There have been far too many stories in the news recently of young people dying in car accidents in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area. The sad reality is that many of these accidents are preventable. Below is a list of the 5 most common causes of car accidents in America. This information may help you or a loved one avoid getting in an accident. Indeed, it very well may be a matter of life or death.
- DISTRACTED DRIVING
Research at the American Automobile Association's (AAA) Traffic Safety Division shows that between 25-50% of all car accidents are caused by distracted driving. Distracted driving kills 9 people and injures 1,000 more each day in the United States. In fact, AAA's research indicates that 39 percent of drivers admit to having read a text or email while driving in the past month, and 29 percent of drivers admit to typing one. Now, of course, we know the true percentage must be much higher, since many people may not care to admit to texting while driving. And according to New Jersey's statistics, (1) more than half of all crashes involved a distracted driver, and (2) nearly one third of all fatal crashes involved a distracted driver.
Distracted driving includes:
- Talking on cell phones
- Texting (whether writing or reading texts)
- Eating or drinking
- Looking away from the road
- Paying attention to passengers or pets in the car and not the road
- DRUNK DRIVING
The NHTSA reports that drunk drivers account for approximately 32% of all traffic fatalities in the United States. In fact, around 32 people die every day in the U.S. because of a drunk driving car accident. In this day and age, this simply should not happen, especially with the popularity and low cost of rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft available. Your best bet is to designate a sober driver in advance, or order an Uber or Lyft, if you plan to consume alcohol. Just do not drive.
Speeding is one of the deadliest factors in many car accidents. Not only does increased speed reduce the time you have to avoid a crash, but it also increases your risk of crashing. And simple physics means that the higher your speed, the more severe an accident might become. For example, your room for error when making a turn at high speed is much less. Couple that with bad weather and slick roads, it is a recipe for disaster. Slow down – it is better to get where you are going late, than not get there at all.
- AGGRESSIVE DRIVING
Somewhat similar to speeding, but a little different. This could mean tailgating or following too closely, dangerous lane changes, sharp or abrupt turns or maneuvers, or blowing through traffic signals. Some states, like New York, specifically prohibit aggressive motorcycle maneuvers such as lane splitting.
- INCLEMENT WEATHER
Heavy rain, hail, snow, ice, high winds and fog can make driving conditions much more difficult. You have to be really careful, cannot speed, and you must take your time when driving in bad weather. You also have to be more alert to look out for other cars.
We know accidents are not completely avoidable no matter how careful a driver you may be, but avoiding the top 5 causes of accidents can greatly reduce your risk of being involved in a car accident.
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