Traffic accidents happen every day. Some of them are minor, and some of them result in serious injuries that can have long-lasting, devastating consequences. The reasons for these accidents vary, but a large percentage of them are preventable if drivers are better informed and make better choices on the road.
When we look at the causes for traffic accidents, some patterns start to emerge. A handful of factors continue to be at the root of many serious accidents. Let's take a look at some of the most common reasons for accidents on the road:
Talking on a cell phone. Texting. Putting on makeup. Brushing hair. Eating. Changing the channel on the radio. Talking to other people in the car. All of these distractions account for a large percentage of accidents on the road each year. "Rubber necking" at other accidents and reading while driving also account for a significant percentage of distracted driving accidents.
Drivers must eliminate distractions whenever possible in the car. Leave personal tasks such as grooming or eating until you get to your destination. Use a hands-free phone if you absolutely must make a call while you are driving. Never text while driving. Always keep your eyes on the road when you are behind the wheel.
If a task can't wait, pull to the side of the road or make a stop.
Most of us wish there were more hours in the day, and we push ourselves to fill the time we do have by getting as much done as possible. However, when we start burning the midnight oil to try to get more accomplished, we short ourselves on sleep and put ourselves and others in danger when we get behind the wheel.
Late-night and third-shift workers may also drive home exhausted, leaving them vulnerable to making mistakes on the road - possibly even falling asleep behind the wheel. Fatigue can also be a problem for drivers on long-distance trips.
Make sure you are always well-rested before you drive, and pull over to rest or take a break if you start to feel drowsy.
Some drivers get a false sense of invincibility on the road and drive more aggressively than is safe. Speeding, following too close, improper lane changes, and quick turns are just a few of the unsafe practices that can fall under the classification of aggressive driving.
Always follow traffic safety rules when you are behind the wheel. Don't let frustration with other drivers or impatience to reach your destination affect the choices you make. Acting on impulse and engaging in aggressive driving could result in a serious accident that could leave you or others with serious injuries (or worse).
Sometimes, conditions on the road are beyond your control. Heavy rain, hail, or snow can make driving conditions less safe by reducing your visibility, making the road slick, or causing unexpected debris on the roadway.
To keep yourself and other drivers safe on the road during inclement weather, practice extra caution when you are behind the wheel. Reduce your speed as necessary, increase your following distance, or pull off the road if needed. Also be sure that your vehicle is always in top condition, with working wipers, quality tires, and sound brakes.
Driving Under the Influence
The dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs have been well-documented, but it continues to be a cause of a significant number of accidents each year. Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are out and have been drinking, call a cab or ask a friend or family member to drive you home.
With more education about these common causes of traffic accidents, drivers can learn to make better choices that greatly reduce their risk of getting into serious accidents that can lead to serious injury to themselves or others on the road.
North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers
If you have been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case and to find out if one of our North Carolina personal injury lawyers may be able to help you.