10 Common Causes of Car Accidents and How to Avoid Them

Car accidents can be devastating and result in injuries, financial struggles, and emotional turmoil. However, most car accidents can be prevented.

Many drivers make judgment errors that lead to deadly crashes. They may speed, tailgate, or fail to check blind spots before lane changes. These and other bad decisions can be avoided with smart driving habits.

1. Drowsy Driving

Drowsy driving is dangerous because it slows reaction times and causes drivers to make bad decisions. These mistakes can lead to accidents with other cars, objects on the road, or even stationary objects.

It is especially common for people to drive drowsy if they don’t get enough sleep at night. This includes teens (who may need as many as nine hours of sleep) and shift workers. It also happens to those who have a sleeping disorder like sleep apnea or those taking medications that come with a “drowsiness” warning label.

Drivers who aren’t well rested can also experience microsleeps, which are periods of dozing that last a few seconds. Fortunately, getting enough sleep at night and avoiding caffeine and other stimulants can help prevent drowsy driving. Many car manufacturers are also developing technology that can detect drowsy driving and alert the driver.

2. Speeding

Speeding is a common cause of car accidents that can have severe consequences. People often drive over the speed limit in an attempt to get somewhere on time. However, the fact is that speeding does not save time and can actually increase the risk of a crash. It also increases the force of impact when a car hits another vehicle or a pedestrian. In case you need some help after being injured in a car accident, Milwaukee car accident lawyer is a good option to provide assistance for you.

Many factors can contribute to speeding, including being in a hurry, worrying about being late, being distracted by talking on the phone, eating or fiddling with a device, and poor weather conditions. The key is to always check your speedometer and leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. This will help you avoid dangerous driving mistakes such as tailgating and unsafe lane changes. These types of mistakes can lead to whiplash injuries.

3. Reckless Driving

If someone is recklessly driving their vehicle and an accident occurs, they can be charged with a crime. Some common examples of reckless driving include driving over the speed limit, street racing, tailgating, and failing to follow traffic laws.

Even if a driver’s intention is not to hurt others, they may cause a devastating crash that causes catastrophic injuries. A person who has been injured in a reckless driving car accident should seek medical attention immediately, and also contact a motor vehicle accident lawyer to see if they are eligible for compensation.

Some common reasons people get distracted while driving include changing the radio station, sending a text, putting on makeup, or eating. Just a few seconds of distraction can cause a serious accident.

4. Road Defects

Millions of car accidents occur every year, and most are caused by driver error. While all drivers make mistakes behind the wheel, most of them can be avoided with better knowledge and preventative measures.

The physical condition of the roadway can play a significant role in causing accidents. Potholes, uneven pavement, and overgrown vegetation can cause your vehicle to skid or rollover. This can reduce your ability to stop your vehicle quickly and may lead to serious injury.

According to the NHTSA’s Crash Causation Survey, environmental factors account for about two percent of all crashes. If a road defect causes a crash, you may be entitled to file a claim against the government agency responsible for maintaining the highway. Car companies can also be held accountable for defects in their vehicles. For example, Takata’s defective airbags have led to numerous car accident injuries.

5. Poor Maintenance

While human error accounts for the majority of car accidents, there are some that may be due to mechanical failures. For example, a problem with your vehicle’s brake system could reduce your ability to stop in time when you see a hazard.

Poor roadway conditions, like icy or snowy conditions, also pose a risk for accidents. These conditions can cause drivers to swerve into stationary objects or run off the road.

New York residents can take measures to avoid these types of accidents. Keeping your vehicle properly maintained and driving safely can greatly minimize your risk of getting into a car accident. Remember to maintain a safe distance from the vehicles in front of you, and make sure to use your turn signals. You should also avoid drinking and driving as it can impair your judgement and reaction time.

6. Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents in the country. It happens when a driver loses their full attention to the road and instead becomes preoccupied with a cell phone, passengers, or even food. Distracted driving can be divided into three categories: visual, manual and cognitive.

Visual distractions include things like looking at a billboard, rubbernecking an accident or checking out the scenery. Manual distractions involve taking your hands off the wheel, such as eating while driving, changing the radio station or reaching for something in your glove box. Cognitive distractions include daydreaming, singing or talking on the phone.

Running through red lights is another common cause of car accidents. It can be a simple mistake or intentional act of impatience that leads to head-on collisions at high speeds. When a light turns yellow, slow down and don’t rush to make it through the intersection.

7. Reckless Driving at Intersections

A lot of accidents can be caused by reckless driving. Drivers can be reckless by speeding, running red lights or stop signs, racing, tailgating and more. These types of mistakes put other drivers at risk and can cause horrific collisions that lead to severe injuries.

Many drivers also fail to follow the rules of the road when changing lanes or going around a corner. For example, a driver may not signal when switching lanes or they might veer across traffic. It’s important to always check behind you before making a turn.

Another common problem is assuming that someone will make a turn if they indicate left or right. This mistake can lead to a deadly accident. Getting distracted by flipping through radio stations, texting or eating can also be dangerous while driving. Even fender benders in parking lots can have serious consequences because they often result in whiplash.

8. Poor Lighting

In some cases, weather-influenced driving conditions can contribute to car accidents. For instance, a driver may rear-end another vehicle when driving in fog or in a rainstorm. While a driver cannot file a claim against Mother Nature, they are responsible for an accident caused by bad weather when they are driving recklessly or fail to adjust their speed to account for the weather conditions.

Similarly, drivers who drive at stop signs face greater risks of an accident when they fail to make the right decision when the yellow light turns red. This is especially common with newly licensed drivers.

If a defective part or component in a vehicle malfunctions while you are driving, it can cause a serious crash. A design defect could include faulty airbags, a steering wheel that fails to respond or brakes that don’t work.

9. Design Defects

While car manufacturers strive to improve their vehicles and meet minimum safety standards, it’s common for serious defects to slip through the cracks. If an accident victim is able to show that the design of the car or specific part caused their injuries, they may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer.

Whether it’s the suspension or steering system, defective vehicle parts lead to accidents each year. These problems should have been caught by a quality control team before the cars went out on the road, but manufacturers often put profits ahead of public safety. These defects can also be the basis of a products liability lawsuit. These defects include design flaws, manufacturing defects and marketing defects.

10. Road Defects

While most vehicle collisions are caused by driver error, the condition of roads and highways can also be a major cause of accidents. This includes road design and maintenance issues that create hazards for drivers, such as potholes or faded lane markers.

Whether a driver is speeding on a wet surface or changing lanes during a snowstorm, a poor quality roadway can lead to serious accidents. This is particularly true when a roadway lacks safety features or is poorly maintained.

Like any product, cars have hundreds of parts that must work together properly. If just one part malfunctions, it can result in a dangerous accident. That’s why it’s important to keep up with recall notices and schedule regular service appointments. If you were injured by a defective auto part, contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.