Every year in the United States, there are 6 million car accidents. And 90 people die every day as a result of the many car crashes.
And even though 1 in 7 people don’t wear a seatbelt, the same source tells us that opting to wear a seatbelt can reduce your risk of death by 45%.
For decades, the leading cause of car accidents has been distracted driving, and it’s still the leading cause today.
Most auto crashes could’ve been avoided. If drivers would just take their responsibility on the road just a little more seriously, we could eliminate many of the automobile injuries, deaths, and property damage associated with those crashes.
Do you want to do your part to prevent car accidents? Keep reading to uncover more statistics and learn how to avoid a crash.
Don’t Drive While You’re Distracted
Which drivers are more likely to be in a deadly crash? The answer is distracted drivers!
Accidents happen in split seconds. Even though you think you have time to send a quick text, don’t ever do it!
Just like we mentioned above, distracted drivers are the leading accident causes. Here are some of the things distracted drivers do while driving:
- Text or talk on the phone
- Eat or drink
- Groom themselves
- Put on makeup
- Talk to other passengers
- Smoke while driving
It just isn’t worth it. If everyone made a vow not to allow themselves distractions while driving, we’d significantly reduce the daily accident rate.
Don’t Drink and Drive
Over 10,000 people died in 2016 because of drunk driving. That number accounted for 28% of all traffic-related deaths for that year.
What’s even worse is of the 1,233 car crash deaths for children aged 0 to 14 years old for that year, 17% of them involved an alcohol-impaired driver.
The CDC also tells us that in 2016, over 1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of narcotics or alcohol!
It simply isn’t worth the risk. And with so many cab service options, there’s no excuse for drinking and driving.
Don’t Be Reckless on the Road
Many drivers partake in reckless driving almost every time they venture out on the road. Some examples of reckless driving are:
- Speeding well over the speed limit
- Changing lanes too quickly
- Not signaling
- Driving aggressively
When people speed and swerve around other drivers, they put themselves and everyone else at risk. Plus, they rarely get to their destinations any faster.
Aggressive driving is when a driver commits a combination of moving traffic offenses to the point of endangering other people or property. This type of driving accounted for over 50% of all fatal crashes between the years of 2003 and 2007.
Here are some of the actions associated with aggressive driving:
- Failing to signal
- Following other drivers improperly
- Illegal driving in a ditch, on a sidewalk, median, or on a road shoulder
- Erratic or improper lane changing
- Passing where it’s prohibited
- Failing to obey traffic signs, control devices
- Suddenly changing speeds
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Making an improper turn
- Driving too fast for the conditions or in excess of the speed limit
While we all make mistakes from time to time, aggressive driving is purposeful and dangerous.
Learn to Drive at Night and During Rain
If you live in a place where there’s a rainy season, driving in the rain is inevitable. You can’t always avoid it, though if you can, you should.
Roads can become treacherous during heavy rain, and when visibility is too low, or roads are particularly slick, pull over until the storm passes.
Rain and snow increase the risk of fatal car accidents by 34%, and these types of accidents claim about 35,000 lives every year.
If you have to drive in rain or snow, make sure your vehicle is equipped and drive as safely and responsibly as you can.
Nighttime driving creates a lack of visibility. If you have to drive at night, make sure you’re extra alert.
Always use your brights when you’re on an abandoned road without streetlights. Just be sure to turn them down for passing vehicles.
Don’t Run Red Lights or Tailgate
Red means stop. Yes, we know it’s obvious, but unfortunately, so many people fail to stop at red lights or signs.
In the United States, an estimated 2 people died every day because of red-light running in 2015. And from 2011 to 2015, red-light running crashes increased by 7%.
When you run a red light or a stop sign, you’re breaking the law. And no matter how much of a rush you’re in, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Drivers are endlessly frustrated by tailgating drivers, but many people continue to do it.
23% of all car crashes are rear-end accidents. In one study, even though 74% of drivers said they’d been tailgated in the last 6 months, only 11% of drivers admitted to tailgating someone else. There’s a strong disconnect there that reveals how many drivers don’t understand what a safe distance entails.
You should always maintain a safe distance between you and the car ahead. Plus, if you rear-end someone, you’re likely to be held liable. So why take the chance?
If you want to know how much a safe distance is, pick a marker up ahead. After the car in front of you passes that marker, there should be a 3-second pause before your vehicle passes that same marker.
Many Auto Crashes Are Preventable
Auto crashes account for thousands of deaths every year. But most of those car accidents could’ve been prevented!
All you have to do is pay extra attention to the road and your surroundings, and drive within the limits of the law.
No matter how rushed you are, ask yourself if it’s really worth it to speed. The same goes for tailgating and running red lights, amongst other things.
Have you been in an accident recently and are unsure of what to do? Contact us for a free case evaluation so we can help you figure it out.
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.