There are over 30,000 fatal car accidents in the United States each year, most of them preventable. What causes so many terrible car crashes? Of course, there are plenty of factors that can't be controlled like weather, car malfunctions, and other drivers. But most of the top reasons for car crashes involve more than a little human error which means careful driving and an accredited driving school education give you more control than you think over your fate on the road.
So, what causes most of the car accidents in the U.S. each year? Here's what to watch for.
Unfortunately (or fortunately?) distracted driving is the #1 cause of traffic accidents in America today. The good news is, these accidents are entirely preventable! The bad news is that distractions are becoming more and more common, from cell phones to fast food. Drivers who use a handheld device are over four times more likely to crash...and those who text are over 23 times more likely! Distracted driving kills.
It may seem obvious, but speeding accounts for the 2nd-highest number of accidents on the road and may actually contribute to many more than are attributed to some other cause. Always, always obey the posted speed limits and remember that those limits are only meant to apply in the best conditions, not when it's dark or wet outside. If you've had more than one speeding ticket in your life it may be time to go back to traffic school.
Turning left is one of the most dangerous things a driver can do. Not only does it put you in harm’s way for other less cautious drivers, your risk of hitting a pedestrian or biker goes up exponentially when you're turning through an intersection. Always obey stop signs and look carefully throughout your turn so you can spot cars that fail to yield and crosswalkers, too.
MADD estimates that over 300,000 instances of drunk driving occur every day. Every day! That means drunk drivers are always on the road - don't be one of them. Statistically, drunk drivers are more likely to survive a crass that kills others (science isn't really sure why) which also means you're more at risk than the criminals when it comes to these kinds of crashes. If you've been charged with a DUI you'd be smart to attend an accredited DUI school before getting back on the road.
"California stops" at stop signs and complete red light run-throughs are responsible for tens of thousands of accidents each year. Not coming to a full stop can be caused by a variety of factors like recklessness and distraction but at the end of the day all that matters is that it makes the road a riskier place. Don't let your guard down in a residential area or a slow-moving urban landscape. They're just as dangerous as super-fast interstate roads.
Knowing the most common causes of accidents on U.S. roads can help you be more vigilant about your driving skills. Not only that, but knowing the ways in which you're most likely to be hit by other drivers helps you stay alert and possibly avoid an accident altogether. Defensive driving is always the best way to stay safe on the road.
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