As fearful as people are of flying, it’s far more dangerous to travel in a four-wheeled vehicle. More than 37,000 Americans die in road crashes each year, while another 2.35 million are injured. In other words, thousands of serious accidents occur on a daily basis. And if you want to lower your risk of being involved in one of these accidents, you need to practice safe habits.
The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents are never anticipated. However, the majority of accidents stem from one of a few common causes. According to Michael Cordova Injury Attorneys, the most common causes of car accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Poorly designed roads or intersections
- Drunk driving
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Reckless driving
- Defective auto parts
- Commercial trucking violations
5 Ways to Lower Your Risk
Being aware of these causes is one thing. It’s something else entirely to actually do something about the risks you face. Here are some suggestions that will help you in the latter regard:
1.Eliminate In-Vehicle Distractions
Distractions are a huge concern. They occur both inside and outside of your car. And while you can’t do anything about the distractions outside the car, you have plenty of influence over what goes on inside.
Common distractions that you can eliminate include radio, navigation, eating, texting, talking on the phone, and interacting with people in the backseat. If you remove these factors from the equation, you’ll significantly improve your focus and lower the risk of making a costly mistake that results in a collision.
2.Practice Defensive Driving
“Don’t make assumptions about another driver’s intentions,” DriversEd.com warns. “If you expect drivers in parked vehicles to remain parked at all times, always yield at intersections, or remain in one lane at all times, etc., you risk being caught off guard when drivers do not do what’s expected.”
Every driver can benefit from honing his or her defensive driving skills – which are essentially a set of skills that allow you to defend yourself against the possibility of collisions caused by bad drivers, drunk drivers, inclement weather, and other unpredictable factors that you can’t control.
Defensive driving skills can be acquired and honed through a formal class, or by practical application of focus and awareness techniques. You can learn more here.
3.Take Care of Your Vehicle
It’s not uncommon for a vehicle malfunction to cause an accident. Common issues include faulty brakes, worn tires, lack of fuel, and malfunctioning brake lights.
The better you are at proactively caring for your vehicle, the less likely it is that any one of these issues will negatively impact your safety.
4.Avoid Driving During These Times
There are certain times of day that are more dangerous than others. More cars on the road obviously means more risk, but there’s only so much correlation. While the most popular time for accidents to occur is between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. (rush hour), there are also a lot of deadly crashes between 6 p.m. and midnight. Knowing when accidents are most likely to occur can help you make wise decisions about when to drive.
5.Don’t Drive Under the Influence
It seems pretty obvious, but one of the best ways to reduce your risk of being involved in a serious or fatal car accident is to avoid driving while under the influence.
Anything that impacts your alertness, response time, and ability to focus can be very dangerous. While most people know that they shouldn’t drive while drunk, many don’t realize that it can be just as dangerous to operate a motor vehicle while buzzed or high.
Thankfully, it’s easier than ever to find a ride. With ridesharing platforms like Uber and Lyft, you can call a personal driver no matter where you are. If you’re ever drunk, buzzed, or high, be sure to make the safe choice.
Become a Safer Driver
You can’t control everything. There are thousands of independent variables in play any time you get behind the wheel of a car. Having said that, there are plenty of proactive steps you can take to become a safer driver. Make mental notes of these tactics and turn them into habits. If we all work together to replicate these behaviors, we can make American roads safer for everyone.