Car crashes occur all over the country and at both expected and seemingly-random times for all kinds of reasons. Downed power lines, sinkholes and unusual animal activity are among some of the reported causes of severe motor vehicle collisions that people likely don’t have to worry too much about on the road.
However, there are many crashes that occur because of the same basic causes every year. Despite public awareness of these dangers, collisions keep occurring because of these five same preventable causes.
1. Drunk driving
For decades, law enforcement agencies and nonprofit organizations have tried to impress upon the public how dangerous it is to get behind the wheel after drinking. Unfortunately, many people still want to drive themselves home after having one drink too many at happy hour. Drunk drivers cause thousands of preventable collisions and traffic fatalities every year.
2. Speed limit violations
A speeding in fraction often involves a driver operating their vehicle at a speed faster than the posted limit. However, in times of inclement weather, people can also end up accused of speeding when they drive at speeds too fast given the road conditions. Speeding is a very common unsafe practice, and it is responsible for thousands of traffic fatalities annually, including a large number of single-vehicle collisions.
3. Distracted driving
Mobile phones, infotainment systems and argumentative children in the backseat of a vehicle can all increase someone’s risk of a crash. Drivers who get distracted at the wheel won’t notice a child running out into the road or the vehicle in front of them stopping suddenly, and their increased reaction times are often directly responsible for fatal collisions.
4. Poor vehicle maintenance
Many drivers don’t bother to invest adequately in their vehicles, only to have some crucial system fail when they needed the most. Bald tires, bad brakes and burned-out turn signal bulbs can all directly contribute to the likelihood of a crash occurring.
5. Drowsy driving
Unlike many of the other dangerous traffic habits on this list, drowsy driving is very difficult to quantify or prove, as motorists rarely admit that they let fatigue compromise their ability. However, quite a few drivers get behind the wheel when they are too tired to perform adequately, and others are so tired that they fall asleep at the wheel, which means they lose control and potentially crash.
When a driver does something that is obviously unsafe, they may cause a crash for which they end up bearing financial and legal responsibility. Understanding the leading causes of motor vehicle collisions can help people better ensure that they don’t cause one.