Common Causes of Car Accidents (and How to Avoid Them)

Car accidents can be terrifying, which is unfortunate, because they are all too common.

Distracted, drunk, and otherwise unsafe drivers can put you and your loved ones in jeopardy. It’s important to stay alert and aware of your surroundings to keep yourself and others safe. Any car accident attorney will tell you that being involved in a crash can take a physical, emotional, and financial toll on your life. That’s why getting the facts on common causes of accidents (and how to avoid them) will help keep you out of harm’s way.

The Most Common Car Crash Causes in 2016:

Distracted Driving

With the increased popularity of cell phones comes an increase in distracted driving. At any given time, approximately 660,000 drivers are using an electronic device while behind the wheel. Harsher laws for texting drivers are taking effect, and for good reason: while texting, the average driver takes his/her eyes off the road for five seconds.

Popular smartphone applications like Snapchat and Pokémon Go have indirectly encouraged some users to participate while driving. In 2013, when there were far less apps to distract us, distracted drivers still accounted for more than 3,000 deaths and 424,000 injuries. Drivers also rely heavily on their phones for navigation services: 67% of smartphone owners use their devices for turn-by-turn navigation at least occasionally. Of all car crash fatalities, 16% result from distraction.

How To Avoid Distracted Drivers? Keeping an eye out for distracted behavior in other drivers can help keep you safe. Likewise, avoid these behaviors in your own driving habits whenever possible. Many newer cars have built-in navigation systems closer to eye level, as well as Bluetooth applications for answering phone calls. No text message you receive can possibly be important enough to put yourself or others at risk for injury, and no Snapchat filter or pocket monster is worth dying for.

Drunk Driving

It’s common knowledge that you shouldn’t get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated, but that unfortunately doesn’t keep people from doing so. Shockingly, people drive drunk nearly 300,000 times per day, though less than 4,000 are arrested on any given day. Not only is drunk driving incredibly dangerous, but it’s also incredibly costly: drunk drivers costs the United States a staggering $199 billion every year. In total, about 32% of all car crash fatalities are due to drunk driving, and alcohol-related crashes are one of the more common reasons you might consult a car accident attorney.

How To Avoid Drunk Drivers: Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a serious problem in the United States. If you see someone driving erratically, make sure to keep a safe distance (or pull over and call 911). Do not get in the car with an intoxicated driver. If you’ve been drinking, call a relative, a friend, or a car service to get you home safely. Never get behind the wheel yourself. Saving your life and the lives of others is far more important than saving yourself embarrassment or time.

Reckless Driving

Sometimes, drivers simply don’t feel the rules of the road apply to them. Traveling at unsafe speeds, disregarding traffic laws and posted signs, and improper lane changing and passing can all result in a devastating auto accident. About 31% of all car crashes can be attributed to speeding alone, another common reason people contact a car accident attorney in 2016.

How To Avoid Reckless Driving: Use common sense, pay attention, and don’t break the law. Stay far away from erratic drivers on the road. Be sure to follow other drivers at a safe distance, stay within the speed limit, and remember to signal and look at your blind spot before changing lanes. Something as simple as running a stop sign or red light can have dire consequences, so make sure to obey all traffic laws and signage.

If you find yourself on either end of crash, it’s important to call a car accident attorney right away.

Accidents are bound to happen, and we can’t stay safe 100% of the time. However, it’s important to be mindful of those around us and to follow the rules of the road; you could potentially save your life or the life of someone you love. And for those in need of a car accident attorney in Arkansas, be sure to contact our team of personal injury litigators to help you through the process. Even if you don’t think you need assistance, a consultation with a car accident attorney can be beneficial in complicated cases.