Every day there are over 17,000 car collisions in the United States. On average, those crashes result in 92 deaths each day. While poor weather conditions and faulty roads can cause accidents, most auto collisions are due to driver errors.
When we understand the reasoning behind car accidents, we can actively choose to drive safer. Here is a list of the top 10 causes of auto collisions in the United States.
1. Drunk Driving
Here in the U.S., drunk drivers kill 28 people every day (whether it’s themselves or another person). Those who drive while intoxicated (DWI) cause 35% of traffic accidents in the U.S.
2. Fatigued Driving
Studies show that those who drive while tired are just as dangerous as intoxicated drivers. Fatigued drivers cause about 3% of all traffic accidents, most of which occur at night. Like DWI, fatigued driving is completely avoidable. If you drive at night and see a car swerve in and out of lanes, stay as far away as possible from the car and call 9-1-1.
3. Distracted Driving
Dealing with distractions while driving is deadly. How often do you find yourself trying to change a CD, put on your makeup, eat, or adjust the controls on your vehicle as you drive? Car accidents caused by distracted driving make up about 5% of car crashes.
4. Use of Mobile Phones
Talking on your cell phone is a level of distracted driving all on its own. Every year, the number of car crashes caused by cell phone use increases. Today, cell phone use causes about 25% of all traffic accidents. Cell phone use most commonly includes texting, talking on the phone, and pulling up directions.
Speeding and driving recklessly cause 25% of all auto accidents. The faster you drive, the more difficult it is to stop, which means a more forceful impact on other cars. Speeding also goes hand-in-hand with road rage. Don’t take your anger or lateness out on other cars. Follow speed limit laws and be courteous to others on the road.
6. Poor Weather Conditions
Slippery roads, icy roads, and high winds change the surface of the roads we drive on. If road conditions seem unmanageable, don’t risk the trip out. If you are already on the road when poor weather hits, keep yourself and others safe by slowing down and driving cautiously.
Rubbernecking happens when we gawk at something outside of our vehicle. Most drivers do this when they see a collision or something happening on the street. However, staring too long at a traffic accident can cause another traffic accident. When driving, you should always avoid turning to look at something you already passed.
8. Defective Auto Parts
Blown tires and defective brakes are among the top causes of traffic accidents. Once a defective auto part starts acting up, there isn’t a lot you can do besides pull to the side of the road. But you can keep your car regularly maintained to avoid any auto parts acting up while you’re on the road.
9. Poor Roads
Uneven pavement, potholes, and road construction are all factors in car crashes. While it’s smart to avoid potholes, we sometimes try to go around them by swerving. If you do need to get around a roadblock, make sure to pay attention to the traffic around you and drive slowly.
10. Running Red Lights or Stop Signs
Take stop signs and red lights seriously. Drivers who ignore these signs, whether on purpose or by accident, cause thousands of car crashes in the U.S. each year. To avoid these types of collisions, slow down when the light turns yellow and pay attention when you cross an intersection.
Be a better driver and keep these points in mind when you’re out on the road. The more aware you are of yourself and your surroundings, the safer everyone will stay.