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Common Causes of Auto Accidents

Common Causes of Auto Accidents

Why do Most Car Accidents Occur?

1.  Distracted driving – distracted driving takes many forms.  Texting, talking on a cell phone, eating, fiddling with music players, putting on makeup – these are just a few of the things that drivers do instead of paying attention to the road.  Any activity that takes a driver’s eyes and mind off of driving can lead to a serious crash.  Drivers who are not paying attention can run red lights, side-swipe another vehicle, sail through a stop sign, fail to brake, swerve into oncoming traffic and much more.

2.  Drunk driving – drivers who get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking alcohol cause serious and fatal crashes every day.  About a third of all auto accidents involve alcohol, going up to around 50 percent on the weekends.  Despite aggressive crackdowns and stiff DUI penalties including prison time and fines for some offenders, far too many men, women and children lose their lives every year to intoxicated drivers.

3.  Speeding – excess speed, whether over the posted speed limit or too fast for conditions (i.e. driving faster than is safe in heavy rain) is a major contributor to serious traffic crashes.  Drivers speed because they aren’t paying attention, they’re frustrated or angry, they’re late, or they don’t think speeding is a big deal.  However, the cliché is true: speed kills.  Not only do drivers need faster reaction times to avoid accidents when they’re moving at high speed, but if they are involved in a crash the force of impact increases dramatically, causing more serious injuries and property damage, and leading to fatalities.

4.  Aggressive driving – aggressive driving behaviors include tailgating, speeding, rapid lane changes, honking and gesturing, and any behavior that puts other motorists at risk.  The dangerous maneuvers that these drivers engage in put themselves and others at risk of being involved in a collision.

5.  Drowsy driving – it may not seem serious, but drivers who get behind the wheel when they are tired or are under the influence of a drug that causes fatigue are very dangerous.  Not only are tired drivers putting themselves at risk, but they’re risking the lives of other motorists and road users as well.  Fatigued drivers have slower reaction times, their judgment is clouded and worst of all they can fall asleep at the wheel and crash.

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