An average of 6 million car accidents occurs in the United States every year. Many of these accidents occur because one or more drivers were not following the rules of the road or were driving dangerously. Overall, this leads to an average of 40,000 deaths per year and more than 2 million permanent injuries. To reduce your chance of causing an accident, avoid the following driving situations.
Anything that can be a distraction should be avoided while driving. Today, one of the biggest issues that cause drivers to be distracted is texting while driving. Distractions can also include eating or drinking while driving, changing the radio station, and talking to passengers, especially about emotional topics. Anything that takes your attention off the road can mean you aren’t paying enough attention to avoid causing an accident.
Too Tired to Drive
A recent study found that getting sufficient sleep is crucial before driving a vehicle. Those who did not get as much sleep as normal had a much higher chance of being in an accident, even if they only woke up one hour early. Those who only got a couple of hours of sleep dramatically increased the likelihood of being in an accident. When someone doesn’t get enough sleep, there’s not just the fear they could fall asleep at the wheel. There’s also the issue of reaction times as they might react much slower if they’re tired.
Tailgating is following too close to the vehicle in front. While this is often talked about when discussing aggressive driving, it doesn’t necessarily have to be an aggressive driver who is tailgating. Always leave enough space between your vehicle and the one in front in case the driver in front needs to stop quickly. Following too close behind, even if there’s a lot of traffic or the vehicle is going slow, can reduce the amount of time given for you to react, meaning it might not be possible to stop in time to avoid an accident.
Reckless driving includes any form of driving that disregards the other drivers on the road. This could include speeding, lane hopping, swerving on the road, failing to use a turn signal, and running red lights or stop signs. Reckless driving is often the cause of car accidents today because those who are driving recklessly are not paying attention to the vehicles around them and may not see a potential accident with sufficient time to stop.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence is never safe and should never be done. Many people simply think of this is drinking and driving but driving under the influence can include more than just alcohol. Drivers who are under the influence of any drugs, whether they’re legal or not, should not be on the road. This includes prescription medications that might alter the person’s ability to react in time or cause them to be drowsy while they’re driving, leading to the same issues as not getting enough sleep.
It is possible you will get in a car accident at some point, even if it’s just a minor fender-bender. Keep these 5 situations to avoid in mind when you’re driving and pay close attention to what other drivers are doing to minimize your chance of being in an accident.