Unfortunately, car accidents are a widespread occurrence. While some accidents are relatively minor, studies reveal that millions of lives are lost to these incidents around the world and in Sacramento. Regrettably, many of these events occur due to human error, reckless driving, and not following traffic laws.
The Leading Causes of Car Accidents
1. Distracted Driving
According to research, distracted driving is the leading cause of car accidents not only in Sacramento but around the world. Distracted driving is posing a growing threat and has taken millions of lives in the past few decades. With the leading cause being texting and calling, there are many more factors that can distract a driver. Some of the other big distractions include eating, reading, applying makeup, and, most importantly, talking while driving.
2. Drunk Driving
Another significant and deadly cause of car accidents, especially in the U.S., is drunk driving. Being under the influence of alcohol places you in a different state of mind, and it’s not safe for one to be behind the wheel. Drinking influences your brain and behavior, delaying your decision-making time. While driving, your response time should always be instant.
There’s a reason you keeping spotting ‘Over speeding Kills’ boards everywhere. Studies show that speeding is the second most common cause of accidents around the world. Pushing the speeding limit when you are running late or for the thrill of it is not only harmful to you and those around you. Despite the threat of overspeeding tickets, many people don’t prefer abiding by the legal speed limit.
4. Reckless Driving
Even if you are a careful driver, you can be put at risk by someone who engages in reckless driving. Speeding over the legal limit and switching lanes very quickly are all counted as reckless driving. Moreover, reckless driving causes horrible accidents, causing severe harm to even those drivers and passersby that are abiding with the law, and being careful.
Even though you might not always be able to avoid driving in the rain, it’s essential to know the risks associated with doing so. The rain causes slippery and awful road conditions, making it difficult for the driver to retain control even if he’s in the right lane. Moreover, heavy rain compromises one’s visibility, making driving a treacherous task.
6. Running Red Lights
Not only is running a red light against the traffic law, but it also causes severe accidents. Even if it seems like no other cars are approaching, breaking the traffic signal can be extremely risky. Despite all the silly excuses people give trying to run through red lights, it is never acceptable to do so even in dire times.
7. Driving at Night
Driving at night is a highly risky activity. Due to the lack of visibility in the dark, it can be hazardous to be on the road at night. While you can’t always avoid stepping out of your home at night, you can make sure that you remain alert and vigilant when you do. Moreover, if you are driving through a dark street, you can use your full lights to avoid getting into any accidents.
8. Car Defects and Malfunctions
Some accidents are due to design defects of the car itself. While it is not always easy to be aware of these flaws, you can take certain precautions like ensuring your vehicle goes in for regular maintenance checks.
Tailgating is when a car is right behind another one, not leaving enough space for the vehicle to stop without a collision. This effects both the vehicles. Hence, it is stressed upon maintaining a safe distance from cars behind and ahead of you. Even if the vehicle ahead of you is going at a frustratingly slow pace, there is no excuse to get very close to it. Keeping a secure distance ensures that you have time to press the brakes or make a sudden turn, ensuring the safety of those around you.
10. Underage Driving
Another significant cause of accidents is underage driving. Teenagers often speed and become confused during unforeseen driving conditions, causing severe road accidents. Moreover, many under-age drivers also use their phones while driving, displaying negligent behavior, which leads to accidents.
While alcohol is one of the main culprits, we can’t underemphasize the role that other mind-altering substances such as drugs play in accidents. Being under the influence of drugs or medication that slows down your responses is reason enough for not being behind the wheel due to the severe risks associated with it.
Avoiding potholes can prevent vehicle damage; however, in a desperate attempt to dodge potholes, drivers often swerve into other lanes. Even though this isn’t against the law, the chance of colliding with another car increases.
Preventing Yourself from Being the Cause of Accidents
Here’s how you can prevent yourself from becoming the cause of an accident.
1. Be a Responsible Driver
The first step to reducing the chances of getting into an accident is to become a responsible driver. This step not only needs the right skills and knowledge but also requires you to maintain a mature attitude. You need to adopt a responsible approach while driving as it is essential for you, your passengers, and the surrounding drivers.
2. Always Wear Your Seatbelt
The seatbelt of your car is there for a reason! By avoiding wearing the safety belt, you jeopardize your own life. Whether you’re the driver or the passenger, there are no exceptions when it comes to wearing a seatbelt.
3. Never Drive Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Driving under the influence of mind-altering substances like drugs and alcohol pose an obvious risk for you and others. Since these substances impair your judgment and reaction time, it is perilous for you to be driving impaired. Driving under the influence is against the law and carries heavy penalties, so avoid it at all costs. Catch an Uber instead.
4. Avoid Driving at Night
Studies show the chances of a fatal car crash increases during the nighttime. It’s not always reasonable to put off driving during these hours but unless necessary, driving at night should be minimized. Moreover, if you have to go somewhere urgently, consider using public transport if appropriate.
5. Watch Your Speed
Always drive within the speed limit. Not only is speeding dangerous, it can also result in traffic tickets and hefty fines.
6. Train for Poor Weather Conditions
While it’s advisable to avoid driving during poor weather conditions, if you have to, make sure you have trained for it. By keeping it simple and driving more slowly, you can develop more experience and confidence in poor weather conditions. Always remember to drive slower when it is raining as roads are slicker.
7. Don't Use Phones
One of the worst activities you can engage in while driving is using your mobile phone. You should only use your phone if there’s an emergency otherwise avoid using it altogether. It’s best to pull over to the side of the road where it’s safe and turn on your emergency lights before picking up a call or replying to a text message.
How to Protect Yourself from Careless Drivers
While you may be a careful and responsible driver, unfortunately, you cannot expect that of other drivers as well. In case you ever get into an accident because of a distracted driver, you should seek the help of an excellent personal injury lawyer.
However, before it ever gets to that, here are some precautions to safeguard yourself from getting into accidents due to the recklessness of other drivers.
1. Avoid Pesky Tailgaters
When driving, be on the lookout for tailgaters. Not only is tailgating rude, but it’s also hazardous. If a car is tailgating behind you, if it’s safe, allow them to pass. You should always maintain a secure distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you. This helps ensure you won’t hit the vehicle in front of you should you be rear-ended.
2. Stay Clear of Other Cars' Blind Spots
Since you have blind spots around your car, it’s essential to know that others do as well. Try to stay out of the blind spots of other cars that are to the left and the right.
3. Avoid Dangerous Drivers
Try avoiding dangerous or distracted drivers altogether. It’s crucial for you to be alert and to keep an eye out for potentially distracted, intoxicated, or dangerous drivers. For instance, if you spot someone using their phone while driving, make sure to maintain a considerable distance.
Protect Your Rights With A Free Consultation
Getting involved in an accident is extremely dangerous not to mention costly. While some drivers and passengers involved in accidents experience minor inconveniences, others suffer from injuries that last a lifetime and worse. It’s wise to assume that just because you are a careful driver, others are not.
Therefore, you should drive responsibly and avoid or report reckless drivers you encounter to protect yourself and others on the road.
Moreover, if you’re ever involved in a car accident because of another driver, you should seek a personal injury lawyer experienced with handling auto accident injuries in Sacramento. Phoong Law Corp offers a free consultation so you know what your legal options are after a wreck. They handle the insurance company so you can focus on your recovery.