Car accidents cause many problems. From the trauma and emotional toll of being in the accident to the financial strain of medical bills and car repairs, along with the inconvenience of being without your vehicle, they’re stressful for everyone involved. Like any problem, the best solution is prevention. When you understand what causes car accidents, you can do your part to avoid being at fault in one and, with the help of an auto accident attorney, to know when someone else should be held responsible. Here are three common causes of car accidents and how to avoid them to the best of your ability.
This is another way of saying “distracted driving,” and with so many warnings out there against things like texting while driving, eating while driving, phone use by drivers, or putting on makeup while driving, you shouldn’t be surprised to see it at the top of any defensive driver’s list. Of course, cell phones, food, and makeup aren’t the only causes of distracted driving. Drivers can be distracted by kids, pets, the radio, or simply adjusting the dials on their car’s ac or heater. Anything that takes your attention off the road is a dangerous distraction, so it’s important always to be responsible when you’re out and about.
The best way to protect yourself and other drivers from making a mistake is to leave the distractions alone, and if you suspect the driver who hit you was distracted, try to gather as much proof as possible. Pay attention to the other drivers on the road, as it could help you piece together your case later.
Drunk and Drugged Driving
When it comes to dangers on the road, drivers impaired by alcohol or medications are probably the second hottest topic in road safety after distracted driving. Most people understand the risks of hitting the road while under the influence of things such as alcohol or anything that could impair their judgment and critical thinking skills; thus, it’s common knowledge not to drive after doing recreational drugs, but there is also a big risk from prescribed medications such as muscle relaxers, pain medications, and sleep aids.
When taking any kind of medication, you should read and understand the label of anything you take, and don’t drive after using any pharmaceutical that warns against doing so even if you think you’re unaffected. When drinking, it’s best to have a designated driver or a taxi service ready or on call. If you have an accident with a driver who appears to be impaired for any reason, use photos and video to document their behavior and any evidence in or around their vehicle to help build your case.
Bad Road Conditions
When we think of bad roads, we usually think of snow and ice. However, there are many other causes for dangerous road surfaces. Heavy rain can make roads slick as well, and it can also lead to ponding of water that causes hydroplaning. You can also lose traction if there are spills of oil, fuel, or other slippery products. Monitor road conditions at all times when you must be out. If it’s dangerous, stay home. If you must be out when the snow is flying, drive defensively.
Even though it’s called an accident, there’s always an underlying reason for why a collision happened. You can do your part to circumvent any situations where you would be the driver at fault simply by following the rules of the road and doing what you can to remain safe in the car. This won’t prevent other people from making poor decisions, but it can help you to try and avoid them or know where to start when building your case.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.