Common Car Accident Causing Behavior That Even You Might Be Guilty Of
Car accidents are frightening, dangerous, expensive, tragic and unfortunately, extremely common. While more than 60% of us appear to believe that we are good drivers, many statistics contradict our self-assessment by showing that a disturbing number of drivers regularly engage in activities that are known to cause car accidents. Here are some of the common and dangerous activities that many drivers admit they engage in while driving.
- Speeding - Speeding is a major cause of traffic accidents. Violations of the speed limit are contributing causes in nearly one third of fatal car accidents. Despite the dangers caused by driving in excess of the speed limit, almost everyone admits to having done so. One study indicated 89% of drivers admit that they have driven over the speed limit. Speeding is unlikely to even save much time, so the added risk is not even delivering much of a payoff to drivers. On a 50 mile trip, speeding might save 12 minutes. In shorter trips, difference is even less.
- Texting and other cell phone activities - The good news is that drunk driving has been on the decline. The bad news is using a cell phone while driving can be just as bad, and is an increasingly common cause of vehicle collisions. Texting while driving puts a person statistically at the same increased rate for an accident as an average person would after drinking four beers. Despite the known risks of texting and driving, about 34 percent of drivers admit to having sent texts of emails while behind the wheel. That number jumps to 63 percent for drivers 18 to 29, and 58 percent for 30 to 44 year olds.
- Driving while tired - While it is often difficult to determine whether drowsiness was the cause of an accident, around 100,000 collisions annually are attributed to tiredness directly, and it is likely the cause of many more. Driving while drowsy is common, with around 60% of drivers admitting they have driven while sleepy, and more than one third of drivers admitting that they have actually fallen asleep behind the wheel.
- Ignoring dangerous weather - Inclement weather, including rain, snow, ice, fog and wet pavement are contributing factors in more than 20% of car accidents. Obviously, weather can make the roads more dangerous by creating slippery surfaces, or lowering driver visibility. However, at times people do not fully take into account the weather and how it should alter their driving patterns. It is possible that driving within the speed limit does not mean you are driving reasonably if the weather warrants a speed slower than the speed limit.
- Driving while drunk - Even though drunk driving rates are decreasing, driving while drunk still accounts for a large number of accidents in the United States. In fact, someone suffers an injury as the result of a drunk driving accident every two minutes. The fact that driving drunk is extremely dangerous is hardly new information, and yet the practice persists. One study showed 4.2 million adults admitted to driving drunk within the last month alone.
The amount of dangerous drivers on the road can be frightening. Even if you are the cautious driver who does not do any of these things you share the road with plenty of people who do. Of course, be sure to wear a seatbelt! Wearing a seatbelt can greatly decrease the chance or severity of an injury. If that does not convince you, keep in mind that if you are in an accident, you might find your damages decreased if you failed to buckle up! If you were involved in a car accident, you should contact an attorney to discuss your claim.
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