Some situations that lead to severe car crashes aren’t easily preventable. For example, you can’t avoid getting behind the wheel anytime it’s windy or rainy.
However, a significant number of crashes that occur every year are the result of bad decision-making or poor driving habits. Identifying some of the leading causes for crashes can reduce your own contribution to the risk of a major collision while on the road.
Distraction is a big issue, but not always in the form you think
Mobile phone use and the use of other devices are major contributors to modern car wrecks. There are other forms of distraction that can also lead to crashes, ranging from eating at the wheel to singing along with the radio. It is also worth noting that internal distraction, such as planning for your day ahead or daydreaming, can also increase your risk of a crash by taking your mind off of safe driving habits.
Speeding is a leading contributing factor to many crashes
Many people seem to think that speed limits only exist to annoy them or slow them down. In reality, the intention of speed limits is to restrict the flow of traffic to speed that reflects the amount of community danger present on a certain stretch of road. The faster you drive, the easier it is to lose control.
Drivers should take not just a speed limit into consideration but also weather and road conditions. You may speed while still traveling under the posted limit if you don’t slow down to reflect inclement weather or other issues.
Lack of proper surveillance is a constant danger
The more frequently you travel a certain stretch of road, the more you assume you know what to expect. However, driving involves all kinds of changing variables. Every time you stop at an intersection or merge into another lane of traffic, you need to look carefully around you in all directions.
Inadequate surveillance at intersections is a common cause of crashes that drivers could avoid if they would just commit to monitoring the road around them. Rolling stops, especially if you want to make an easy right turn, are also a danger.
There are other risk factors, of course, that you can’t control. You can’t stop someone from driving drunk and crashing into you. You can’t stop an exhausted third shift worker from getting behind the wheel and falling asleep. What you can do, however, is try to practice safe habits yourself by avoiding distraction and keeping a careful eye on road conditions.