Car accidents claim the lives of thousands of people every year, but most people assume that one will never happen to them. People think they will only have to worry about property damage or maybe a soft tissue injury if they do get into a crash.
Unfortunately, even safe drivers can find themselves severely hurt after a collision with another vehicle. Understanding what causes many motor vehicle collisions might help you make better decisions while driving.
Bad decisions play a role in many traffic fatalities
Many collisions are the result of drivers doing things that they know are dangerous. For example, 28 fatal crashes each day are the result of drunk driving. Another eight people will die every single day because someone decided to text while driving.
Many other collisions are the result of exceeding the speed limit, driving while exhausted or driving too fast for road conditions even if someone does not exceed the posted limit.
Avoiding these habits can reduce your risks, but not completely. The bad decisions of one driver could cause a crash, while the decision to forgo safety equipment might amplify the consequences that another person faces after a collision.
Weather, road conditions and even road design can cause crashes
If you respect the limitations of your body, don’t use your phone while driving and don’t get behind the wheel after drinking, you will have already eliminated your contributions to some of the biggest risk factors for crashes.
However, you also have risk related to external conditions. High wind speeds and low temperatures can increase someone’s crash risk. Even a sunny day can cause glare that temporarily blinds a driver. The road conditions also matter, as anything from accumulated moisture on the road to potholes could contribute to a driver losing control of their vehicle and causing a wreck.
Finally, road design and maintenance can play a role in crashes. Intersections with low visibility or unusual angles of approach may give drivers a false sense of confidence and increase their risk of a collision.
Even if you do everything right, pulling up to the wrong intersection or driving on a day with bad weather might mean that you get into a crash. There’s also the constant risk of other drivers’ bad decisions impacting your safety. Being proactive about avoiding crashes is as important as knowing your rights so you can defend yourself if you do get hurt in a wreck caused by another driver.