No one wakes up in the morning hoping to be involved in a car accident. Accidents are unintentional occurrences that happen unexpectedly and leave injury and trauma in their wake. But if no one wants them to happen, why do millions of car crashes occur across the U.S. every year? Sometimes they are due to forces beyond the drivers’ control, like poor weather, darting animals, damaged roads, or plain bad luck. But many times, accidents are caused by drivers who are not driving properly. They may be late and in a hurry, or their attention may be elsewhere when it should be focused on the road. While you can’t always avoid every crash, no matter how well you drive, knowing the main ways car accidents happen and how to be a safer driver may help you avoid causing accidents yourself.
What Are Five Frequent Causes of Car Crashes?
There are hundreds of reasons for crashing a vehicle, some more obscure than others. People have blamed everything from the appearance of ghostly apparitions to choking on a piece of fruit for causing their car accidents. However, some reasons are much more commonly cited than others. These include:
- Distracted driving: Often cited as the number one cause of accidents in the U.S., driving while distracted can be blamed for thousands of crashes yearly, and almost every driver has been guilty of it at some point. Whether you are checking your phone, changing your music, or taking a sip of coffee, anything that takes your attention away from your driving can lead to a crash.
- Speeding: Driving over the speed limit decreases the time you have to react to anything in front of you and increases the likelihood of losing control of your vehicle.
- Driving while intoxicated: Anything that changes your ability to function mentally, including alcohol, drugs, and prescription or over-the-counter medications, can slow your reactions and impair your driving skills.
- Reckless or aggressive driving: Not following the rules of the road and driving without consideration for others can put everyone at risk of an accident.
- Tailgating: If a rear driver does not leave enough space to stop, they can easily run into the vehicle ahead if they slow down or hit the brakes.
How Can You Protect Yourself From Accidents?
While you cannot control the actions of others, you do have control over your own driving. There are some steps you can take to mitigate the risk of an accident. These include:
- Ridding yourself of distractions while driving.
- Obeying the speed limit.
- Avoiding abrupt movements like last-minute lane changes or overcorrections to your steering.
- Driving defensively and anticipating possible hazards.
- Avoiding unprotected left-hand turns when possible.
- Using public transportation or rideshare services if you are too fatigued or intoxicated to operate a vehicle safely.
- Retaining a three-second gap between yourself and the vehicle ahead.
- Approaching intersections and stop lights with caution.
- Slowing down and giving other drivers extra space during bad weather.
If You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident, How Can a Lawyer Help You?
Suffering injuries in a car crash can be not only painful but incredibly frustrating, especially if you were doing everything possible to drive safely. You deserve fair compensation from the at-fault driver because their negligence led to your injuries. However, insurance companies may still try to shift some of the blame onto you to decrease the amount of damages they have to pay. A Miami car accident lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and help you get the maximum compensation you deserve. Call today to learn more about your rights and options regarding your car accident claim: 305-692-0125