Driving fatalities are on the rise in recent years. One well-known culprit is the cell phone. Distracted driving causes nearly nine deaths each day in the US. To make matters worse, the National Safety Council named Tennessee as the having the most cell phone fatalities in the country in early 2017.Distracted driving is a serious problem, but it’s not the only mistake drivers make on the road. Slate has published an in-depth look at driver habits and skills to identify six issues that cause most US accidents.
As we already discussed, cell phones have been game changers—both for convenience at home and on the go, but also negatively affecting driving habits. Distraction doesn’t just come from the phone, though. Adjusting the radio and thermostat pull attention away from the road, as do more active tasks like petting a dog, eating a sandwich or applying makeup.
According to Slate, rear-end accidents make up between 23 and 30 percent of collisions. Rear-end accidents happen at all speeds and in all driving conditions, but the biggest cause is when drivers follow too closely to one another.
Most drivers know that blind spots exist. The problem is that they assume all clear without taking precaution. Whether a bus, sun glare or a dirty windshield block visibility, drivers need to confirm their surroundings before proceeding.
Loss of control
High-speed navigation is never as easy as pushing a pedal and turning a steering wheel. It takes skill and practice to control a vehicle at highway speed. Many accidents happen when drivers overcompensate or respond poorly to road conditions.
Overtired and sleeping drivers
According to one study, as many as 37 percent of all drivers have fallen asleep at the wheel at some point. It’s a startling number. Being overtired also reduces awareness and response time at levels comparable to alcohol consumption.
Right turn on red
A right turn at a red light isn’t the problem, it’s when drivers roll through the intersection and forget the sidewalk as they look for oncoming traffic. Pedestrians and bicycles using the crosswalk are frequent victims in this type of accident, especially children.
After an accident
Most drivers will experience a crash in their lifetime, if not several. After an accident, it’s essential to check on everyone’s medical condition, but also to follow through with a police report, your own documentation of the incident, and to get a medical check-up. Injuries vary significantly, and many take time to understand their impact on your daily life.
When another driver’s negligence causes an injury, they are liable for the cost of your recovery, which includes more than medical bills. It also includes time missed from work, and damages for any additional effects the accident has on your life.