The Top 3 Causes for Auto Accidents – And How to Avoid Them


It is all too often a fixture on the nightly news, even on our local stations—a highly publicized car accident, fatal or not, which ties up traffic for hours. Nationwide, nearly six million accidents occur on American roads every year. That works out to more than 16,400 each day. Some are minor fender-benders, but others are far more severe, leaving three million people injured yearly. Unfortunately, 40,000 of those people lose their life. The culprits of these accidents are varied, but here are the top three causes for auto accidents, and how to avoid them:


1. Distracted drivers

Whether it’s fiddling with their favorite radio station, changing the song on an ipod, eating, drinking, picking up a dropped item, fussing with a child, nodding off at the wheel, or, the biggest offender, talking on the cell or texting, the distracted driver is concerned about everything but the road. Any moment you spend with your eyes off the road and on something else, increases the likelihood of an accident exponentially, especially at high speeds. So be sure to stop texting, use your Bluetooth device for calls, and make sure you are focusing on the big picture when driving.

2. Speeding / Following too close

Who doesn’t love that adrenaline rush of a leaving work on a Friday with the wind in your hair and a fun weekend ahead? It seems only natural, especially when combined with a great driving song, to rev the car up a few miles over the speed limit. The problem with this, of course, is that increased speeds mean diminished reaction time. Thirty percent of accident fatalities occur when a driver is speeding. Following too close, at any speed, also severely limits a driver’s reaction time necessary to avoid any possible traffic issues. Watch that speed limit and keep caution as your guide as you head into the weekend, or to your next appointment, and you’ll be safer all around.

3. Impaired driving

After escaping the office, many people like to join their friends and colleagues at the local watering hole for food and drinks to take the edge off a difficult work week. Unfortunately, these post-week celebrations can end badly. Of the aforementioned six million accidents, 40 percent involve alcohol, let alone any other drugs, whether cocaine, heroin, or otherwise. Designated drivers are one solution. Taxis are another. It’s best to note, however, that the cost of a cab will be less traumatic in the long run than a DUI, hospital stay, or funeral.

There are many other causes of accidents include rubbernecking, poor car maintenance, and poor road conditions. Just remember, the best solution to staying safe behind the wheel is to keep a clear head, a well-maintained vehicle, and a safe distance in order to avoid becoming another statistic.

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