Driving home, to work, to school, or anywhere is else is a routine part of almost everyone’s lives. There aren’t any other ways to get to where you need to go without a car to take you there. Yet, just because something is routine doesn’t mean it’s safe.
In fact, the top causes of car accidents are usually innocuous. The things that can literally wreck your whole life are normal parts of our daily lives. Changing a song on your phone, switching the radio, or just driving at night can all boost the chances that you will get in an accident.
And the consequences of getting in an accident can be harsh. You don’t just have the obvious costs of repair or replace your car to worry about, or the legal fees if you’re found at fault. Getting into an accident can cost you your life, or someone else’s life, and that can’t be replaced.
Keep reading below to learn about some of the top causes of car accidents, so that you can become a safer driver!
1. Distracted Driving Has Deadly Consequences
Distracted driving comes in many forms, and all of them are equally dangerous. Every time your attention turns away from the road, you are distracted while controlling a two-ton hunk of metal barreling down the road at many miles per hour. It’s a dangerous situation, and you should always avoid it.
The most common cause of distracted driving is smartphones. The fact that you can stream music, get text messages, or social media notifications on them while you drive has caused several accidents. Don’t ever look at your phone while driving; no notification is ever important enough to look away from the road as you drive.
You won’t get away with it if you do look at your phone and get into an accident, either. Some phone records can be subpoenaed by the courts, such as the times at which you were on it.
Some states, like Tennessee and Missouri, have passed laws that prohibit you from looking at your phone while driving for any reason. If you’re in a crash while looking away from the road, you’ll be at fault and will face severe consequences.
2. Driving Under the Influence Puts People Under
There is one thing worse than distracted driving: driving under the influence.
It’s bad enough to control a vehicle without paying attention, but it’s worse to control one without a clear state of mind. You need to be able to think quickly and lucidly while driving, or else you can cause irreparable harm.
Just like how there’s never any reason to drive distracted, there is no reason to ever drive drunk. It doesn’t matter how badly you need to get home after a night out on the town. If you decide to drive back home drunk, you may never get there.
Instead, you can order rideshare apps through apps like Uber or Lyft. Many cities also offer programs to help people get home when they can’t get there themselves. You can also simply reach out to a friend for a ride, instead of endangering your life and other people’s lives by driving drunk.
3. Stay Home- Don’t Try to Weather the Weather
Cars are powerful machines that can bear many different kinds of beatings. Some can plow through mounds of dirt like it was nothing, while others can speed through slick roads as if you were handling a jet. Not all cars perform well in dangerous conditions, though.
Most of the time, harsh weather can send cars careening off the road, or into other cars. The rain can block the windshield so that drivers can’t see what’s in front of them. Wind can also be strong enough to make people lose control of their cars.
Yet, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever drive in a rainstorm. Sometimes, you just need to bear through bad weather. Just know when weather may be too bad for you to drive in, and if it is, simply stay home!
4. Tailgating May Lead You to Pearly Gates
Many people tailgate people as a way to get them to go faster on the road, or to prepare for a sudden turn.
Yet, tailgating is a dangerous habit that can be more than just one of the rudest things to do on the road. Tailgating sets the stage for severe rear-end accidents since it removes the time someone has to react to a person braking.
Not only do drivers not have the time to slow down, but they also don’t have the time to slow down. That means rear-end accidents as a result of tailgating can be especially deadly. Cars collide at full-speed in them, and they directly hit each other without any time to swerve and impact at an angle.
The person at the front of a rear-end accident may get some whiplash or worse, as their vehicle lunges forward from the crash. Meanwhile, the person in the back may be thrown against the windshield as a result of the crash. While both people may emerge unscathed, the cars will likely face serious repair, if they’re not outright totaled.
5. Drowsy Driving is Dangerous
Driving home at the end of a long workday is one of the best experiences anyone can ask for. Some people spend the whole day looking forward to the drive back home without ever realizing how dangerous it can be. People are drowsy and lethargic at the end of the workday, which impairs their ability to drive.
Drowsy driving means you don’t have the ability to react to situations quickly. It’s comparable to driving drunk, and even if it’s less severe than being under the influence, it still impairs your cognitive function. You want to be completely clear-headed when you’re on the road and driving drowsy is the exact opposite of that.
If you’re drowsy at the end of a long workday, try doing some quick exercises before getting into your car. It will get the blood pumping and will make you more aware of your surroundings. It’s also just healthy to exercise after sitting around and working all day.
The Top Causes of Car Accidents Can All be Deadly
It doesn’t matter what the top causes of car accidents are, all car accidents can be deadly. They can leave people with severe physical and mental scars and may cost people more than just their cars. Every car accident needs to treated as if it were a life-threatening situation.
Yet, not everyone does. For many law firms and clinics, car accidents are treated as routine parts of life. Yet, we don’t. Contact us if you need legal help after an accident, and we’ll make sure you’re taken care of after enduring such a traumatizing situation.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.