Thousands of people die on America’s roadways each year. Sadly, many of these accidents could have been avoided if motorists had been more thoughtful before getting behind the wheel. And some of the common factors that contribute to avoidable car crashes may surprise you. We’ve put together a short list of these factors and hope people will be mindful about driving.
When people hear about impaired driving, the first thought is usually drunk driving and for good reason. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 28 people die each day as a result of alcohol-related crashes, or slightly more than one per hour. But there are other types of impairment contributing to motor vehicle accidents every day as well.
The nationally trending marijuana legalization culture may have motorists believing more and more this as a harmless practice. Time magazine reported in a 2015 piece called “How Much Does Marijuana Impact Your Driving?” that a study confirmed that more people had THC in their system than alcohol when operating a motor vehicle. Drivers under the influence of marijuana suffer reduced reaction time and driving high is serious concern.
There are also impairments that are not necessarily illegal but pose a significant threat to pedestrians and other motorists. About 60 percent of people have reportedly gotten behind the wheel while feeling drowsy and about 37 percent have fallen asleep driving. People suffering from sleep deprivation tend to drive erratically and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that at least 100,000 car crashes each year are due to fatigue, resulting in 71,000 injuries and more than 1,500 fatalities.
There’s an old adage in sports that “speed kills.” It applies to fast driving as well. America’s roadways allow for reasonably fast travel but people seem to be in too much of a hurry to abide by those guidelines. According to the NHTSA, more than 30 percent of fatal car crashes are a result of speeding.
Many drivers are very aggressive when they are behind the wheel. This aggressiveness causes them to make moves that may cut other vehicles off or cause the other cars to take evasive action. Some of these motorists may even tailgate other drivers, leaving little opportunity to stop if a problem arises.
Accidents due to not paying attention are on the rise. The NHTSA estimates that more than 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices during daylight hours rather than watching the road. More than 3,100 people were killed and 431,000 injured as a result of distracted driving accidents in 2014. Still worse, 10 percent of those drivers were only teenagers. From texting while driving to playing Pokemon Go, motorists are losing sight of the fact that they are operating a piece of machinery at high speeds that weighs two tons.
There are many factors that contribute to car accidents. If you are injured or harmed as a result of another person’s negligent driving habits, be sure to see a medical professional and contact and attorney.