harming people. Apart from alcohol, any drugs, medications, or unstable health conditions like being over-tired or sleepy can cause drowsiness which potentially leads to hazardous accidents.

Don’t wait until you are filled with remorse to take late actions in vain. If you are about to go out drinking or to a club, plan ahead, find a designated driver or seek out alternative ways to get home in advance to ensure your safety. Otherwise, you can ask for a night at a friend’s house

Additionally, keep in mind these notes for good. Don’t ever get behind the wheel right after drinking or taking a drug, or when suffering from certain health symptoms that can impair your cognitive abilities. Call a cab or request an Uber instead to save yourself!

4. Bad Weather

Inclement weather conditions such as snow, ice, sleet, hail, heavy rain, strong winds, fog can obscure your vision and thus, lead to accidents. Unlike other reasons mentioned above, there’s nothing you can do to control natural dangerous weather events. 

If you have little choice but to drive in such bad weather, what you can do is drive extra cautiously at a safe speed and pay closer attention to the road than usual. Plus, keep your windshield as clear as possible to maximize visibility. Carefully observe and don’t make sudden stops, turns, or lane changes.

5. Intersection Confusion

Intersections can be chaotic and stressful, especially for those who don’t know the proper protocols. It’s not always clear who has the right of way, and it’s also crucial to watch out for drivers jumping red lights or stop signs.

Generally, it’s integral not to speed through an intersection, it’s not worth risking your safety simply to save just a minute or two. When approaching an intersection, slow down and come to a complete stop. You can also use your hands to more clearly signal your intention.

Knowing the common causes of car accidents and some basic prevention doesn’t mean it’s always possible to avoid a collision. Therefore, although no one wants to plan for an accident, it’s important to arm yourself with appropriate actions to take when being involved in one. This will help you stay calm and tackle the unfortunate situation properly to protect your rights and your well-being.

Alicia Baker
Alicia is a Canadian writer whose enthusiasm for cultural and automotive are combined in her writing. Her background includes links to insurance, finance, and automotive safety.