From the Blog
Most Common Causes of Collisions
Being in a collision with your motor vehicle is an upsetting, scary and frustrating experience. Unfortunately, they’re all too common on the nation’s roadways. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study says that driver error causes 94% of car accidents. Here are the most common causes of collisions, with many of them requiring extensive collision repair.
1. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is the top cause of car accidents in the United States. Every day, more than 1,000 people are injured and nine people die due to distracted drivers. Distracted driving is any activity that takes your attention off the road, such as playing with the radio, texting, eating, drinking, chatting with passengers, and more.
Whether you’re running behind for an appointment or in a rush to pick up your kids from school, the truth is, most of us have been guilty of speeding at one time or another. However, speeding increases the risk of collisions, and it’s the second most common cause of accidents in the country.
When you drive too fast, it takes you longer to slow down and react appropriately to traffic cues, including other motorists and road obstructions. When a crash does occur due to speeding, the impact of the collision is greater, resulting in more severe injuries or even fatalities.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs takes the #3 spot when it comes to what causes accidents. The Insurance Information Institute says intoxicated drivers are responsible for 30% of all traffic fatalities. Driving after drinking or using drugs impairs the following:
- Reaction time
4. Aggressive Driving
Driving is no doubt frustrating. It’s easy to get upset with gridlocked traffic, road construction, and just your basic run-of-the-mill stress while behind the wheel. These feelings can push drivers over the edge and into road rage behavior, such as rude gestures, tailgating, screaming, and more. Aggressive drivers are more likely to speed, merge without signaling, erratically switch lanes, and similar dangerous driving behaviors.
We all lead busy, stressful lives, but many of us don’t get enough sleep. This makes us so tired that we can accidentally fall asleep while behind the wheel. Driving while fatigued and drowsy is a top cause of car crashes all over the country. Sleepy drivers find it difficult to pay attention to the road, and this results in slower reaction times.
There are many reasons why one would fall asleep at the wheel. Working long hours, as well as consuming alcohol, drugs or medications can all make you drowsy. Untreated sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome may be undiagnosed, and therefore not treated. Sometimes, drivers aren’t even aware that’s they’re tired. Getting sufficient sleep is key.
6. Adverse Weather Conditions
About 21% of motor vehicle crashes each year are related to weather. Extreme weather conditions impact a driver’s ability to drive safely, as they fall victim to slippery roads and poor visibility. In fact, one of the most dangerous weather conditions to drive in is fog. In the event of ice, rain, or other precipitation, drivers should slow down and keep their distance from other vehicles. Slippery roads equal less traction and much longer braking times, so it’s important to allow for extra stopping time between your vehicle and the one ahead of you.
Here are some tips:
- Watch out for malfunctioning traffic signals.
- Use the right edge of the road or take notice of painted lines to assist you in staying in your lane.
- Refrain from driving through flooded areas, as roads could be washed out, or there could be power lines or debris beneath the water.
- Be aware of high temperatures, high winds and solar glare. Remember, winds are particularly dangerous in open spaces such as highway overpasses and bridges.
Bad judgment and driver errors cause most traffic accidents, such as tailgating, failure to obey traffic signs, and failure to yield.
While the causes of collisions are many, being aware of the most common causes can help you prevent them. Yes, the consequences of a collision include serious injuries or even death, but even if you are not hurt in the accident, your car could be totaled or require some amount of auto body repair, which can be very costly and inconvenient.
Contact Hance’s Uptown Collision Center
If you have been in a collision and need auto body repair, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free estimate. We can have your car looking like new in no time.