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Top 10 causes of Car Accidents

Updated on August 31, 2012

top 10 causes for car accidents

Thousands of car accidents occur every day resulting in death or serious injury to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. There are numerous reasons for car accidents but by far the most common is driver error. The Automobile Association has compiled a lists of the top causes for most accidents. Here is a list of the top 10 causes;

10. Bad roads — Have you ever driven on a paved road that felt like a dirt road or worse. Pot holes and uneven pavement can and do lead to serious car accidents by throwing you off course and out of control of your vehicle. Bad roads are not unusual in some places so its up to you as a driver to be able to control your vehicle.

9. Bad Weather- Far too many people do not take note of the changes to their driving habits that they must make do to bad weather. Rain and Snow can cause loss of visibility due to the severity. Wet, Snow covered, and Icy pavement also diminishes the handling ability of your vehicle. Respect the weather to arrive alive.

8. Speeding and Reckless driving – Exceeding the posted speed limit for the zone you are driving in/through is classified as speeding. The faster you go the harder it is to stop. Speed limits are imposed for safety reasons especially in school zones and busy pedestrian areas. Reckless driving is willfully disregarding traffic regulations and exhibiting aggressive driving tactics such as changing lanes without signaling. I see this one all the time.

7. In-Car Distractions – Involves taking your eyes off the road to temporarily tend to something going on inside your car. Doing things such as apply make up, shave, find articles, pick up something you dropped, tend to a child, or even arguing with someone inside your car can be a serious error in judgement.

6. Drug use – Involves driving under the influence(DUI) of any type of perception altering substance. These substances include illegal drugs like cocaine, crack, LSD, Meth amphetamines, and marijuana. Also be careful of over the counter medications that causes drowsiness. Read the label and follow its instructions before taking medications and getting behind the steering wheel of a car.

5. Drunk driving – Driving drunk or driving while intoxicated(DWI) has traditionally been responsible for the highest death rates in the US. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) estimates that 17,941 people died in 2006 in "alcohol-related" collisions, representing 40 percent of total traffic deaths in the US. Th ebest technique to aid with preventing drunk driving is to make it a policy to take keys from friends, when you know they’ve been drinking. You may also wish to drive them home, or hire any one of a number of services designed to get the driver and his car home safely.

4. Rubbernecking – Rubbernecking is among the top causes of traffic accidents and related injuries. Rubbernecking is the act of looking at something as you drive by. People do it when they come past an accident. They take their eyes off the road to gawk at the accident and end up causing one them self. Avoid turning your head for any more than a fraction of a second to look at anything that is not important to you navigating your car.

3. Eating in the car – Eating often lead to disaster when driving. Far too many accidents have been caused by people trying to avoid getting crumbs or mustard on their pants. Another great piece of advice is to make sure you have adequately sized drink holders, especially for hot coffee so you won’t have to place your drink between your legs. Many more accidents yet have been caused because a lid popped off or a drink was spilled on a driver’s lap.

2. Changing CD/Radio – Do not take changing the radio, inserting a new CD, or fiddling with your MP3 for granted. Many people see it as simple multitasking but these activities have shown to contribute to higher incidences of car accidents. My first accident happened because of this and I learned some valuable lessons.

1. Cell phone/ Mobile use – It is not surprising that in its brief history the cell phone has taken over as the #1 cause for traffic accidents. Cell phone use involves talking, or texting on your phone or mobile device. Use hands free devices such as Bluetooth with caution also as they do not guarantee 100% that you will not be distracted.

Not making the list but very important to mention is Mechanical Failure. While many car accidents occur due to mechanical failure, the vast majority of mechanical failure accidents are due to poor vehicle maintenance. Car design malfunction account for a very small percentage. Many car owners fail to read their owners manuals which results in poor vehicle maintenance. They skip important chores such as regular oil changes, brake maintenance, tire inspection and proper tire inflation, as well as topping up important fluid levels.

Keeping these points in mind can make you a better driver, prevent you thousands of dollars in repair fees or most importantly save your life. Simply put, Stay alert to stay alive.

Too Old To Drive


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