How Likely Are You to Get Into a Car Accident?
When you get into your car and start driving, have you ever wondered how likely you are to get into a car accident? According to statistics, each year, about 6 million accidents happen. Some are not severe, but in other cases, people die. Even when you are a skilled driver with years of experience, you are not the only person on the road. Other drivers can be reckless, and you cannot control their actions. However, you can reduce the risk by driving carefully.
So, how likely are you to get into a car accident? At some point in your life, there is a chance that you will be involved in a type of car accident. A survey found that about 77% of drivers have been involved in one or more accidents. In addition, an average person can get into 3 or 4 accidents in their lifetime. Car accidents represent a broad category from hitting a tree when reversing to a fatal accident leading to death. Also, note that some drivers have a higher risk of getting in an accident than others. For instance, young drivers engaging in risky behaviors have a higher risk of getting into an accident.
Major Causes of Car Accidents
When you are asking yourself how likely are you to get into a car accident, it is also good to look at factors contributing to accidents. This can help you practice behavior that will reduce the chances of getting in an accident. Here are some of the major causes of accidents on the road.
Most fatal accidents are caused by speeding. Part of human nature is testing how fast they can go. However, when it comes to the road, keep in mind that you share it with other people. Increasing your speed only increases your chances of having an accident with a higher risk of injuries. The higher the speed, the greater the risk. A speeding vehicle needs a bigger distance to stop; that is what is called a braking distance.
On the other hand, a slower vehicle will come to a halt faster. Also, the impact of a speeding car is bigger, and the damage caused is significant. When you are not speeding, even when you hit another car or object, the impact will not be too small. Another challenge with speeding is that if you injure someone, they are likely to get a car accident attorney and sue you for damages. Since you are at fault, you will be required to compensate them for damages, leading to a financial loss.
Another major cause of road accidents is distracted driving, killing about nine people daily. Distractions can be both inside and outside of the car. One of the major distractions, especially among young drivers, is texting while driving. It is difficult to keep your eyes on the road while you are also trying to send a message. Your judgment is automatically impaired and it only takes a second to cause an accident. Other common distractions include applying make-up, adjusting the stereo or the mirrors, or handing something to someone in the back. Distractions outside the vehicle include banners and billboards, animals, or unusual activity happening on the road.
Drinking now and then is common. However, when you mix drinking and driving, then this can turn tragic very fast. Therefore, if you are wondering how likely are you to get into a car accident yet you drink and drive often, chances are very high. Alcohol reduces your concentration, decreasing the amount of time you can react to something. Your leg will take a while before it can respond to the brain’s instructions to step on the brakes. Also, you become dizzy, which affects your sight. Another effect of alcohol is that it reduces fear, adds excitement, and makes you want to take risks. The unfortunate thing is that such accidents turn out to be fatal to the point where a towing company will have to be called to bring a truck to move your vehicle. All these are reasons why you should not drink alcohol and drive. Also, with every 0.05 increase of alcohol concentration in your blood, the risk of having an accident increases as well. Any auto accident attorney will advise you that the consequences are not pleasant if you are charged with DUI. It is especially worse if you have a prior DUI conviction. Instead of all this trouble, get a taxi.
Jumping a Red Light
Some cars cross at an intersection without caring about the light. Most of the time, it is impatience that makes one do this. However, studies show that drivers who follow traffic signals correctly arrive at their destinations safely. When you jump a red light, not only are you risking your life but that of other people as well. Plus, this simple act can easily incite other drivers to do the same, which finally leads to chaos. It also causes traffic and unnecessary lateness, yet you could just have waited for a few minutes. Besides, most people who jump a red light cross at high speed because they do not want to get caught. This can also cause an accident if another car or pedestrian suddenly appears.
Driving an Unmaintained Vehicle
Your car is a machine that needs to be well maintained from time to time. A regular maintenance schedule at a car repair shop helps ensure that you are driving a car in good condition. Let the mechanic check things like the transmission system, cooling system, turn signals, and other components. Preventive car care ensures that car parts do not break down when driving. Also, if you suspect that your car has issues while driving, pull over and look up the best auto mechanics near you. They can check the issue and fix it, allowing you to drive a safe car.
Driving recklessly includes tailgating, weaving in and out of the road, and cutting other drivers off. Most of the time, such behavior increases your chances of getting into an accident. Therefore, even as you question how likely are you to get into a car accident, your driving habits contribute significantly. People who drive recklessly are likely to cause an accident. Also, if you see someone doing this on the road, it is good to alert the authorities. A reckless driver might not cause you any harm, but they could injure someone else.
Changing Lanes Carelessly
You have probably had someone cut you off in traffic, and that wasn’t very pleasant. When you are overtaking another car, ensure there is enough room to get in front of them. If the space is not enough, then do not try overtaking. Also, when you change lanes, pay attention to what is on either side of the road. This will protect you and other drivers a great deal.
22% of the accidents happening on the road are caused by bad weather. Icy roads contribute to about 156,000 crashes every year. Drivers need to be aware that it takes more time to stop on an icy or snowy road. Bad weather also includes excessive rain, dense fog, and high winds. Drive extra carefully in such weather to prevent accidents.
Lack of Experience
In any task, the more a person is experienced, the better the job they will do. This extends to driving as well. There is a reason why it is expensive to insure teenage drivers. They lack experience, and so they have a high chance of getting into an accident. People aged between 16 and 24 cause about 21% of accidents, yet they only make up 9% of license holders. If you just bought a car for your teenager, it is important to ensure they have undergone proper training. You should also educate them on what to do after an accident, including talking to accident injury lawyers. Most teens want to leave these things to their parents to handle. However, anything can happen, and being prepared is necessary.
As you approach an intersection, ensure that you are in the correct lane for your intended direction. If you get there but find that you are in a straight line yet you want to turn, keep going straight. You can always go and turn on a parking lot or someone’s driveway. However, trying to cut across lanes is dangerous, and you may cause an accident.
Ways to Prevent Getting into an Accident
As long as you are on the road, you are at risk of getting into an accident. However, there are measures you can take to reduce the risk. This reduces your fear and ensures you do not keep wondering how likely are you to get into a car accident every time you are on the road. Below are some of those measures.
Every time you are driving, it is recommended you drive defensively. That means being on the lookout for any threats that could pop up from anywhere. If you notice that a driver is changing lanes defensively or another car is too close, you can take the right action. The best option is to get as far away from the threat as possible. If you cannot, then be prepared to either avoid a collision or stop suddenly. Also, avoid any distractions like texting, calling, or fiddling with the GPS. When in a car, driving should be your primary focus.
Stay Out of the Fast Lane
Your goal is to simply get where you are going alive and uninjured. Therefore, if possible, try and avoid the fast lane as that is where most highway accidents happen. When you are in the middle lane, you have multiple escape options if you notice that a driver looks like they are about to cause a problem. Also, note that when you are driving in the left lane, the highway patrol is highly likely to observe you keenly.
Ensure Your Car is Well Maintained
A car can only serve you properly if it is in good condition. So, how likely are you to get into a car accident with a well-maintained car? The chances are lower as the car will glide smoothly on the road. Go to the auto shop for vehicle repair every time something is not working. Besides that, schedule car servicing with an experienced auto technician in your area. Do not use old tires as they could blow out anytime and cause an accident. If you can hear any odd noises when driving, have them checked out. Be proud of your car and take measures to ensure it is running smoothly.
Avoid Drinking Under the Influence
Drinking under the influence of alcohol is not only a crime, but you are also putting lives in danger, including yours. If you go out and get drunk, have a designated driver with you or get a taxi. When it comes to how likely are you to get into a car accident when drunk, chances are significantly high. The biggest number of people who drink and drive are those with an alcohol-use disorder or drivers who binge drink. If you have an addiction problem, the best solution is getting alcohol abuse help as soon as possible.
What to Do When You Get into an Accident
As mentioned earlier, accidents are unpredictable, and you can now gauge how likely are you to get into a car accident. If you find yourself in that situation, the first thing is to confirm that no one has been injured. You can then call the authorities and make a report. After that, if your insurance offers accident towing services, contact them so that they take the car to the repair shop. Depending on the terms of your insurance, the next step is taking the car to an auto body collision repair shop so that the vehicle is fixed.
With the above guide, you do not have to keep wondering how likely are you to get into a car accident. The most important thing is to drive carefully and avoid common road mistakes.