Car accidents plague America, as an average of six million car crashes occurs every year. Sadly, half of these accidents result in injuries, and a third of these accidents result in permanent injuries.
That means car crashes cause two million permanent injuries every year.
Fortunately, we don’t have to accept the statistics as they are, and knowledge is the first step to change. For this reason, Meade Law Group has compiled a list of the top causes of auto accidents in America.
Top Causes of Auto Accidents in America
Distracted driving is the top cause of auto accidents in America. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 15% of injury crashes are caused by distracted driving, which means distracted driving causes 300,000 permanent injuries every year.
Many people assume distracted driving means texting and driving, but that’s far from the case. Although driving while using a handheld device is distracted driving, it only represents one type of distracted driving.
There are three types of distractions, including:
- Manual distractions (moving hands from the wheel);
- Visual distractions (taking eyes away from the road); and
- Cognitive distractions (moving focus off the task of driving).
Common kinds of distracted driving include:
- Using a handheld device;
- Talking on a hands-free device;
- Putting on makeup;
- Eating food;
- Driving with a pet;
- Talking to passengers;
Suggestions to prevent distracted driving:
- Set up before you head out. Pick your music, input your directions, and text a friend back before you pull away.
- Secure pets in your car. Securing your pet in a kennel or with a seatbelt can prevent distractions.
- Stop driving if you want to eat. Take a break from driving and eat in the restaurant. If you absolutely need to eat while on the go, steer clear of meals that require the use of both hands (salads, soups, etc.)
- Wake up earlier. If you find yourself preparing for the day (shaving, doing makeup, etc.) while in your car, try to wake up earlier so you don’t have to do that.
Although distracted driving causes more accidents, drunk driving results in many fatal accidents. Sadly, drunk driving accounted for 29% of all traffic fatalities in 2017, with one alcohol-impaired-driving death occurring every 48 mins.
That’s 10,874 deaths from drunk driving, five times the death toll of the War in Afghanistan.
Suggestions to prevent drunk driving:
- Have a designated driver. If driving with friends, have a designated driver. However, make sure they are honest with you about their alcohol consumption.
- Get a Ridesharing Vehicle. Leaving your car overnight is annoying, but an annoyance is much better than the alternative.
Speeding & Other Reckless Driving
Speeding and reckless driving are serious issues that cause most accidents when taken together. In 2016, speeding accounted for 27% of all traffic fatalities, and national data shows that a 10-mph speed increase raises the probability of a crash by 9.1%.
Reckless driving is defined as driving that shows irreverence or indifference to the safety or property of others.
Common forms of reckless driving include:
- Improperly changing lanes;
- Driving aggressively;
- Tailgating; and
Suggestions to prevent speeding and reckless driving:
- Leave for appointments earlier. If you are speeding because you’re always late to appointments, consider leaving earlier.
- Pullover if you get heated. If a driver gets under your skin, consider pulling over for a minute to create space and give yourself a break.
- Use your signals. Disregarding your turn signals can turn normal maneuvers into reckless driving.
Have You Been Injured in an Auto Accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, you have the right to pursue just compensation for your injuries. If you’re looking for representation for your case, Meade Law Group can help!Call (423) 464-7779 now for a free consultation concerning your injuries.