Cars allow for an easy and fast mode of transportation for daily activities. And yet, they are somewhat dangerous and pose risks. If you spend any amount of time on the road, you’ve likely encountered an auto accident.
From mild fender benders to wrecks that total a car, through no fault of your own, you might find yourself searching for a car crash attorney. Knowing the most common causes of auto accidents can help you avoid them and engage in safe driving behavior as well as defensive driving.
Here’s a look at the most common causes of auto accidents and some tips for how to stay safe on the roads in Indiana.
1. Distracted Driving
When drivers aren’t completely focused on the road, they can cause auto accidents. Distracted driving can take many forms. One of the most common and well-publicized forms of distracted driving is texting and driving. But really, any action on a smartphone is distracted driving.
Distracted driving can also be putting on makeup, eating, changing the radio station, or getting distracted by looking at stores, scenery and things other than the road. When driving, it’s best to always have 100 percent focus on the road ahead.
2. Drunk Driving
Drinking alcohol or taking drugs impairs a driver’s ability to react to changing road conditions. As a result, drunk driving is a common cause of auto accidents. It’s best to avoid being out on the road around the time the bars close near you.
And if you ever have too much to drink, call a friend or hire a carshare service. It isn’t worth the risk no matter how close you are to your destination. A drunk driving accident can happen in seconds, so the distance you need to travel makes no difference.
Drivers who are speeding have less time to react to what other drivers are doing. And, speeding can make drivers lose control of their vehicle on an unexpected sharp turn or a blind corner. Always drive the speed limit and let drivers who are speeding go by you. You don’t want to stay near aggressive drivers who could lead to an auto accident.
4. Reckless Driving
Racing other cars, failing to drive according to posted speed limits and traffic lights, and failing to yield to oncoming traffic – these are all examples of reckless driving. You could even face jail time for reckless driving, especially if you cause a serious accident that leads to major injuries.
You can’t control the other drivers on the road and what they do. Defensive driving can help protect you from other drivers’ poor decision making though. Make sure you’re constantly focused on the road and watching for other drivers’ mistakes. If you can recognize these mistakes early, you can prevent an auto accident.
5. Poor Weather Conditions
Bad weather can greatly contribute to auto accidents. When it’s raining, drivers are at risk of hydroplaning. You should learn how to avoid hydroplaning and always slow down when the roads are wet. Do not use cruise control in bad weather as it’s dangerous during wet conditions.
Snow and ice are also very dangerous road hazards. Avoid going out when you know the weather will be bad and always use caution when the road is wet or slippery.
6. Failing to Follow Posted Signage/Traffic Lights
Traffic lights and signs help ensure drivers stay safe. They indicate when it is each driver’s turn to go at an intersection to avoid a collision. So when a driver ignores these signs and signals, they put other drivers at risk.
The best way to protect yourself from an auto accident when a driver fails to follow posted signage is to check your surroundings before entering an intersection. Make sure a car is going to stop before you choose to continue onward through the intersection. Assuming that other cars will obey posted signage can be dangerous so it’s always better to be cautious.
Tips for Staying Safe and Avoiding Auto Accidents
While you can’t control what other drivers do on the roads, you can control when you drive, for how long, and what routes you take. Here are some tips and ways you can stay safe while driving to avoid auto accidents.
- Try to drive during daytime hours as much as possible
- Avoid the roads late at night when other drivers might be drinking and driving
- Always pay close attention to the road and your surroundings when behind the wheel
- Don’t drive distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Drive slowly when conditions are poor, such as heavy rain, snow, or ice
- Keep the radio or music in your car low so that you can still hear your surroundings and focus on them
- Obey all posted signage and traffic signals
When to Hire a Car Crash Attorney
Despite your best efforts to drive safely and stay safe on the roads, you still might become the victim of an auto accident. That’s when you need to hire a car crash attorney.
Stewart & Stewart is a team of trusted car crash attorneys in Indiana. We’ll ensure your rights are protected and that you don’t suffer financially due to someone else’s mistakes. Contact us to schedule a free consultation to discuss your car crash needs.