Car accidents are typically caused by human error and negligence. Sometimes, however, environmental factors may also be partly responsible. While no sane person will ever deliberately put themselves in a situation where they will be involved in a car crash, the fact of the matter is that despite all the precautions we might take to reduce the risks of a car accident happening, it is inevitable that mishaps will happen, even if it is of no fault of ours.
In order to take steps to reduce the chances of being involved in a road traffic accident that is directly caused by you, it is important to know and be aware of the different situations that can cause or lead to them happening.
Here are the Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer enlists the top 15 causes of Car Accidents:
1. Driving Under the Influence
The dangers of drinking under the influence of drugs and alcohol have been well documented and proven. Sadly, despite this, the incidence of DUI or DWI has increased exponentially over the last decade. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is recognized as a criminal offense in all states of America, and many states have a zero-tolerance policy towards this. Research statistics indicate that around 30 lives are lost every day as a result of a life DUI/DWI crime. This equates roughly to about one person per hour. A large percentage of intoxicated drivers are often below the age limit of drinking, which makes them liable for multiple offenses.
2. Distracted Driving
The dangers of texting, taking a call while driving, or being distracted in other ways have been well researched, and the definitive conclusion is that such actions greatly increase the chances of a mishap. Smartphones are the biggest source of this distraction for drivers that get involved in traffic collisions. Driving is a task that needs the focus of all your senses, thus you cannot afford to multitask when you are behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. Distracted driving can also be associated with loud music in the car stereo, flashy billboards on the streets, and conversation with a fellow passenger, among others.
The adrenaline that is often associated with the “need for speed,” sometimes inspired by action flicks like ‘Fast & Furious,’ is yet another factor that comes into the discussion when it comes to common causes of car accidents. The speed limit road signs that are strategically placed on various parts of the road are there for a reason, but sadly, they are often largely ignored by most drivers, consequently, leading to many fatalities.
No matter how bad traffic looks, it is important to maintain a safe following or ‘one car’ distance with the vehicle ahead. Unfortunately, a lot of drivers simply get agitated and impatient when traffic moves too slowly. Driving dangerously close to the vehicle in front of yours is a common phenomenon and is also a major cause of mishaps on the road.
5. Reckless Driving
For various reasons, people have been known to simply be reckless while driving. The reasons or causes can range from them being angry, irritated, depressed, or high on adrenaline. Reckless driving includes everything from illegal street racing to simply disregarding basic traffic laws, such as stopping at the red light.
6. Fatigued Drivers
Fatigue and driving while tired is a well-researched and documented cause of road accident mishaps. Driving requires you to be fully alert and aware and a fatigued or tired driver is the very opposite of alert and aware. A fatigued driver will undoubtedly stand a high chance of either being involved in or causing a road traffic accident.
7. Signal Light Malfunction
The signal lights at the front and back of your car are there for a very important reason- to alert other road users as to the direction (either right or left) that your car intends to go. Whenever these lights, or ‘indicators’ as they are also known, malfunction or are simply not used by the driver of a vehicle, then the risk of an accident happening is increased.
The kinds of accidents that can occur as a result of this include side-impact or T-bone collisions, rear-end collisions and multiple-impact collisions.
8. Lack of Road Signs
The lack of adequate road signs or the failure of drivers to obey them may potentially lead to dangerous situations for all road users. Road signs are meant to guide and regulate your usage of roads and where their guidance is neglected, accidents and mishaps are inevitable.
9. Automobile Defect
Punctured or worn-out tires, defective seat belts, broken or cracked windshields, non-working windshield wipers, faulty brakes and non-working brake lights are just some of the many defects in an automobile that greatly increases the chances of a car accident happening. It is, therefore, very important to ensure that your vehicle is properly and regularly maintained both to avoid many of these issues and detect them if they occur.
10. Brake Failure
Brake failure can occur due to several reasons but the resultant effect can cause very serious and severe car accidents who can lead to severe car accident injuries. Some of the common reasons for brake failure are natural wear & tear, overheating, depletion of brake oil, and a malfunctioning brake booster. Early signs of brake problems include blinking of brake light, squeaky/grinding noises, leaking fluid, limp brake pedal, and a burning smell while driving.
11. Driving the Wrong Way
Every now and then it is not uncommon to find someone driving on the wrong side of the road. Most times, this usually does not lead to accidents or fatalities, especially when this one-way driving happens during the day when visibility is good. It can often be a different ball game when such situations happen at night when visibility is often not great.
There are various reasons or situations that lead to people driving on the wrong side of the road, but the most common ones are people being impatient and trying to take short-cuts and people unfamiliar with a specific road and who take a wrong turn onto incoming traffic.
Head-on collisions and sideswipes are common during such incidents.
12. Abrupt Lane Change
Weaving through traffic or lane switching is a recipe for disaster. Your abrupt lane change may not give other drivers enough time to react and avoid a collision.
13. Unsafe Road Conditions
Unsafe road conditions like potholes and fissures create obstacles and increase the risks of car accidents. You should therefore pay extra attention while driving on a road that seemingly has damaged roads or those prone to crumble under natural environmental factors.
14. Bad Weather
Rain, snow, fog, and wind storms are a few forms of bad weather that can pose a threat to drivers. They may reduce visibility, leave obstructions on the road, or make roads slippery. If the weather forecast predicts unfavorable weather or you can see it for yourself, better postpone traveling plans.