These days, driving is more or less an essential skill you need to have. Unfortunately, whether you consider it fun or a basic necessity, driving comes with one significant risk: car accidents.
Tech companies and auto manufacturers have been putting heads together to develop smarter cars to reduce the rate of car crashes. But despite the new technological advances, including forward collision systems and backup cameras, auto accidents still happen.
Whether minor or ghastly, a car accident may leave a person with severe injuries. Some injuries may stay awhile and prevent you from working and earning; others may be permanent, detracting significantly from your quality of life.
But car crashes have common causes, which are classified under two categories:
- Car Accidents due to human error
- Car Accidents not caused by human control
Knowing these causes can better position you to prevent them.
Common car accidents due to human error
Car accidents resulting from human error hardly ever have to do with driving skills. Skilled drivers do get involved in crashes. Instead, it’s all about your decisions while on the steering wheel.
After reading the following causes, take preventative measures by always remembering these causes while on the road.
Of course, sometimes you just wish you could go 200 mph like a speeding bullet, possibly because you’re late for work. Overspeeding is a leading cause of car crashes, and the results are often ghastly because of the momentum. So it’s in your best interest to always drive at a reasonably safe speed regardless of the situation. It’s a matter of life and death.
Drivers are always advised not to drive after drinking. That “high” feeling can make you believe you can do anything, but it’s not always true. It’s just the psychoactive effects of alcohol telling you that you can overtake the next vehicle with ease. According to the CDC, drunk driving causes about 29 deaths per day.
Contrary to popular opinion, the brain doesn’t do well with multitasking. The brain can only really focus on one thing at a time. Remember this next time you think you can answer a call or chat while driving. If the call is too important, pull up.
While it may look cool to switch lanes, overtake, and disregard red lights, it puts you and other road users at risk. When you change lanes, you may confuse other drivers. If they are at high speed, who knows what will happen next?
Driving when tired
When you’re extremely exhausted or sleepy, driving may put you at risk of a car crash. That’s because you may not be able to react to road conditions on time.
Car accidents causes not related to human error
Although the following causes of car accidents are not directly influenced by human action, you can reduce your risks by being proactive.
Problem with the vehicle
Vehicles hardly develop faults spontaneously. For example, when a brake fails, it may be because you haven’t listened to the warning signs. Car defects can cause accidents, but you can prevent that by inspecting and maintaining your vehicle regularly.
Snow and rainfall may make a road slippery and reduce traction in tires. The reduced visibility may also lead to an accident.
Poor road condition
You may not quickly see a pothole or dangerous area on the road. Poorly maintained roads may damage your tire or derail your direction due to hazardous areas. When driving through such sites, slow down to a safe speed.
What to do after a car accident
If you ever get involved in a car accident, be assured that the law allows you to seek compensation for the damages and injuries you may have sustained.
This is covered in your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage. It’s in your best interest to speak with a car accident lawyer soon after the crash to help you present your case to your insurer. Suppose the accident is due to another driver’s fault. In that case, your lawyer can help you file a personal injury lawsuit against them so you can obtain the maximum compensation you deserve for your loss and injuries.
However, there are steps to take at the scene of the accident even before calling a car accident lawyer:
- Do not leave the scene, especially when someone else has sustained injuries. You may face a criminal penalty if you do so.
- Call the police as soon as everyone is reasonably safe.
- Exchange personal and vehicle insurance information with the other driver. Document their vehicle model and the damage on yours; take photos and videos if possible.
- Even though it feels like a nice thing to do, avoid admitting fault for the accident, as whatever you say may be used against you. Do not say things like, “I’m sorry, I should have run the red light.”
- Call your insurance company.
- Call a personal injury lawyer.
No one wishes for accidents, but when they do happen, the steps you take may go a long way in offering you closure. Drive safely, maintain your vehicle, and your risk of car accidents will be dramatically reduced.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism