Car accidents are one of the leading causes of injury and death in the world. Many of these accidents could have been easily prevented by responsible driving. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Without action, road traffic crashes are predicted to rise to become the 7th leading cause of death by 2030.”
WHO has four alarming statistics to back up their grim prediction:
- * About 1.25 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes.
- * Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among young people, aged 15–29 years.
- * 90% of the world’s fatalities on the roads occur in low- and middle-income countries, even though these countries have approximately half of the world’s vehicles.
- * Half of those dying on the world’s roads are “vulnerable road users”: pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
U.S. Measures to Reduce Irresponsible Driving
The U.S. has many law enforcement measures in place to try and reduce the number of accidents. One measure that has proven effective in making driver’s more accountable is SR 22 Insurance. According to Acceptance Insurance, who provides the best SR22 insurance, “This type of insurance is generally required for drivers who have been caught driving without insurance, especially those who were involved in at-fault accidents while driving without insurance. It is also typically required for those who have been convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, had their license revoked or suspended or had too many tickets or traffic offenses in what is deemed a short time period.”
Common Reasons for Accidents
Sadly, automobile accidents happen every single day all over the world. The Insurance Industry Highway Safety organization has found 7 common causes for car accidents.
After driving for a while, driving becomes almost automatic. Unfortunately, this results in driver’s not paying close attention to the road. Instead, they talk, groom, read, eat, text, or talk on their cell phones. The biggest cause of accidents is texting while driving.
- Need for Speed
We live in a world that is becoming increasingly automated and efficient. This speed can become an addiction. Consumers like everything fast, wanting instant gratification whenever possible. This addiction for speed can be dangerous on the road. Driving over the posted speed limits makes it difficult to react in time to unexpected events on the road, ranging from a car stopping up ahead to an animal crossing.
- Alcohol or Drugs
While alcohol is responsible for most dangerous behavior on the road, a driver’s alertness is also impaired by drugs. Marijuana, which has become legal in many states, is the most common drug associated with car accidents after alcohol. Despite the large number of arrests made for drunken driving and the high punitive measures, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) estimate that there about 300,000 incidents of drunk driving each day.
- Inclement Weather
It’s easy to lose control when there is standing water on the road or ice. In most cases, accidents are caused by hydroplaning, a condition where the driver loses control off their car because it skims over the water or skids over the ice. Another cause is poor visibility due to rain or ice on the windshields and poor windshield wipers.
Most crashes are due to side-impact collisions. Usually, it results in injuries or fatalities to the passengers. “T-bone” crashes occur when one driver does not stop at an intersection for another car that has the right of way
Accidents are not always caused by two cars running into each other. They can also be caused by rear-ending and vehicles maneuvering through tight parking lots.
Rear-ending occurs when a car in front stops. This may be due to an obstacle on the road or due to coming to a stop sign. Meanwhile, the driver behind has not reacted quickly enough and continues to drive straight into them.
Collisions can also occur in parking lots. These happen when a car is reversing out of a parking lot straight into another car that is passing behind it. Sometimes collisions happen when a car has pulled out and another car drives into the side. Accidents can also happen when a car either pulls into or out of a parking space and scrapes the car on the side.
- Animal Crossings
Animals can dart in front of the car. Accidents are caused by swerving to avoid the animals. Sometimes, too, the car may slam into an animal, and if it is a large, heavy animal like deer, elk, moose, it can cause severe damage to the car.
Insufficient Attention to the Road
Most accidents can be traced to a lack of attention. A driver may be distracted by a handheld device; by a sense of urgency and impatience; by alcohol, drugs or substance abuse. A driver may not also be paying attention to weather conditions, the presence of other motorists on the road, or the possibility of an animal crossing. While laws and organizations work hard to prevent accidents, ultimately, it’s all about self-responsibility. When on the highway, the most important thing you can do is pay attention to what is happening on the road.