Every day, hundreds of road traffic accidents occur across the country. In fact, statistics show that there are more than 10 motor vehicle-related deaths per day in California alone, many of which are preventable.
Road accidents occur for a variety of reasons. Often, drivers are distracted while behind the wheel, taking their focus away from the road. In other cases, drivers can become tired after spending multiple hours at the wheel, resulting in preventable errors.
Sometimes, accidents occur for a combination of reasons, from bad visibility to unsafe road design, or other drivers lack caution. While the causes of accidents can vary, the consequences are often the same, resulting in everything from vehicular and property damage to serious injuries.
Below, we’ve listed five of the most common reasons for road accidents in the United States, both for cars and commercial vehicles.
Distracted driving is the most common cause of road accidents in the United States, resulting in more crashes every year than speeding, drunk driving, and other major accident causes.
Drivers can become distracted behind the wheel for a variety of reasons. Some of the leading causes of distracted driving accidents include using a cellphone while driving, as well as eating food or drinking from a mug or bottle while behind the wheel.
Speeding is the second most common cause of road accidents in the United States. Since car and truck accidents that involve speeding typically occur at high speeds, it’s also a major cause of fatal road injuries.
Driving above the speed limit is a common practice for many motorists. It’s also illegal behavior that vastly increases the risk of losing control of a vehicle and causing an accident. The faster a vehicle travels, the longer it takes to slow down in the event of an obstacle.
Even a small increase in speed can result in a much higher risk of being involved in a collision or other type of accident. As such, it’s essential for motorists to be aware of the speed at which they’re traveling and stay within the legal limits.
Drunk driving is another major cause of accidents, particularly on weekends and holidays. When people drive after consuming alcohol, their response time and ability to focus on the road can be hugely reduced, increasing the risk of an accident.
All 50 states have a .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit, after which drivers are driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI). For many motorists, even a small amount of alcohol can be enough to produce a significant increase in accident risk.
Drunk driving accidents are easily preventable, making it important to avoid alcohol if you need to drive or go out with a designated driver if you plan on consuming alcohol.
Speeding, changing lanes without looking, tailgating other motorists and ignoring road signs are all classic signs of reckless driving. It is an illegal driving habit that’s now the fourth most common cause of road accidents in the United States.
Reckless driving usually involves a motorist that’s less concerned about other road users than themselves. Often, it’s performed in combination with DUI, by an intoxicated motorist impatient to get to their destination.
Believe it or not, rain is one of the leading causes of road accidents in North America. When the road becomes overly wet, cars can lose their grip on the road and slide across the road surface, reducing control for motorists and increasing the risk of an accident occurring.
Rain-related driving risks are often amplified by poor car maintenance, such as tires that don’t provide a deep enough grip or aren’t properly inflated. Sometimes, an inexperienced driver can panic in rainy weather, resulting in the loss of control of the vehicle.
Because of the safety risks associated with driving in intense rain, it’s important to be alert and aware of road conditions, speed limits and traffic during rainy weather.
Protect Yourself With Reliable Insurance
No matter where you’re located, the best way to protect yourself from the consequences of road accidents is with reliable, comprehensive insurance. Our insurance policies range from standard auto insurance to insurance for trucks and other commercial vehicles.