Being involved in a car accident can be an overwhelming and frightening experience. Unfortunately, car accidents do occur and there are some common reasons that cause them. Below we list the five most common causes of car accidents and what to do if you’ve been involved in a crash.
Speeding is an extremely common occurrence. Since speeding collisions often occur at very high speeds, it is also a leading cause of fatal road injuries. Speeding is illegal, yet regularly happens, so to avoid the risks of an accident, following the speed limit is always the best thing to do.
2. Reckless Driving
Not only is speeding considered a reckless driving behavior, so is tailgating, dangerous lane changes, and disobeying traffic signs and laws. Reckless driving is also often performed by a driver who is operating under the influence.
3. Drunk Driving
Intoxicated driving is another leading cause of car accidents. When you are under the influence of alcohol your response time decreases. This increases your risk of accident. In all states, a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 is considered to be intoxicated under the law. Drunk driving is easily preventable by not consuming alcohol if you need to drive or having a designated driver if you do decide to consume alcohol.
4. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is very common and the leading cause of car accidents in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,142 people were killed in a motor vehicle accident involving a distracted driver in 2019. Distracted driving constitutes any activity that takes your attention away from the road. This could include eating or drinking, texting or talking on the phone, changing the radio station, or configuring your navigation system. You are not able to drive safely unless 100% of your attention is on the road. That’s why it’s so important to avoid distractions while driving.
Driver fatigue is something that often is not thought about. However, according to the CDC, driving while going too long without sleep can impair you in the same way that alcohol can. Drowsiness coupled with even a small amount of alcohol can also greatly increase impairment. Being alert is an important part of driving safely, and lack of sleep negatively affects your judgment and reaction time.
Steps to Take if You’ve Been Involved in a Car Accident
Now that the common causes of car accidents have been outlined, it’s important you know what to do if you have been involved in a motor vehicle crash.
- First, call 911 if there are serious injuries. If the accident is minor, you should move your vehicle to the side of the road away from traffic.
- Notify the police and make sure you get the name and badge number of the responding officers.
- Exchange contact information with those involved in the accident as well as eyewitnesses.
- Check yourself for injuries. If you’ve suffered injuries in a car accident, you may want to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. According to the Athens, GA car accident lawyers at Dan Chapman & Associates, LLC, you should keep a record of any medical attention you receive as well as pictures of the accident and your injuries.
Your safety and well-being are the most important things to consider while on the road. By understanding the leading causes of car accidents, and what to do in the case of a collision, you are decreasing your risk of accident.