Despite all of the safety features in modern vehicles and efforts to educate drivers about avoiding distraction, car accidents remain common and pose a significant risk to motorists and passengers. It’s important to understand why so many car accidents happen. The answer to that question usually involves human error. Here are some of the most common mistakes drivers make that can cause motor vehicle crashes:
1. Drunk driving
Drinking alcohol impairs a driver’s senses, including reaction time, muscle control and vision. Even though it’s widely understood that drunk driving is both illegal and unsafe, motorists continue to operate their vehicles while impaired, and some even believe that they drive just as well while intoxicated as they do when sober.
2. Drowsy driving
Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Drowsiness makes it harder for drivers to focus and react in order to avoid a collision. Once a crash occurs, it is difficult to prove that drowsiness caused it because typically there are no witnesses to a motorist falling asleep behind the wheel and, after a collision, the driver usually wakes up.
3. Distracted driving
Distractions are everywhere and can lead to auto accidents. Even just a few seconds of taking one’s eyes off of the roadway can lead to a collision. Talkative passengers, eating and drinking, or listening to the radio in the car can cause the driver to become distracted. Cell phones, of course, are a common cause of distracted driving largely because they are made to be distracting and people can’t seem to put them down.
4. Aggressive driving
Drivers may become reckless and endanger others on purpose. This is called road rage, a term we have all heard. Brake-checking or tailgating are practices that are extremely dangerous. Angry drivers may also speed, which can make it harder for them to slow down in order to avoid a collision.
5. Inexperienced driving
Drivers who aren’t used to operating vehicles may find it harder to avoid accidents. Fear and anxiety can cause a student driver to suddenly stop his or her vehicle or mistakenly press the gas pedal, which can lead to collisions.
While you can do your best to be a defensive driver, the reality is that an accident can happen to anybody. If you’re injured by another driver’s negligence, find out more about your legal options.