The Four Most Common Reasons for Car Accidents
For many Americans, diving is such an enmeshed part of our daily routines that it is easy to find yourself on “autopilot,” finding yourself at your destination but forgetting small details about your trip to work or home. Since we spend, according to The New York Post, (https://nypost.com/2019/04/19/americans-spend-19-full-work-days-a-year-stuck-in-traffic-on-their-commute/) a full 19 days a year in our vehicles, it is easy to see why accidents are so prevalent. Based on data collected in 2019, the CDC and The National Law Review estimate that these are the 4 most common causes for car accidents in the United States:
Distracted driving covers a whole lot of territory, so it makes sense that it is the number one cause of car accidents. From taking your eyes off of the road to look at your kids to checking your map on your phone and accidentally reading a text message, there are a lot of temptations to let your guard down on the road. Texting and driving is six times more dangerous than drunk driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) (https://www.nhtsa.gov/).
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that one in three Americans do not receive enough sleep (https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0215-enough-sleep.html). Even falling asleep for a moment (knows as micro-sleeping) is plenty long enough to drive off the road. They recommend starting long trips upon waking and feeling rested, and getting enough sleep in the first place.
Alcohol & Drug Impairment
Drunk or drugged driving causes tens of thousands of accidents every year. The National Law Review reports that between a quarter and a third of all accidents are caused by impaired drivers (https://www.natlawreview.com/article/most-common-causes-collision). It’s not just alcohol, either. Prescription drugs are becoming a more common cause of impairment because people think since a doctor prescribed a substance that it is necessarily safe to drive on. Always read the warning labels and instructions when starting a new medication.
We’ve all done it. Whether it’s because you are in a hurry, you are late, you are a daredevil, or you simply have a heavy foot, speeding is a major factor in several accidents. The NHTSA reported in March of 2018 (https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/812485_national-traffic-speeds-survey-iii-2015.pdf) that on average, at any given time, two thirds of all drivers on the road are travelling over the speed limit. Speed not only cuts your reaction time, but it increases the impact with each mph, resulting in worse accidents.