No matter how careful we think we might be when driving, there is always the chance that a momentary distraction will cause us to lose concentration. Unfortunately, it only takes a split second for an accident to occur. So, what are the top ten causes of car accidents and how can the risk be minimised?
Top of the list for road accident claims stem from drivers who are not giving their full attention to the road. Talking on mobiles, eating, drinking or even applying make-up has all given rise to avoidable accidents. When driving, it is best to switch your mobile off completely, as you will then be removing the temptation to answer that call or read that text message.
Although cars are now safer than ever before and tyres and braking systems go a long way towards cutting down on stopping distances, it is still a fact that the faster you go, the greater the distance you need in order to react to a potential hazard. Slowing down not only gives you vital seconds in which to react, but it can also reduce the severity of any impact should a crash be inevitable.
3. Drinking and Driving
Alcohol, even in small quantities, can impair cognitive function. This is one of the easiest situations to avoid, as you can simply choose not to drink when you are driving. Always have a designated driver or take a cab.
4. Reckless Driving
It might be a cliché, but the typical ‘boy racer’ who tailgates, changes lanes frequently in order to dodge queues and drives aggressively is far more likely to be involved in an accident. Consideration for other road users should always be paramount, but if you are faced with an aggressive driver, pull over if possible to let them pass and put some distance between you.
5. Bad Weather
Many drivers simply forget that they should slow down when the weather is bad. Rain and fog are two of the biggest culprits, but make sure that your lights are on where appropriate, your windscreen wipers are functional and you increase the distance from the car in front.
6. Night Driving
As with bad weather, driving at night requires extra care. Make sure that lights are working and always dip your beams when another vehicle is approaching.
7. Road Rage
People can get very aggressive when behind the wheel, often behaving completely out of character. Soft music can help keep tempers calm; you are less likely to lose your temper with soothing music in the background.
8. Running Red Lights
It’s very tempting to race across a junction just as the lights are changing, but unless you are very sure of the timings of the other light, this can be incredibly dangerous. Never dash through as the lights change, as the extra few seconds that you might gain are not worth the risk.
9. Improper Turning
When drivers ignore the basic rules of the road, accidents are sure to happen. Always check when driving along your route, even if the roads are familiar to you. Temporary changes to the road layout and diversions can mean that wrong turns are taken by even the most assured of local drivers.
Perhaps the most easily remedied of all the accident causes, tailgating is a big problem, particularly in built up areas. Keeping a safe distance from the car in front means that, even if they should perform an emergency stop, you’ll still have time to react.
This guest post was contributed by Denver Burke on behalf of Ead Liverpool Solicitors. He has been writing articles and content on a variety of topics across the web and is hoping to share his enthusiasm and knowledge on the subject.