Lists Top 5 Causes of Car Accidents
Accident Injury Lawyer Joseph M. Maus hears car accident stories every day, so he knows the vast majority of auto accidents are caused by driver error. Because we take car transportation for granted, many of us feel so comfortable behind the wheel that we multi-task while driving without giving it a second thought. Driver distraction in various forms ranks just behind driving while impaired as a major cause of accidents on American roadways. Awareness and understanding are the first steps toward reducing these accidents and increasing traffic safety.
Many factors can contribute to auto accidents.
The top five causes are:
Drinking and Driving
This one is no secret; we hear about accidents involving drunk drivers almost every day. The risk of being involved in an accident where driver-impairment is a factor rises on the weekend when many people are relaxing from their work-week stresses and enjoying a few cold ones with friends. All the states in the U.S. consider a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of higher than .08 to be above the legal limit and it doesn’t take much to hit this limit. It isn’t enough to just tell people not to drink and drive: people who have been drinking invariably think they aren’t “drunk” and can drive home without a problem. The best thing to do when planning a night out with friends is to either designate someone in the group who will not drink and will be responsible for driving everyone else home or hiring a service that will get both driver and car home safely.
Cell Phone Use
Almost everyone has a cell phone nowadays; it can be eye-opening to sit at a traffic light and watch the number of cars that go by with a driver who has a cell phone held up to their ear! A study from Harvard University found that people who use a cell phone while driving are four times more likely to cause an accident. Even the use of hands-free or bluetooth technology doesn’t make cell phone use while driving much safer because concentrating on a conversation is distracting by itself. The solution to this problem is obvious: pull off the road to make a call or wait until you reach your destination before using your cell phone.
Texting While Driving
This is even more distracting to a driver than cell phone use! Studies have found that texting while driving causes a 400% increase in the time drivers spent with their eyes off the road. For teens, the increase is 600%. In fact, for an adult, for every 6 seconds of driving time, 4.6 seconds is spent with eyes off the road if the driver is sending or receiving a text message. Of all cell phone-related tasks, including dialing, talking, texting, or reaching for the phone while driving, texting is the most dangerous. Again, the best way to avoid a texting-related car accident is to wait to send or read a text until you are stopped somewhere or until you get to your destination.
Many things cause drivers to be distracted: reaching for a cell phone, changing the radio station, eating while driving, applying makeup or shaving while driving – the list goes on and on. If you are driving while distracted, your reaction rate is decreased by about 20 percent which means you will take longer to realize that you are in danger and longer to react to try to avoid an accident. Avoid driver distraction by concentrating on the road and your surroundings and limiting other activities while on the road.
The faster you go, the higher the probability of a fatal car accident. It seems that everyone is in a hurry these days, but people who speed and cut in and out of traffic while trying to get somewhere faster don’t consider that the faster you travel, the harder it is to stop and the deadlier the impact if you hit something. Slow down and allow yourself extra time to get to your destination. Remember – speed kills!
You can lower your risk of being in a car accident and can avoid needing the services of a Fort Lauderdale Accident Injury lawyer by staying focused while on the road, keeping distractions to a minimum, and avoiding risky actions such as drinking before driving, speeding, texting, or cell phone use while driving. Knowledge is power – don’t be a statistic!