According to the United States Department of Transportation, in the United States in 2014, auto accidents resulted in 22,276 fatalities and 2,121,000 injuries. With millions of vehicles on the road, accidents are bound to happen. While the causes of car accidents vary, some causes are more common than others. In order to try and prevent auto accidents, it is important to understand why they happen in the first place.
When Speeding Is a Factor
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2014, there were 32,675 collisions due to high speeds that resulted in a fatality in the United States. Speeding is a common factor in auto accidents because the faster that you drive, the faster your reaction time needs to be to avoid debris in the road, another car, or other hazards. You won't have as much time to look at your surroundings, apply the brakes quickly, or swerve out of the way.
When Alcohol Is a Factor
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2014 in the United States, there were 6,852 auto accidents in which one of the drivers had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15% or above. When you get behind the wheel of a car and you have been drinking, your response time, your coordination, and your judgment are not reliable. The way to avoid this is simple, don't get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you have consumed any amount of alcohol.
When Distraction Is a Factor
Distraction.gov states that in 2014, in the United States, distracted driver car accidents resulted in 3,179 fatalities and 431,000 injuries. Distracted driving is when you are engaging in other things while driving a vehicle. These include things like answering your cell phone, eating breakfast in a hurry, picking up your water bottle from the floor, or finding a station to listen to on the radio. All of these activities take your attention off the road, even just for a couple seconds. The way to avoid this is to concentrate on driving and leave everything else alone for the moment.
When Fatigue Is a Factor
The AAA Traffic Safety Foundation states that each year, in the United States, there are an estimated 328,000 auto accidents that are the result of a tired driver. When you are tired and driving a vehicle, your reaction time slows down. In addition, your judgment is impaired and your coordination is diminished. In order to avoid this, don't drive if you are at all tired. Even just being slightly sleepy or drowsy can impair your ability to drive safely.
The majority of auto accidents are the result of driver error and can be avoided. While it is nearly impossible to eliminate every single risk when it comes to car accidents, being aware of what to do to avoid common car accident causes may assist greatly in avoiding them. For more information on these common causes of auto accidents, or if you've been involved in an accident and are wondering what to do next, contact an auto accident attorney like those at The Jaklitsch Law Group.