Understanding the most common causes of auto accidents in 2022 is key to avoiding being harmed in one.
By: James Swartz
Managing & Principal Attorney – Car Accidents, Catastrophic Injuries, Contract and Business Litigation, Inadequate Security & Premises Liability Litigation, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability & Wrongful Death
Driving is an essential part of daily life for many people. It can also be dangerous.
This isn’t meant to concern you. Although you can’t control the actions of other drivers, you can minimize your chances of being harmed in an accident by taking various essential steps.
One way to stay safe on the road is to learn about the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents. In 2022, the dominant causes of auto accidents are the following:
It is vital that motorists pay close attention to the road and other drivers or pedestrians in their vicinity when driving. Even a brief distraction can result in a devastating accident.
Unfortunately, statistics indicate approximately eight people lose their lives as a result of distracted driving every day in the United States. There is also evidence suggesting accidents involving distracted driving are on the rise.
This is likely due to the rise of smartphones and other such devices. Quite simply, today’s drivers have more potential distractions in their vehicles than ever before.
The simplest way to avoid being involved in an accident because you were distracted is to eliminate distractions in the first place. Turn your phone off, don’t play the radio so loud that it prevents you from hearing sirens or noises indicating your vehicle is in need of maintenance or repairs, and always keep your eyes and focus on the road.
If you must keep your phone on, you can at least use apps that are designed to prevent motorists from receiving alerts when they are driving. Doing so could save a life.
Avoid eating while driving as well. Many people don’t realize how dangerous consuming food or beverages while driving can be. For instance, if you were to take a sip of your morning coffee without realizing how hot it would be, the sudden shock from the unexpected heat could be enough to distract you and cause an accident.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Virtually all motorists know that driving while drunk, under the influence of drugs, or both is extremely dangerous. Sadly, this knowledge has not prevented motorists from getting behind the wheel when impaired. To better understand how significant an issue intoxicated driving continues to be, consider the fact that as recently as 2019, 10,142 people lost their lives on America’s roads in accidents involving drunk driving.
There is no excuse for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is truer than ever now that getting a ride home through services such as Uber or Lyft is an option throughout most of the country. If you are in an area where Uber and Lyft drivers are not always available, assign someone trustworthy the role of designated driver, research taxi services in the area, or simply refrain from drinking or using drugs before driving.
You must also keep an eye out for signs that drivers with whom you’re sharing the road are drunk or driving under the influence of drugs. Common warning signs include failure to stay within a lane, sudden acceleration or deceleration, failure to turn on headlights in dark conditions, nearly striking the curb or objects on the road, and tailgating.
It’s important that we emphasize the dangers associated with drunk driving. However, some might argue that society focuses so much attention on highlighting the potential for drunk driving to cause accidents that we fail to properly emphasize the risks of drowsy driving.
Some researchers believe driving while fatigued may be as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Lack of sleep has been shown to impair one’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle to the same degree that alcohol can.
Naturally, you should never drive if you know you’re too tired to do so safely. That said, it’s worth noting that drivers who have gotten into accidents as a result of falling asleep at the wheel often report that they did not realize just how fatigued they were prior to their accidents.
Familiarize yourself with the signs of drowsy driving. They include not being able to remember details of the past few miles you have driven, yawning, blinking frequently, forgetting or overlooking your exit, and drifting from your lane. If you have any reason to believe you are too fatigued to drive safely, find a safe place to rest as soon as possible. Additionally, if you know you’ll be in a situation that could require you to drive home late, either find a place to stay nearby ahead of time, or make arrangements with a taxi service.
Some researchers believe driving while fatigued may be as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.
Speeding remains one of the most frequent causes of car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019, speeding accounted for approximately 26% of all traffic fatalities in the country. Along with speeding, aggressive or otherwise reckless driving can also result in major accidents.
Along with knowing what the posted speed limit is on a given road and obeying said speed limit, you can also avoid accidents resulting from speeding by always giving yourself enough time to reach your destination when you get behind the wheel. Many people speed because they are behind schedule and believe they need to make up time.
Make sure your speedometer is regularly checked as well. It’s possible to speed without realizing it if your speedometer is giving you an inaccurate reading. Also, exercise caution when other drivers are speeding, being sure to keep your distance from them.
Rain, snow, sleet, and other such weather conditions can make staying safe on the road far more difficult than it typically is. Even if you exercise caution when driving in poor weather conditions, inexperienced or reckless drivers might not be as responsible as you are.
Always check weather conditions before driving. If the weather is going to be hazardous, genuinely ask yourself if you absolutely need to drive, or if you can wait to make your trip once the weather improves. If you do have to drive in poor weather conditions, drive more slowly than you normally would, and be aware of the degree to which the motorists with whom you’re sharing the road are practicing safe driving habits.
That’s an important point. The fact that you are careful when driving doesn’t mean you’ll never be involved in an accident. Accidents can happen when other drivers are negligent.
If you’ve been hurt or injured in a car accident please do not delay. Give our experienced personal injury attorneys a call today. We are here to answer your questions and protect your legal rights. Call our Boston, Massachusetts office at (617) 742-1900, or toll-free at 1-800-545-3732
If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.