Let's dive deeper into the causes of car accidents, the most common types of injuries sustained, and some strategies for avoiding accidents while driving.
How common are car accidents?
Car accidents are unfortunately common occurrences on our roads today.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 1.3 million people globally die each year due to road traffic accidents, with an additional 20-50 million people suffering non-fatal injuries.
In this article, we will delve deeper into the prevalence of car accidents, examining the common causes, where they often occur, and some strategies for avoiding accidents while driving.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
There are several reasons for fatal car accidents, but here are some of the common ones:
Although drunk driving gets a lot of attention from law enforcement and the media, distracted driving is just as dangerous.
Distracted driving includes talking or texting on a cell phone, eating, applying makeup, and adjusting the car radio. Sometimes, this also involves driver fatigue, as a lack of alertness due to sleep deprivation can lead to decreased reaction time and difficulty controlling the vehicle.
Many states, including California, have laws prohibiting the use of cell phones and texting while driving. However, despite these laws, distracted drivers cause numerous accidents yearly; it has led to an alarming number of road accidents, injuries, and deaths.
Around 3,000 individuals die each year due to car accidents caused by distracted drivers, which makes up roughly 8% to 9% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in the US.
Not Following the Speed Limit
Speeding involves exceeding posted speed limits or driving too fast for weather conditions, one of the most common factors in fatal car accidents.
When you’re speeding, you have less time to react to changing traffic conditions. That means suddenly stopping cars, pedestrians crossing the street, and other unexpected events become even more dangerous. You’re also more likely to lose control of your vehicle, especially when taking turns or navigating curvy roads.
And let’s not forget about the devastating impact a high-speed collision can have, even if you’re wearing a seatbelt.
But the risks don’t stop there. Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to speeding drivers.
Pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists make up more than 50% of all road traffic fatalities.
Speeding is never worth the risk. Prioritize safety, and stay within the speed limit.
Proper turns require keeping your eyes on the road, following traffic signals, and signaling your intentions to fellow drivers using turn signals. It’s pretty simple, but unfortunately, plenty of drivers still can’t seem to grasp the concept.
For example, how often have you been stuck behind a driver who decides to take a turn without so much as a wave of the hand? Or maybe you’ve witnessed a driver blaring through a red light, blatantly ignoring the “no turn on red” sign. And how about drivers who can’t muster the effort to come to a complete stop at stop signs or red lights, instead opting for a rolling stop?
When drivers fail to signal their intentions, other drivers are left in the dark and may make dangerous assumptions about where the car is headed. Turning at red lights or stop signs without stopping puts everyone in the intersection at risk of a serious collision.
And disregarding “no turn on red” signs can lead to dangerous situations for pedestrians and cyclists in the crosswalk.
Improper turns may seem like a minor infraction, but they can have a major impact on the safety of the road. Stay vigilant and always follow the rules of the road to keep yourself and others safe from harm.
Reckless or Aggressive Driving
Aggressive behavior on roads, such as dangerous passing maneuvers or failing to yield right of way, presents serious risks for everyone using the road.
Reckless driving can come in many forms, but some of the most common include driving under the influence, speeding, running red lights and stop signs, sudden braking or brake checking, and tailgating.
This type of driving also puts other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians at risk. Thousands of lives are lost yearly due to reckless or aggressive driving. And the sad truth is that most of these accidents are preventable.
Follow the rules of the road. Stay within the speed limit, stop at red lights and stop signs, maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you, and avoid distractions while driving.
These weather patterns can spell disaster for even the most experienced drivers.
Let’s talk about rain, for example. Did you know that wet roads can reduce a car’s traction by up to a third? This means that without careful driving, vehicles can essentially be gliding over a thin layer of water, leading to skids and hydroplaning.
And heavy downpour with reduced visibility is a different story altogether.
Snow and ice are practically notorious for causing car accidents. Ever tried maneuvering a car on a snow-covered road? It can feel like driving on a sheet of glass. Even with proper tires, brakes, and lights, snow and ice make it more challenging to handle a vehicle and slow down in time. The freezing temperatures can cause engines to malfunction, making treacherous roads even more dangerous.
So, next time you’re on the road, and the weather takes a turn for the worse, remember to slow down and exercise extra caution.
Where do most car accidents happen?
Car accidents and fatal crashes can happen anywhere, but here are the most common places they can happen:
Close to home
Most car crashes occur within five miles of an accident victim’s home.
We tend to drive the most around our homes, and the more we drive, the greater our chances of encountering a hazardous situation that could result in a collision. Whether it’s commuting to work, dropping off the kids at school, or doing the weekly grocery run, we take the same routes over and over. We then become more comfortable and perhaps even complacent, which can increase the likelihood of an accident.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported recently that not only do more accidents occur within a short distance of home, but they are often more severe.
It’s essential to understand that even driving on familiar roads can be dangerous. Factors such as weather conditions, lighting, and traffic volume can all impact the probability of an accident. Roadways closer to residential areas are usually associated with more accidents than highways and major roads.
Stoplights have been proven to be hotspots for car accidents, and it’s not hard to see why.
In the United States, more than 50 percent of fatal and injury crashes occur at or near intersections. The majority of those accidents happen at stoplights.
People often only see the stoplights once they’re right before them. This can lead to sudden braking and confusion among drivers, increasing the likelihood of collisions.
Another issue is that people tend to speed up when they see a yellow light instead of slowing down like they’re supposed to. This reckless behavior can lead to collisions with cars in the intersection and cause serious injuries.
Making a left turn at a stoplight can also be tricky, especially during rush hour when traffic is heavy. Many drivers misjudge the speed of oncoming traffic and end up causing accidents.
Most rural roads are two-lane, meaning drivers must share the road with oncoming traffic. This increases the probability of a collision occurring. Moreover, most rural roads lack barriers to prevent animals from running onto the road, and you know what that means—a possible collision with a deer, cow, or even a horse!
The roads in rural areas also have poor or no lighting. And because police are not as present in rural areas, drivers tend to break the speed limit more frequently, endangering themselves and others.
With at least two separate pathways for vehicles to navigate, all too often from opposite directions, and a myriad of turning and crossing options, the risk for collision and vehicle crashes in intersections is sky-high.
Most intersections have four separate pathways, plus traffic turning in front of oncoming traffic. And with so many drivers vying for precious road space, the potential for accidents is not to be underestimated.
Don’t let your guard down at the next intersection; stay alert and safe out there!
Parking garages and lots
Parking lots and garages are often the most common places of chaotic driving and fender benders. These areas can be a hotbed of activity, especially during peak shopping times and rush hour traffic.
With so many vehicles maneuvering in tight spaces with limited visibility, it’s easy for accidents to happen. While most of these accidents may not result in serious injuries, the damage to vehicles can be quite extensive and expensive to repair.
So next time you’re cruising through a parking lot or garage, stay on the lookout for pedestrians and other drivers.
In 2020, the number of fatal car crashes on roadways in the United States reached an alarming 35,766.
Highways are notorious for being the location where most car accidents occur. These high-speed roads are often filled with multiple lanes of traffic, making them prime locations for pedestrian and vehicle collisions.
But it’s more than the fast pace of highways that makes them dangerous. Factors such as driver fatigue, distraction, and intoxication all contribute to the high number of accidents on these roads. Additionally, the long stretches of open roads and lack of obstacles can lead to motorists becoming complacent and losing focus.
Drivers need to exercise extra caution when driving on highways. This means avoiding distractions, taking breaks when fatigued, and refraining from driving if under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
You may be entitled to compensation if you’ve been injured in a car accident.
If you or a loved one has been in an auto accident, we’re here to help.
Our team at Frantz Law Group has years of experience handling car accident cases and dealing with insurance companies. Our car accident attorney will ensure you get the compensation you deserve, from medical bills to lost wages.
Give us a call today, and let us fight for your rights. Access a free consultation and case evaluation with our personal injury lawyers, who will work on a no-win, no-fee basis. Let us take care of the details so you can focus on healing and moving forward.
Take action now and contact the personal injury attorneys at Frantz Law Group. We’re here for you.