According to experts, fatal traffic accidents are down by 3.1%. At first glance that looks great, but if you look closely you’ll see that there are still over 32,000 people who die each year due to traffic accidents. In order to reduce that number even more, it’s important to be aware of the causes of these accidents and do what we can to prevent them.
To recap, we’ve already discussed four causes: speeding, bad weather, drunk driving and reckless driving. Today we’ll discuss six more common causes.
- Poor vehicle maintenance: We sometimes hear stories on the news about vehicle recalls due to faulty parts. These recalls are put into place because the defective equipment can cause serious injury or death. In addition to manufacturing flaws, many traffic accidents are caused by poor vehicle maintenance. When a vehicle owner doesn’t regularly check their tires, breaks or windshield wipers, dangerous accidents can occur.
- Unsafe lane change: Changing lanes suddenly or without warning is dangerous. Some drivers forget to use their blinker or check their blind spot. At times the problem doesn’t lie with us; it really is the other driver. This is why it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. If someone is driving erratically, stay away from them if possible.
- Drowsy driving: We’ve probably all been guilty of this—driving when we’re exhausted. Researchers have found that drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving.
- Inexperienced drivers: New drivers, usually those in their teens, have higher accident rates than other drivers. Traffic accidents caused by these drivers are so common that insurance companies charge teens higher rates. They base their rates on when the teen will have an accident, not if they have an accident.
- Distracted driving: Cell phone calls, texting, eating, and other passengers can lead to distracted driving. States are charging higher ticket fees for these types of violations, especially for phone calls and texting.
- Disobeying traffic laws/signals: Running red lights, not stopping at stop signs and not allowing other drivers the right of way have resulted in many collisions. In addition to hitting other vehicles, drivers who disobey traffic laws are more likely to hit bicyclists and pedestrians.
Doing Your Part to Prevent Accidents
What can you do to reduce the number of traffic accidents? The obvious answer is—don’t get into one. To accomplish that:
- Don’t drive when you’re overly tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Have your vehicle maintained regularly
- Don’t text, talk on the phone or do anything else distracting
- Try not to drive if the weather is too bad
- Obey the laws
- Be safe. Don’t drive recklessly or speed, and keep an eye out for other drivers who might not be following the rules of the road.
If you’ve been involved in a traffic accident or have lost a loved one in a collision, you need a good lawyer. Call the offices of John C. Fitzpatrick today. We’re happy to stand in your corner and help you get the compensation you deserve.