The holidays are approaching and that means that the number of road trips increases more than usual. A recent study by the American Automobile Association (AAA) confirms drivers’ neglect considerably increases the possible risk of a motor vehicle accident during this season. These accidents can be minor or disastrous, but they are always avoidable. This article focuses on the 11 most frequent causes of car accidents so you can take measures to avoid compromising your safety and that of others.
1. Driver Distraction
The number of reasons drivers are distracted continues to grow and the number of traffic accidents continues to rise as a consequence. A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that there were about 3,723 fatal car accidents due to distraction in 2018, 8.8% more than in 2017. Lack of attention to the steering wheel and smartphone distractions are some of the biggest concerns on the road.
2. Excessive speed
Exceeding speed limits greatly increases the likelihood of road accidents. Speeding puts everyone on the road in danger: in 2018, 9,717 people died from speeding, which represents more than a quarter (26%) of all traffic fatalities that year. We all know the frustrations of modern life and rush hours, but speed limits are established to protect all road users. It is important to learn about the dangers of speeding and why going faster does not mean going safer.
3. Drinking and driving
Certainly, alcohol and driving are not a good combination. Drinking alcohol compromises the driver and his abilities. Drivers must be aware of how alcohol consumption, as well as drug use, can impact their ability to drive. In Texas, the law prohibits driving for all adults with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08% or higher.
4. Reckless driving
We drive recklessly if we don’t pay enough attention to our driving, this can include: racing; passing on blind curves; swerving; passing school buses with their stop signs down, and going around railroad barriers. In Texas, reckless driving also includes high-mph speeding.
Reckless driving is a serious crime in the state of Texas. An individual commits the offense of reckless driving by operating a motor vehicle with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of another person or property.
The weather can also compromise driving. If the road becomes very slippery, not having enough tire grip can lead us to skid along the road and cause a massive accident.
It doesn’t matter if we call them difficult, extreme, adverse or dangerous weather conditions, driving in the rain, fog, ice or snow can increase your risk of being involved in a traffic accident. Many people assume that they can drive in the same way, regardless of traffic conditions. Unfortunately, if you don’t take precautions, you can cause a traffic-related accident.
6. Running a red light
Although it is an easy offense to avoid, this type of violation still manages to maintain a high position on the list. You may be in a hurry, or perhaps you thought no one was watching. However, something as simple as failing to completely stop at a stoplight will cost you $ 235 in Houston.
7. Ignoring Traffic signals
Traffic signs should never be ignored or neglected. A commonly ignored traffic signal is the stop sign. According to Texas Vehicle codes, the driver of a vehicle approaching a stop sign at the entrance or inside an intersection must stop at the boundary line before passing the crosswalk on the side near to the intersection. If there is no marked boundary line next to the signal, drivers must stop at the entrance of the crossing road.
8. Teen drivers
A young driver who is not sufficiently prepared to drive a car constitutes a serious threat to public roads. Normally, teenagers are competent drivers and should always carry a driver’s license.
According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the leading cause of death among young people 10 to 19 years old in the United States is due to automobile accidents, where 70% of these traffic accidents are related to alcohol and/or speeding. In the case of accidents in which young people are involved, they occur mainly on weekends, and mainly at dawn.
9. Night driving
Vision is compromised at night even with appropriate headlights. The low visibility contributes to vehicle accidents. According to statistics from the National Council for Accident Prevention, 42% of traffic accidents occur during the night and early morning, especially between 4 and 6 in the morning, which is the period in which our alert level drops.
The main problem is that during the night the level of sleep and fatigue increase, especially after midnight, and this situation is exacerbated if you have driven for a long period of time.
Another factor that increases the risk is that many people do not see well at night or in low light, because it takes time for their eyes to get used to seeing in poor lighting, causing the dangers of the road to not be distinguished as easily as in the day, as well as decreasing reaction time.
10. Car defects
Cars sometimes have defective parts. There is always the possibility of something malfunctioning, even slightly, and that can easily cause a road accident. If a tire explodes or the brakes do not work, the results can be disastrous. Every year, thousands of people are seriously injured or killed in accidents caused by defective auto parts and non-effective safety equipment.
11. Auto Maintenance
It is vital to review or personally inspect your vehicle to ensure the proper functioning of its key elements. However, a recent study collected by the Department of Transportation (DOT) reveals that most drivers do not care about the preventive maintenance of their cars.
80% of the vehicles that will be on the roads during the Christmas season will do so without having received a previous maintenance review, as reflected in a study carried out by the Speedy workshop network. The consequences of this lack of attention by their owners have a direct impact on road accidents.
Injured in a car accident over the holidays?
Contact our experienced motor vehicle attorneys at 832-481-3427. Get in touch with us immediately so we can evaluate your case for free. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also fill out a form by clicking here.
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