One of the biggest areas of concern for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is vehicle safety. Crashes and accidents lead to a huge number of injuries and deaths across the US each and every year.
In order to prevent motor vehicle accidents and limit the injuries and deaths caused by them, it’s important to understand how they happen in the first place. We’re going to do that today by exploring and discussing the most common causes of car accidents and what can be done to mitigate those causes.
Annual Collisions in the US
Each year in the US, in excess of 6.5 million road traffic accidents are recorded according to the NHTSA. As a result of those incidents, around 2.7 million injuries occur and 36,000 people lose their lives. Unsurprisingly, these incidents have a huge impact on individuals and families across the country.
And as well as the emotional burden created by such injuries and deaths, there’s a large financial impact that comes with them. The CDC finds that the total cost of those crashes is more than $75 billion per year. That’s a huge sum of money, so what’s behind these crashes? What are the most common causes?
When the driver’s attention is taken away from the road, they’re distracted. Distracted driving is one of the most common reasons why crashes occur. Distractions can be visual, cognitive or physical, depending on the situation. But anything that acts as a distraction has the potential to cause serious problems.
Some common examples of distractions while driving include typing on a screen, reading screens or taking phone calls. Turning to look at things outside the car is another example, as are auditory distractions within the car, daydreaming that takes focus away from driving and eating while also driving.
Driving While Tired
Driving while fatigued is something that can be highly dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. It’s believed that around a third of adults in the US suffer from chronic sleep deprivation, and this can result in drowsiness throughout the day, including when behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Not many people realize it, but driving while tired and drowsy is generally considered to be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Many people who wouldn’t dream of driving while over the legal alcohol limit end up driving while tired, putting themselves and those around them at risk on the road. Getting adequate sleep is key and driving should always be avoided when feeling tired.
Alcohol or Drug Impairment
It’s believed that up to a third of road traffic accidents that happen involve alcohol or drug impairment in one way or another. Not only is it extremely dangerous to drink too much alcohol before driving but it’s also illegal, as we know. Impairment begins as soon as alcohol or drugs are consumed, and this impairment leads to overconsumption, making crashes more likely once driving is involved.
There are many drugs that lead to impairment on the road, not just the illegal ones that we all know about. Even over the counter and prescription medication can impact our motor coordination or cause drowsiness, making driving a vehicle a highly dangerous thing to do.
Exceeding the speed limit is something that’s become pretty normalized. People rush to get to where they need to be and begin to see speed limits as nothing more than an inconvenience to them. Once a driver finds it normal to speed, accidents become more likely and the severity of those crashes increases too.
When going too fast, a driver has less time to react to an incident. At lower speeds, the driver still has the chance to slow down or move to avoid a collision, but that often isn’t possible if the individual is speeding. The energy released upon a collision is, of course, also far greater when moving at higher speeds.
How Lawyers Help the Victims of Car Crashes
As we’ve established, millions of American become victims of car accidents each year, and many of these people are innocent victims of other people’s negligence.
Some people are hurt as a result of another person’s distracted driving or their willingness to drive while tired or under the influence of drink or drugs. These people are entitled to compensation, and a reputable lawyer can help them get it.
If you have been in a car accident and need vehicle repairs, contact a reputable auto body shop today.