One glance at the newspaper in the morning is enough to fill you in on the instances of gruesome road accidents in the country. While we comment on the negligence of the drivers involved and pity the family of the deceased, we should also think about the reasons behind the ever-increasing statistics.
Being involved in a car accident can invite several unwanted consequences. This could revolve around loss of earnings, permanent injuries, or even death. So, this begs the question - Why are we not being extra careful to avoid an accident in the first place?
Actually, this is easier said than done. Although majority of the accidents are due to rash driving or human error from the victim’s side, there is a certain percentage that may not be due to any fault on his/her part. Effectively, you could suffer the consequences of a car crash that was due to the ignorance of another driver on the road!
Here we help you understand the various causes of road accidents and hence, adopt a more preventive approach to such incidents.
Top Causes Of Road Accidents
While some of the tips mentioned below may seem obvious to experienced drivers, this list looks to educate drivers of all experience levels. Learning to drive a car may take several hours behind the wheel for some; for others this may stretch out to several months! So, practising defensive driving from the time you get your first driving license is encouraged.
Some of the prime causes of road accidents can be segregated into the following categories:
Car accidents due to human error - One of the most common causes of road accidents is human error. However, we can only control our own driving and not that of other drivers on the road. Some of the causes for human errors while driving include:
- Distracted driving - The increase in technology gadgets built directly into the vehicles have played a part in causing distraction to drivers. Some of the common elements that cause distraction include dvd players, cell phones, and presence of noisy children or pets. Activities such as applying make-up or browsing the internet while one is behind the wheel should be strictly prohibited. Say no to multi-tasking when you are in the driver’s seat!
- Intoxication - Driving under the influence of heavy medication, alcohol, or drugs falls in the category of human errors. If you do not have a clear mind, you are at a higher risk of being involved in an accident. So, sleep well before you embark on a long journey and keep your mind fresh and alert when you are behind the wheel.
- Unfamiliar territories - Being unfamiliar with the area you are driving in can lead to accidents as well. Imagine how easy it is to turn around a corner at a faster pace than you should be doing - and the results can be disastrous! Hence, not knowing/following the rules of the road at an unfamiliar place puts one at a higher risk of an accident.
- Medical complications - Suffering a medical complication while driving is found to be a cause for road accidents. This includes experiencing a heart attack, seizure, or blackouts. Although some medical conditions can be controlled, most are unprecedented. So, it is important to consider your risk factors before deciding to drive. You can always get a cab or take the assistance of a paid driver for regular commute.
- Speeding - Many drivers ignore the stipulated speed limits and go several kilometres/hour above the recommended limits. You should understand that the faster you drive, the slower would be your reaction time in preventing an accident. On the subject of speed, it is also wise to set out early to the place you are travelling to, so that you can avoid speeding to get there in time.
- Reckless driving - Reckless driving includes over-confidence, street racing, running stop signs and red lights, changing lanes too quickly, tailgating the vehicle in the front, and hurling abuses at other drivers on the road. Since reckless drivers are impatient in heavy traffic conditions, it is best to be extra careful around them.
- Car accidents due to weather - Excessive rain, dense fog, heavy winds, and slick/waterlogged roadways can pose serious threats to your safety on the road. Extreme weather conditions may even give rise to potholes that can damage your prized set of wheels. So be very cautious when driving in such conditions.
Car accidents due to mechanical failures - A mechanical failure can result from a wide range of incidents. Once in a while, it is under the control of the owner/driver, but at other times, it is not.
- Inability in maintaining the car in good condition - Not maintaining your car in prime condition can be the cause of an accident. Old tyres, bad brakes, broken tie rod, and the like need to be replaced in a timely manner.
- Faulty road fixtures - If a traffic light does not function at night, it can be a serious threat to the drivers on the road. There would be a lot of heavy vehicles on the road during the wee hours, and you should be extra careful with night driving. Ensure that you are alert and following all road signs and traffic signals.
- Manufacturer malfunction - Sometimes accidents may be due to manufacturing defects in the vehicle, and this can result in a recall from the automaker. Unfortunately, it may take several accidents for the carmaker to confirm that these were due to manufacturing issues. You should be aware of recalls announced by your carmaker and get your vehicle repaired at the earliest possible time.
Apart from the factors listed above, the presence of animals on the roads can be a distraction for many drivers. Even hitting animals during night drives can result in catastrophic accidents. So, you should understand that driving is, indeed, filled with perils and the driver should always be on guard while on the roads. Be proactive and practise defensive driving and remove all distractions in the car. Think about your life, your business, and other dreams you have in store for the future. Remember, life is worth living - so stay safe!
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