Being involved in a car accident is one of the most traumatic experiences you can go through. Of course, the severity of the crash plays a large role in your physical, mental, and emotional trauma. However, even minor accidents can result in injuries and PTSD.
The key to avoiding car accidents is understanding how they’re caused. While you can’t control the other drivers on the road, you can dictate your own actions and driving habits.
We want to help you stay safe. Keep reading for the top 10 causes of car accidents and use this information to maximize car accident prevention.
1. Cell Phones
Cell phones are one of the leading causes of car accidents in the US. Many people use them while driving to text, email, check social media, and find music.
While you may feel like you can multitask with your phone, taking your eyes off the road for even a second or two can have disastrous consequences. If you don’t have the discipline not to answer texts or change your music, put your phone in the trunk or back seat while you’re driving.
Animals on the road are another major cause of car accidents. Most people automatically think of deer, which are probably the most common types of wildlife struck by vehicles. Due to their size, they can also cause the most damage, which will likely require auto repair services.
To maximize car accident prevention involving wildlife, stay vigilant while driving in areas known for animal crossings. Deer are especially active on the roads at dusk and dawn. Use your brights when necessary and pay attention to the sides of the road.
3. Poor Visibility
Vehicle accidents can also occur due to low visibility. There are a number of things that can reduce your visibility on the road. For example, a setting or rising sun can create a blinding glare on your windshield.
Weather also proves problematic. Heavy rain and snow significantly impair your visibility. Similarly, high winds blow up dust or snow, making it nearly impossible to see.
Sometimes, heavy fog settles in, reducing your visibility to just a few feet in front of your vehicle.
4. Distracting Passengers
Preventing a car accident can be as simple as gaining control of your passengers. Passengers can be distracting, particularly if they’re inebriated. Arguing or fighting with a spouse or partner is also incredibly distracting.
Additionally misbehaving, loud, or rambunctious children have been known to cause accidents. If you need to calm your child or reinforce rules, it’s best to pull over first.
Finally, if you have a pet passenger, make sure they’re restrained. A dog or cat jumping on your lap while you’re driving could easily lead to a vehicle accident.
5. Inclement Road and Weather Conditions
As noted earlier, heavy rain and snow are common causes of car accidents. However, there are other weather conditions that can lead to problems on the road as well.
For example, packed snow and ice greatly reduce traction. This makes slowing down and stopping more difficult.
In some icy conditions, your vehicle may even try to slide off the road. Be especially cautious of black ice, which is harder to detect.
6. Emotional Driving
Many car accident problems stem from driving while angry or emotional. Some people suffer from road rage.
They get extremely upset, frustrated, and irate with other drivers. This leads to aggressive and erratic driving behaviors.
However, you might also drive recklessly if you’ve had a bad day at work, had a fight with your partner, etc. If you sense that you’re emotions are taking the wheel, pull over until you’ve had a chance to calm down.
7. Driving Under the Influence
When growing up, we’re told over and over again about the dangers of driving while intoxicated. Drugs and alcohol impair our vision, response times, and decision-making. It’s no wonder, therefore, that 28% of traffic-related deaths are caused by drunk driving.
Sadly, many people underestimate how intoxicated they are. Others overestimate their ability to drive, believing that they can operate a vehicle safely despite being intoxicated.
If you’ve consumed drugs or alcohol, don’t take the risk. After all, it’s not just your life you’re gambling with. You could be putting innocent people at risk, including children.
8. Roadside Distractions
Roadside distractions are another common cause of car accidents. Any time you take your eyes off of the road in front of you, you run the risk of being in an accident.
Don’t get distracted by interesting things on the side of the road. This could include animals, police stops, buildings, natural scenery, roadside signs, and more
Intoxicated drivers aren’t the only people who overestimate their abilities. A large number of motorists multitask while driving.
Most people are guilty of eating and drinking while on the road. However, you might be surprised to learn that some people try to put on makeup or shave.
It may sound unbelievable, but some drivers even attempt to read a book. There are also those who play with their music or tidy up the car while driving.
Finally, impatient drivers often cause car accidents. They ride the car in front of them, weave in and out of traffic, and take other unnecessary risks. The ironic thing is, many people who are in a hurry aren’t actually on a timeline.
Don’t fall into the habit of thinking your time is more important than other drivers. Some people get into their vehicles and suddenly get into a rush to get wherever they’re going, even if they aren’t late. This mentality causes frustration, anxiety, and erratic driving.
Need an Auto Shop That Specializes in Car Accidents?
Car accidents, in general, are easy to avoid. By understanding their causes and implementing the car accident prevention tips listed above, you should have no problem staying safe on the road.
However, if you’ve already been in an accident, we can help. Contact us today to get an estimate for your auto repair needs. Our body shop can help you get back on the road in no time.
And remember, if you’re insured or a claimant, you have the right to choose whatever body shop you want. You’re not bound to the auto repair shop suggested by your policy provider.