A motor vehicle accident can have devastating consequences for drivers, passengers and their families. While there may be many contributing factors to an accident, a few common causes stand out among the majority of accidents.
Understanding the factors may allow drivers to take a more proactive approach to avoiding accidents.
In 2021, distracted driving claimed over 3,500 lives. It is the leading cause of car accidents and may involve texting, eating, adjusting the radio or talking on the phone. Taking a few seconds to read a text message is the equivalent of traveling a football field with your eyes closed. When distractions divert your attention, you impair your ability to react to sudden changes in road conditions.
Speeding contributes to accidents because it reduces the driver’s reaction time and increases the severity of the subsequent collision. When you drive too fast, you may not be able to stop quickly for an obstacle in the road. Likewise, you have a higher likelihood of losing control of the vehicle.
Reckless driving refers to any behavior that can increase your risk of an accident. For example, aggressive driving, tailgating, weaving between lanes or ignoring traffic signals can result in a serious accident. Additionally, driving in inclement weather without adjusting speed or strategy is a form of reckless driving.
Be careful not to follow too closely with other vehicles. When you follow too closely, you reduce your reaction time and increase the risk of an accident due to other factors.