For many individuals, getting to work via their vehicle is a regular part of their days. They also need to drive to buy groceries, take the kids to extracurricular activities, and other excursions and events. With so many cars on the roads, it’s only natural there are going to be thousands of vehicular accidents taking place around the US every day.
What some people fail to think about, though, is that human error and concentration lapses cause accidents more than anything else. There are a few behaviors that can lead to vehicular damage, and sometimes personal injury.
Let’s look over some of those.
Talking on Cell Phones
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that drivers are responsible for 94% of crashes. By comparison, vehicular issues are responsible for only 2% of crashes. It’s also just 2% for environmental factors.
Those are jarring statistics, and one of the primary reasons for these accidents is cell phone usage. You’ve probably seen it: someone talking on their cell phone while on local roads, or, worse yet, on the highway. You might have been guilty of it yourself from time to time.
It’s a habit from which drivers need to getaway. Being involved in an engrossing conversation steals your concentration. It takes just one distracted moment to collide with another vehicle or a pedestrian.
Adjusting the Music or Other Components
Another factor in distracted driving cases is someone trying to adjust their music selection. There are several options for music now, such as satellite radio, or some cars still come with CD players. You might also hook up your phone to your vehicle’s sound system to listen to a selection from your music library.
Glancing down to change the station or find your favorite playlist can lead to a crash. It can happen when you’re trying to do something else, as well. You might be changed to adjust the temperature or make some other adjustment.
If you need to do any of these things, make sure only to do so when you’ve stopped the vehicle at a red light. Better yet, pull over and park before making whatever change to music or climate you deem necessary. Finding the perfect song isn’t ever as important as getting to your destination safely.
Passenger interactions cause lots of car crashes. Your kids can be a danger if they’re arguing in the back seat, or if they’re asking you questions incessantly or otherwise dividing your attention.
If you have kids and often act as their chaperone, take time to talk to them about how critical it is for you to keep your eyes on the road. Explain the dangers of distracted driving, and let them know that you’re so adamant for their safety.
If adults in your car are causing trouble, then it should be easier to explain why they need to avoid distracting you. There’s nothing wrong with a little conversation while driving, but if the topic you’re discussing is something that demands a lot of your concentration, then it’s best left till you get to your destination.
Speeding is another big factor with vehicular collisions. If you hit another car when you’re going at 30 miles per hour, the risk of severe injury or death is much less than if you were going 60.
Obeying the speed limit is something you should try to do every time you get behind the wheel. If you’re rushing to get somewhere, there’s zero chance that shaving a few minutes off your arrival time is a superior option to you potentially killing yourself or someone else.
Every year, there are heartbreaking statistics about the number of people drunk drivers kill or those who use other drugs. Alcohol is legal, and you can consume moderate amounts of it if you’re of age.
When you do, though, don’t ever drive. It’s not smart to start calculating by saying to yourself, “well, I’ve only had three beers inside of a two-hour window, I should still be fine.”
Err on caution’s side. If you’ve been drinking or using extracurricular drugs, take public transportation, or call a cab or a rideshare vehicle to pick you up. There’s no reason ever to take that risk, even if you feel like you’d be okay to drive.
If you can eliminate these problem behaviors, you should be in much better shape to avoid car accidents when you hit the road.