All road users need to accept the fact that car accidents do happen every day. While it is no use living your life in fear, it is something to bear in mind. When you get behind the wheel of a car, you never really know what is going to happen. However, there are numerous steps you can take to lessen the chances of anything bad happening to you. Many experienced drivers forget the importance of safe driving. This is a real travesty. Driving is useful and necessary, but it is also potentially very dangerous. Drivers would do well to remember that when they are driving their car. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do. To know what kind of steps you need to take, you first need to understand what the common causes of accidents are. To help you out on that front, we have put together this short guide. Here are the most common reasons that people have accidents – and how to prevent them happening to you.
You might be forgiven for believing that the most common cause of road accidents is drunkenness or speeding. In fact, it is not. The vast majority of the time, car accidents can be put down to one or more drivers being distracted from the road. This distraction may only last one second – that is more than enough to cause a serious accident. More often than not, the source of the distraction is a mobile phone or another person in the car. If you find yourself suddenly distracted, there is little you can do about it. By the time you realise you have been distracted, it is too late. Most of the time, it won’t cause any problems. But just occasionally, it may lead to an incident. You can’t do anything about those kinds of distractions. But you can alter your driving habits to ensure that there are as few potential distractions as possible.
To start with, ensure that you always keep your phone on silent – or, preferably, switched off entirely. There is no need to have your phone on when you are driving. Even if you receive an emergency call, you can pull over to take it at your earliest safe convenience. But having it turned on and – worse – checking it for text messages is a bad idea. Similarly, try to avoid listening to loud or aggressive music in the car. This has been shown to increase a driver’s chance of causing an accident. If you feel you must listen to something, put something light on. Something, that is, which won’t affect your adrenaline levels too much.
Most of all, just do your best to keep your eye on the road. Even if a distraction does occur – as they occasionally will – train yourself not to react. You only have one job when you are driving – to drive! Everything else can wait until the journey is over. It is also sometimes the case that another driver has been distracted, and as a result you have crashed. In these cases, you might have cause for compensation. Call Car Accident Law Firm, DKB Lawyers, today or similar to find out more.
Speeding is the second most common cause of car accidents. In all likelihood, this does not come as much of a surprise. The honest truth is that all drivers speed from time to time. It is not something that any of us should be proud of, but it’s true. However, there is a big difference between occasionally going marginally over the limit, and racing around all the time. While both are illegal, it is the latter which more often causes incidents. One of the most important aspects to driving is to remember to be courteous to other drivers. This includes not speeding up behind someone. When you speed, it encourages others to do the same. It is possible that you will encourage someone to speed who doesn’t feel comfortable doing so. This is a common scenario – and it’s a recipe for disaster. Do everyone a favour, and be respectful of every driver’s individual comfort zone. If you are behind someone who wants to go a certain speed, just be patient. Everybody will get where they need to go soon enough.
Alcohol & Drugs
Now we come to an issue of much contention amongst drivers. This is one of those acts which are generally understood to be an absolute no-no. Not only is it a social faux pas, but an incredibly dangerous act which puts at risk the lives of oneself and others. It goes without saying that driving under the influence of any mind-altering substance is a highly bad idea. This is the third most common cause of car accidents – and one which is so easily avoided. All it takes is the determination not to engage in such behaviour.
Most of the time, people drive drunk because they have got themselves stuck in a situation where they can’t get home. The best way around this is quite simple: plan ahead. If you are going out for the evening, and you intend to drink, then decide first how you will get home. There are plenty of options available to you in this regard. You could ask a friend to collect you, phone for a taxi, or use public transport. Even if you are in the middle of nowhere, it is preferable just to sleep in the car. Do anything except get behind the wheel. The last thing you want is to cause serious harm to another person. Not only will you have your license taken away – you will have to try to learn to deal with the guilt as well.
Lastly, we come on to the subject of weather. The fourth most common reason that people crash their cars is because of heavy rain. Learning to drive well in all weathers is an important part of being on the road. It is advisable to get as much training as you can early on. That way, when the situation arises, you will feel more equipped to handle it.