More often than not, accidents on roadways across the country are a result of negligence and human error. In 2013, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) estimated that over 32,000 individuals were killed in motor vehicle accidents in the United States. Many are a result of preventable mistakes and bad habits that are, unfortunately, much too common.
Below are some of the most common bad driving habits that cause automobile accidents and some tips on how to avoid them:
- Driving under the influence: We all know that drinking and driving is against the law, but many often do not realize the very real dangers of engaging in this terrible but common bad habit. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol was to blame for about 30% of traffic-related deaths in 2012 and, in 2013, almost 10 million drivers reported to driving under the influence of recreational drug use. If you plan on having a drink, you should also plan to have a designated sober driver, take a cab, or use a ridesharing service.
- Distracted driving: When we think of distracted driving, we generally only think of individuals who use a cell phone while behind the wheel. While this is probably one of the most common and deadly forms of distracted driving, there are many other distractions that lead to accidents. Eating and drinking, grooming, talking to a passenger, adjusting the radio, or adjusting a GPS navigational system are all activities that can risk not only your own life but the lives of others on the road as well. Make sure you take care of any tasks that require your attention prior to driving and, if an emergency arises, pull over somewhere safe and address it before you resume your trip.
- Speeding: Speeding has consistently remained a danger on the road for decades. Although the number of speed-related fatalities dropped in recent years, it was still a factor in about 29% of traffic fatalities in 2013, according to the IIHS. No matter how much of a hurry you might be in, you should never speed. Not only will it increase your chances of being involved in a collision, but speeding tickets are pricey and will result in increased car insurance costs.
- Driving without a seatbelt: Technology has undoubtedly provided modern vehicles with some incredible safety features, but none of them are a substitute for wearing a seatbelt. According to the CDC, wearing a seatbelt can reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by almost half. Individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 are most likely not to wear a seatbelt, while men are 10% less likely to wear a seatbelt than women. Regardless of how close your destination is, always buckle up. It is one of the easiest ways to stay safe on the road.
- Fatigued driving: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 83,000 crashes and more than 1,000 fatalities occur every year due to fatigued driving. Drinking coffee, listening to music, or opening up the window can energize you for a little while, but if you are sleep deprived, the best thing to do would be to get some rest before you hit the road. If you are on a long drive, schedule in some rest stops. No trip is worth your life.
- Driving in bad weather: Bad weather conditions, including snow, rain, and sleet can impact the driving capabilities of the most cautious individual. According to the Federal Highway Administration, an estimated 23% of crashes are related to poor weather conditions, causing at least 6,250 deaths a year. Understandably, you cannot always choose when to drive, but on occasions when it is possible for you to avoid it, try not to drive in inclement weather.
Personal Injury Attorney in Arizona
If you or a loved one was injured in a motor vehicle accident due to another party’s negligence, you will need a skilled legal representative on your side to obtain the compensation you deserve during this difficult time. At Rafi Law Group, our experienced team of Phoenix personal injury attorneys are dedicated to standing up for you in front of insurance companies.
Contact our office today at (623) 300-1151 to schedule a free case review. You will not owe us any legal fees unless we win your case.