Top Causes Of Car Accidents In The World
Driving is a skill that involves a lot of focus, patience, and quick reaction time. People who are often on roads are at risk in experiencing different forms of vehicular accidents. These accidents can either be caused by the driver himself, by other surrounding drivers on the roads, or by hazards that are brought about by the environment.
No matter how cautious you are and no matter how hard you follow the rules of traffic, there will always be risks involved in driving. Injuries, trauma, and permanent loss of motor and sensory skills are all possible results of vehicular accidents. Through practice and proper road abidance, accidents can be prevented.
For you to be able to be well-informed and get prepared to face these hazards, here are some common causes of car accidents in the world:
1. Distracted Driving
Distracted Driving is a form of driving where a person experiences a diversion in his/her attention from the road. There are many forms of distracted driving but the most common are talking over a cellular phone, sending text messages, eating food, and even applying make-up. As of today, distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents all over the world.
Statistics have shown that over 8 people are killed and 1,161 people are injured in car crashes that have been reported to be caused by distracted driving.
A simple mistake of taking your eyes off the road can cause damage and harm not only to you but also to drivers within your radius. The simplest way to avoid this is to put off all distractions available in the car. Simply by turning your phone into silent mode, or waking up early to prepare for your day with ease are the best solutions to this situation.
2. Driving under the Influence of Alcohol or Drunk Driving
All over the world, drinking is a naturally accepted form of socialization and engagement. This is the reason why next to distracted driving, drunk driving causes fatal accidents on the roads.
When you drink and you don’t know how to handle your drinking, you can be a very dangerous machine operating a vehicle. Your inhibitions are down and your reflexes are compromised as a result of consuming alcoholic beverages. The most common victims of this type of road accident are caused by teenagers who tend to become reckless and irresponsible on the roads.
Drinking is a very preventable cause of road accidents. There are a lot of road rules and regulations that have been set-up to prevent this from happening. Drinking under the influence of alcohol is a criminal offense where the accused can be involved in a prison sentence.
3. Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
Usually, a person who is intoxicated with alcohol may also be under the influence of illegal substances (e.g. marijuana, heroin, cocaine). Drugs affect the mind in different ways depending on the type (e.g. stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens) that the person is using.
Driving under the influence of drugs is a very serious criminal offense and can also be given a prison sentence especially if fatal accidents were involved and when a person has been proven of possessing illegal substances.
This is a risk factor that you cannot take off the road and you totally have no control over. The only way to spot these types of people on the road is when they seem to be either driving too fast or can’t properly stay within their respective lanes. The best way to evade them is to either drive past them or totally distance yourself from them.
It is one of the major causes of road accidents that can cause total car wrecks especially when excessive speeding is done by the user.
4. Excessive Sleepiness or Fatigue Driving
Have you ever driven behind the wheel and you cannot stop your eyes from shutting off? The reason was either you probably were too tired, you did not get enough sleep or a combination of both.
Based on statistics, sleep-related crashes are very common both in young people, adults with children, workers who work on awkward shifts, and most, especially in men. Unlike Driving Under the Influence (DUI) there is no known equipment that can measure a person’s drowsiness level. Studies have shown that a mere 10-second shut eye slip could cause fatal accidents especially when roads are congested or too tight. Accidents that are caused by this factor usually occur at night time where the body is already preparing to take a rest.
The best way to prevent this is by simply pulling over somewhere safe and get a very quick 30-minute power nap. Aside from this, a person can also try getting enough rest and sleep before taking a drive or if a driving passenger is present he/she can ask the person to take over.
5. Driving at night
Driving during daylight is already dangerous but add the factor of darkness, the risks of getting car accidents raises. Driving at night is often associated with drowsy driving. This is because during this period of the day our body is already preparing to take a rest and get ready for the next challenges of tomorrow.
When roads are exposed in total darkness, your ability to see clearly becomes hampered, especially when roads are not well lit. We are not animals well adapted with night vision like Lions and Wolves are. This then raises the chances of getting into car accidents and the best way to prevent this is by increasing your awareness. If you are aware of all the things going on around you, you can easily focus and spot what’s wrong on the road and you can prevent untoward incidents from happening.
6. Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is a very irresponsible driving etiquette where a person simply speeds, changes lanes abruptly, tailgates, and have no certain amount of regard for other people on the road.
Based on the statistics, an estimate of 1.3 million road traffic deaths occur each year and reckless driving is a great contributor to this rate. On average that’s approximately 3,287 deaths a day worldwide.
Reckless driving can be prevented by strictly following traffic rules. You can also avoid these types of drivers by spotting them easily on the road. These types of people are usually impatient and very aggressive when driving.
There are different forms of reckless driving and these are:
a. Breaking Speed Limit Rules
Excessive speeding is also a form of reckless driving. It is a very preventable cause of accidents on the road only if people are responsible enough to follow speed limits that are readily available on the sides of the roads.
A person can easily prevent this from happening if he/she will follow road rules and road etiquette properly. Speeding not only causes harm to the person driving but also to other drivers presents on the road.
b.Racing on Streets
These are cars that can be easily spotted on the road because of their noisy turbo engines. Street racing is a form of an underground culture that was highly depicted in the series of movies of Fast and the Furious. These types of car drivers are not one to be messed with because of their capacity to speed up on streets without any regard for traffic or other drivers on roads.
The best way to avoid getting into accidents with them is to spot them first and let them get through. You do not want to be in between of racing cars that have great engine power.
c. Running off on Red Lights
Green means GO, Yellow means SLOW DOWN, while Red means STOP. This is a basic traffic road machinery that is often overlooked by reckless drivers. When you run on red lights you are at a very high risk of getting involved in side-impact collisions. This wrongful decision can be very fatal especially when a person is at high speeds. It can be fatal for both the driver and the oncoming car.
Intersections are often the spots with which this type of incidents occurs. For you to avoid this, make a full stop when the signal is in red, and don’t be negligent about this traffic rule. If a green light is about to approach, the best way to avoid car accidents is to look on both ways for oncoming cars that have reckless drivers on them.
In driving a car, you must know that red signal means to stop. If you don’t follow it, you may cause a car accident. Drivers that still run during a red light will run the risk of being the cause death because this will often lead to impact collisions.
d. Ignoring Stop Signs
Signs are placed on sides of the roads for you to follow. They are not merely displays or ornaments on the roads. Road signs particularly stop signs, should not be ignored as it can also cause serious vehicular accidents. Side-impact car accidents can also result in this reckless form of driving. Just the same way a person can avoid this risk factor by following road rules and regulations. You can also prevent this by observing how traffic flows and if there are oncoming cars in your radius.
e. Sudden Lane Changes
Road lanes are in place for a good purpose, this is to keep people in lines to protect traffic and potential accidents from happening. Suddenly changing lanes especially in big highways are also a cause of car accidents.
It is a very preventable cause of accidents only if people are aware of their immediate surroundings.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to always use your signal light, check you blind spots, and most especially proceed to the next lane with much caution. Do it slowly and do it carefully, this way you won’t inflict harm on yourself and also to others.
f. Driving on the Wrong Way
Driving on a wrong way is also a form of reckless driving. You should always be aware of road signs (e.g. One way, No Right Turn, No Left Turn) to prevent deadly incidents from happening. Driving the wrong way also refers to you occupying the other side of the road especially when making a huge turn.
Don’t be an irresponsible driver who disregards these basic road signs. You may never know if you are making a wrong turn that could kill you and other drivers around the area.
g. Driving on Deadly Curves
Road curves are parts of a lot of roads constructed in different areas of the world. It is important to note that when approaching these types of sharp curves you should be very cautious for incoming cars. This way you won’t lose control of your car and you won’t be a hazard to other vehicles around you.
You must not over take on a sharp curve, this is a very basic road rule that applies to everyone. There are road signs available for you to be aware of the approaching deadly curve, you must follow them and be very careful.
Driving safely entails keeping a safe distance from other cars on roads. Tailgating is simply driving too closed to the person in front of you on the road. This is a very dangerous form of driving and is also a reckless driving style. When you are too closed to vehicles around you, your reaction time is hampered. This could be very dangerous especially when a car or cars in front suddenly hit on their breaks. You do not have the enough time to evade this and you could wind up in full impact collisions that can cause serious injuries or worst, death.
You can prevent this from happening by simply giving the car in front of you a half-car or one-car-length distance to ensure that you can evade these sudden driving decisions made by other drivers.
i. Road Rage
Road rages are often very familiar with roads all over the world. Somewhere along the line of driving you to encounter a person who is exaggeratedly angry or mad at the road situation. Road rages can cause many car accidents because of possible harm that a person can inflict to another when the situation starts to simmer.
The best way to prevent this is to not confront the person directly and call the attention of authorities. This way you will be protected from any form of harm.
7. Environment and Weather
No matter how safely you drive there will always be instances that you will encounter hazards on roads. It can either be brought about by nature or by poor road constructions. These are some environmental causes that can cause major accidents:
a. Wet Roads caused by Rain, Ice or Snow
You cannot control the weather, therefore, you cannot control how passable or safe roads are when nature is the one responsible. Most car accidents involved slippery roads caused either by rain, ice, or snow, depending on which geographic location you are and what climate your country is experiencing.
Hydroplaning decreased visibility, decreased tire traction, and brake failure is some of the possible causes and results of weather conditions that cannot be avoided on roads during specific seasons. The best way to prevent accidents from happening is to drive with extra care on roads and have a keen sense of observation and awareness about what’s happening in front of you.
Fog can either be caused by nature (e.g. weather and forest fires) or by human activity (e.g. excessive crop burning). It is no wonder that some car accidents are a result of these situations. The ability to see is a major requirement in driving, if this condition is hampered, you are exposed to different types of accidents.
The way to avoid this is by using your head lights when driving in the fog, this way, oncoming cars are able to see you and you can also view parts of the road with a little ease. Another way is to make sure that you distance yourself from cars that are in front of you, this way you would have enough time to react to very abrupt changes on the road.
c. Crossing Animals
This is another incident that you have no control over. Animals that are crossing the road (e.g. deers, chickens, frogs) are direct hazards on the roads that can cause major accidents especially if they are bigger in size.
The best way to save a life and prevent killing an innocent animal is to take caution of an animal crossing sign. You can also use your high beams as an aid to see better and spot these creatures especially when you are traveling in rural areas. Remember, animals don’t take driver’s education, you must be responsible for preventing this kind of accident from happening.
Potholes come in different shapes and sizes on roads. They occur when roads are not well-maintained or when roads are exposed to harsh environments. Potholes can be very deceiving and you must take caution when approaching one. You may never know how deep a pothole can be until your tire gets into it and you are in big trouble.
You can prevent accidents from happening simply by not taking your eyes off the road, watch carefully for these hazards, and evade them as much as you can.
e. Remains of blown out tires
Debris of tires that have blown out on the road can be a major hazard on the road which can cause you to lose control of your automobile. The only way to prevent this is to make sure that you are in control of your vehicle and if you did pass on it, you can simply pull over to a safe place to double check whether something went wrong with your vehicle.
8. Vehicle Design Defects
Nowadays, cars are produced in an assembly line of machines and barely need human intervention. Often, car accidents are a result of defects in cars that have been mass produced or manufactured. All vehicles are composed of several hundreds or thousands of big and small parts which can possibly garner defects somewhere along the production line.
The most famous automobile with design defects is the Toyota’s unintended acceleration crashes where vehicles either reverse or advance without even the control of the driver. You must remember that no matter how high-end or intricately designed your vehicle is, nothing is made perfect. Somewhere along the way a vehicle may malfunction and it may cause you your life or other people’s lives as well.
You cannot evade the hazards of these vehicular defects. The best thing to do is to remain updated about the car-defect news so that you will not make a mistake of purchasing a car that would harm you and others.
Those are the top causes of vehicular accidents that occur worldwide. No matter how careful and cautious you are about road rules and signs, there will always be risks involved in driving. The only thing that you have to do is to always be focused when handling a vehicle, avoid distractions, and become very aware and observant of your environment.
Driving is indeed a skill, just like playing a sport or engaging in physical activity, driving requires a lot of practice. A person can engage in defensive driving techniques as a form of protected driving to ensure that driving will be an enjoyable experience and not a dangerous one. Simply by planning ahead, observing the road, and being respectful of other drivers are techniques of defensive driving.
Vehicles are probably one of the greatest inventions of man, it made our lives easier and comfortable. No matter how many different brands and advances in car technologies have been invented, the driver is still the one responsible for ensuring his safety and the safety of other drivers on the road. Always make sure to be a responsible driver who not only think about himself, but also of the welfare of other people. The next time you drive, be careful not to break any law or be reckless—lives are at stake.