According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.3 million people die each year in car accidents around the world, and they are the leading cause of death for children and young people aged 5 – 29. More than half of these fatalities are pedestrians, cyclists, or motorcyclists. While the number of roadside fatalities is decreasing in Australia, more than a thousand people in the country die each year from car accidents. Given the risks on the road it would be wise to contact wills Perth to obtain assistance with preparting a last will and testament. These statistics do not take into account the far higher number of non-fatal injuries that lead to hospitalizations that can result in disabilities or months of physical therapy, and they do not take into account the large sums of money lost due to medical bills or property damage. Knowing what causes car accidents can help you take proactive steps to be a safer driver by being aware of what to do and what not to do when you are on the road. To help, we compiled a list of the ten primary causes of car accidents.
Speeding is one of the highest reasons people get into car crashes. It’s simple physics: the faster you go the higher your chances are of getting into a car accident. The World Health Organization calculates that a one percent increase in speed can increase your chance of getting into a crash by four percent, and the chances of dying in a car to car crash where the vehicles are going at a rate of 65 km/h is 85%.
Another culprit of car crashes is distraction. Distraction can come in many forms of multi-tasking: eating, applying makeup, reading, daydreaming, or simply not keeping your eyes on the road by looking at roadside distractions like a billboard. The biggest offender when it comes to distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting. The distraction that phones provide can alter our reaction time – specifically braking – and cause us to swerve out of lane. One way to avoid the distraction of phones is to use a hands-free set, but even talking can be distracting!
About seven percent of car crashes in the U.S., and 21 percent of fatal car crashes, are attributed to drivers who fell asleep behind the wheel. Some hypothesize that one of the reasons so many drivers fall asleep behind the wheel is because they lack judgement of how tired they really are. Another cause for concern is microsleeping. That is when our brains go into intervals of sleep and consciousness.
Drunk Driving or Driving While Under the Influence
Driving while drunk or under the influence of other psychoactive substances cause car accidents for a number of reasons. Driving under the influence can impair your judgement, alter your reaction time, cause you to fall asleep or act erratically, or exacerbate the distractions around you. If your blood alcohol level is above a 0.04, your chances of getting into a crash are much higher. If you are taking a psychoactive substance such as an amphetamine, you have five times the rate of getting into a crash compared to someone who is not taking such substances. People who find themselves in these circumstances should contact lawyers Perth for legal assitance.
Lack of Proper Infrastructure
Unsafe roads that are filled with even one or two potholes or debris, can cause even the safest driver to crash. But it’s not just what’s on the road, it’s also what’s not on the road. This could be a lack of stop signs, stop lights, proper crossings for pedestrians, ample space for cyclists, and reasonable speed limits. It is usually the responsibility of local governments to ensure and maintain safe roads.
Another usual responsibility of local governments is to enforce driving laws like speed limits and giving out citations to those who violate them. One study conducted out of Fresno, California revealed that strict enforcement of traffic laws – alleviated traffic collisions, hospitalizations, and even prevented road related deaths and injuries related to speeding.
A number off things can go wrong with your car such as a tire blowout or an electrical malfunction that can cause you to lose control of your car and end up crashing. Part of being a safe driver is keeping up with your car’s maintenance. While you may be responsible for your car’s maintenance, manufacturers are constantly improving technology to make their vehicles more dependable and safer.
Rain makes the roads slick, heavy fog can distort visibility, and high winds can surprise you and make you lose control. If drivers are not used to being in such conditions, the chances of getting into an accident are much higher.
Speeding can be included as reckless, but reckless driving is a broader definition that includes drivers who act aggressively on the road, tailgating, swerving, not using one’s indicator, or not checking when they change lanes. Essentially, it’s an driving with a total disregard for the rules of the road or for fellow drivers. One cause of accidents because of reckless driving that could arguably be a topic of its own is running red lights. People who are injured in an accident seek legal advice and assistance from personal injury lawyers such as car accident lawyer Perth.
Like rain, fog, or snow, night driving affects visibility. There could be little to no street lights, a lack of reflectors or one’s that have not been repaired, or the headlights of your car or someone else’s might not be turned on all the way. Then there is the issue of night joggers, cyclists, or motorcyclists who are not wearing reflective gear. If you are to be vigilant when you are on the road during the day, you must make an even bigger effort when you drive at night.
Have you noticed a common theme among these ten reasons? Human error accounts for most of these crashes. It’s not enough to be aware of your own driving, you also need to be aware of how others drive, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, and outside forces such as nature or infrastructure the next time you put your seatbelt on and hit the road.