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Cars are an important part of life for many people. We need cars to take us where we need to go. However, there are many ways in which people can get into an accident. When this happens, you may find yourself in need of a car accident attorney. If you live in Lynnwood or nearby regions, the Law Offices of Martin W. Hodges can help. The best thing to do though, is to avoid getting into a car accident in the first place. Let’s take a look at five common causes of car accidents so that you know what you need to do to stay safe on the road and avoid getting into an accident.
1. Distracted driving
One of the most common causes of car accidents is distracted driving. It has been one of the top causes for many years and has become even worse with the introduction of smartphones and other technology. For example, many people use their phones while driving, which causes them to lose focus. Here are some other common examples of distracted driving:
- Talking on a cell phone
- Changing the station on the radio, changing a CDC, or using an mp3 player
- Eating or drinking
- Looking at scenery
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Talking to passengers
- Looking at maps, books, newspapers, or a GPS device
- Putting on makeup
The more people engage in distracted driving without getting into an accident, the more that people feel they can multitask while in the car. If you must do something before you arrive at your destination, the best thing to do is to pull over to the side of the road where it is safe, do what you need to do, and then continue on your way.
Speeding is another common cause of accidents, and in fact, is one of the most common causes of car accidents that result in a fatality. This is because speed not only reduces the amount of time you have to notice and react to the situation to avoid a crash, it also increases the overall severity of the accident that does occur. People involved in these types of crashes can get whiplash or a concussion.
Many people associate speeding with teens and younger adults because they have less driving experience, but people of all ages speed. People do so if they are running late to work or if they are going to an emergency. Even if the reason seems legitimate, it still increases the possibility of an accident.
To avoid speeding, follow all posted speed limits and reduce your speed if driving in certain weather conditions, such as rain. This will help reduce your chances of causing an accident as well as help you avoid a speeding ticket.
3. Driving under the influence
Driving under the influence means driving after taking certain substances that can affect your ability to focus and your motor skills. These substances include:
- Prescription medications
- Certain over-the-counter medications
- Cocaine, heroin, and other illegal drugs
Drunk driving is the most common reason for DUI cases. Never drive after consuming alcohol or after taking any medication that causes drowsiness. If you must go somewhere, consider taking a taxi or calling a friend for a ride. If you are out and are unable to drive home, you can also consider staying overnight in a hotel until you are sober.
When going out drinking, be sure to have a designated driver who will get everyone home safely. This will not only protect your life; it will also protect the lives of others on the road.
4. Rain and other weather elements
Rain, hail, sleet, and snow can make driving conditions more difficult by reducing visibility and traction and causing drivers to slip on the road. You can pull over to wait for the weather to improve, but sometimes you can’t avoid being out driving on the road during a storm.
If you must drive in the rain or other conditions, you can reduce your risk of a car accident by reducing your speed and increasing the space between you and the car in front of you. Make sure your headlights are on so other cars can see you and avoid driving through pools of water.
5. Reckless and aggressive driving
Lastly, reckless and aggressive driving causes many accidents each year. Not only is this type of behavior in other drivers frustrating, it causes accidents that can are avoidable if everyone stays calm. Examples of reckless and aggressive driving include situations such as:
- Following too closely to the car in front of you
- Driving without a seatbelt
- Ignoring traffic signals and signs
- Running through a stop sign
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Changing lanes without signaling
- Not yielding to oncoming traffic
- Making illegal U-turns
- Accelerating abruptly
- Braking sharply for no reason
While many people have done one or more of these at some point without causing harm, this doesn’t mean that you will never have an accident. The best thing to do is to follow the rules of the road, pay attention to what is going on around you, and stay calm no matter what pressures are on you.
The fact that you are careful doesn’t mean you will never be involved in an accident because you can’t control those around you. However, if you reduce these risk factors, you can reduce your chances of causing an accident. If you do get in an accident in Lynnwood or any of the surrounding areas, call us at the Law Offices of Martin W. Hodges. We are here to help you.
Last update of the article: 11/10/2020.