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, which are preventable.
The thing is, a significant percentage of motorists are either under insured or have no auto insurance at all.
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. Significant percentage of the motorists are underinsured or no auto insurance at all.
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.
Getting into a road accident can be a terrifying experience. While most people know the best ways to avoid an accident, not everyone knows what to do immediately after one. It can also be difficult to know what steps you need to take to pay for repairs to your car so you can put the accident behind you.
Here are a few frequently asked questions about car accidents and what you can do to address them.
It’s important to know what to do after a car accident so you don’t make the problem worse. This applies to other vehicles as well including commercial trucks.
First and foremost, stay on the scene of the accident, even if the accident is minor. If you leave without exchanging information with the other party, or without speaking to the authorities, you could get in trouble. Leaving the scene of an accident is considered a crime.
If the accident is minor, move your vehicle off the road and stop it somewhere safe. Put your vehicle in park and turn it off. If necessary, use safety tools like cones or flares to alert other drivers of the accident.
Check yourself for injuries. If you aren’t injured, and if the other party isn’t injured either, you should both exchange insurance information. Be sure to gather the following:
Don’t sign any documents unless they were given to you by police or by a representative from your insurance company. If either you or the other party is injured, even in the slightest, call the authorities immediately and get to the hospital for a medical evaluation.
Try to be as calm and polite as you can during the process. Car accidents are extremely stressful. Even if other drivers are emotional or angry, losing your composure will only exacerbate an already difficult situation.
The rate at which your insurance increases because of an accident depends on numerous factors, including your insurance provider, the circumstances of the accident, and the state in which the accident occurred. If you were not at fault, you can expect no increase in your insurance premiums.
However, if you were at fault, you should expect a rate increase. According to one study, drivers who make a claim end up paying an average of 41% more for car insurance. But again, it depends on the specifics of your case.
Most states mandate drivers get automobile liability insurance as a prerequisite to registering their vehicle. However, some people manage to avoid the law.
In some cases, they may register their vehicle, then immediately cancel their insurance policy. In other cases, they may simply be driving an unregistered vehicle.
In most cases, even if the other driver was at fault and is uninsured, they are still liable for damages. But you may need to sue the other driver to recover those damages.
Some states have what are called “no-fault laws,” which means both drivers are liable to pay the other’s damages. However, most states with these laws allow you to sue for severe damages.
Regardless, there is another way to secure yourself from uninsured drivers. Some insurance companies offer uninsured motorist coverage for just this scenario. With this type of coverage, you’re protected no matter the other driver’s insurance situation.
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.
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