Driving a car is a big responsibility. And once you turn the ignition, you are taking on a risk. This is because you cannot trust the other drivers around, so accidents can happen at any given moment in time. Most car accidents are caused by some form of distracted driving, and since you cannot control what others around you do, it is critical to stay alert and focused when operating a motor vehicle. This even includes motorcycles, mopeds, scooters, and bikes. For this reason, it is important to always pay attention and drive defensively on the road. Accidents can happen for a number of reasons, but the most common causes of car accidents all have to do with irresponsible driving. Continue reading to see what they are!
The “umbrella” cause for car accidents is general distracted driving. This includes any behaviors or stimuli that can cause a person to lose focus of the road and their surroundings. Behaviors like texting, talking on the phone, smoking, searching for items, digging in purses, changing the radio station, and even sight-seeing are all examples of distracted driving. Stimuli that commonly distracts drivers include passengers, ride-along pets, emergency vehicle lights, loud music, and children. Some of these behaviors and stimuli should be avoided at all costs, like texting and driving. Most of the others mentioned can always be put off until you come to a stop. You may not be able to control other drivers, but you have the power to control your own driving!
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal for a reason. It is one of the most dangerous behaviors a driver can partake in, and one of the most common reasons for car accident fatalities in the United States. According to a recent MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) poll, an average of 28 people die EVERYDAY from drunk driving accidents. Not only can you get in a heap of legal trouble, you can potentially harm or kill another innocent person. And what if that person is a child? Drinking and driving is never worth it, for this reason and more. Call a cab or designate a sober driver. It is also important to never get into a car with a drunk driver. Your life is not worth the risk!
Speeding and Reckless Driving
Speeding can fall into the category of irresponsible driving. A vast number of car accidents involve speeding. According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), nearly 14,000 fatalities a year are caused by speeding. No matter how “good” of a driver you claim to be, driving at high speeds makes it impossible to be entirely alert and safely react to obstacles in the road. So next time you are in a hurry, remember that driving faster will never get you there in time. It will only risk your life and the lives of others on the road.
Aggressive or Angry Driving
Colloquially referred to as “road rage”, aggressive or angry driving is a common cause of traffic accidents in the United States. Drivers who experience intense anger towards traffic, road workers, or other drivers, and choose to release that anger with aggressive driving, can risk causing a serious accident involving other vehicles. It is recommended to avoid intense anger behind the wheel by listening to music or audiobooks. It can help a person to remain calm and reduce their anxiety until they reach their destination.
Whether coming home late from work, or nearing the end of an all-day road trip, fatigued driving is a common occurrence among drivers, and a common cause for car accidents. The NHTSA reports that an average of 100,000 collisions are caused by sleepy driving, over 1,500 of which are fatal. It is critical to be fully-energized and alert when operating a motor vehicle. Feeling the slightest bit drowsy can be a dangerous condition to drive in. Not only can you hurt yourself, you can hurt innocent strangers around you.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a distracted driver, it is vital to contact an experienced Indianapolis car accident lawyer to protect your future and your rights. Hurry to file your car accident injury claim before the statutes of limitations runs out in your state!