Getting in a car accident can be not only traumatic but can cause some serious physical injuries, even at a low speed. Whiplash, shoulder problems and back problems are the main issues that occur after an accident.
Here are some of the reasons people are involved in accidents:
1. Becoming distracted while driving:
I once saw a women at a stoplight with her phone on the dash watching a television show while driving. I couldn’t believe it. Texting, dialing, eating or checking yourself out in the mirror are all distractions and can lead to an accident.
2. Driving too fast:
People tend to treat speed limits as the minimum speed and normally go 10 to 30 miles an hour over the speed limit. These postings are on the road for a reason. Kids can be present, animals may run out into the road, wide turns may be coming up etc. If you are speeding, your reaction time is decreased and this can lead to an accident.
Driving after having one too many inhibits your ability to see accurately, brake in time and focus on the road. If you are out drinking, either have a designated driver or call a taxi or Lyft to get home.
4. Reckless or careless driving:
People who are cutting other drivers off, not merging properly, riding too close to someone’s bumper all lead to an accident. In some cases, the reckless driver may not be the one in the accident but may have caused an accident because other people had to move or brake because of their reckless actions. Please be courteous to other drivers and merge properly. It not only helps the flow of traffic but it prevents accidents as well.
Somehow here in Redwood City and the bay area in general, when there is rain, there are more accidents. People tend to keep driving at normal speed and stay close to someone’s back bumper no allowing for the proper braking speed. When they need to brake they slide into the car in front of them. Cars often spin out in rain as well if they are not changing their driving speed with the weather. If someone is driving on the freeway and the speed limit is 65mph, it may be a good idea to drive at 55mph in the right lanes. Better to be safe than sorry.
6. Red light running;
Going through a red light is dangerous and can cause death. When a yellow light hits, most motorists slow down and stop, not speed up. When the light is red, the other light is turning green and they don’t expect you to come through the intersection. Slamming into the drivers side of the car at full speed can kill someone. Leave earlier for appointments so that you are not in a rush and panic when you have to wait through lights. This can save your life or someone else’s.
7. Failure to adhere to a stop sign:
Again, these signs are there for your safety. People are expecting you to stop and will not be prepared for when you do not stop. When approaching a stop sign at an intersection, stop and always look around to make sure people are stopping and then proceed to your destination.
8. Young Teenage Drivers
Teenagers are many times not defensive drivers and do not take the privilege of having a drivers license as seriously as they should. They also do not have the experience that other drivers do and can make careless mistakes.
9. Night Driving:
Driving at night doubles the chances of an accident. Visability is impaired and it is harder to see pedestrians, road lanes and on coming cars. When driving at night, you must be even more alert than driving during sunshine hours.
10. Careless Lane Changes:
There are a lot of times where drivers want to go first and cut off someone merging or if they think someone is not driving fast enough for them. Using a signal is important to give people a heads up that you are changing lanes and make sure noone is in your blind spot when moving over to the next lane.
11. Driving the wrong way:
Anyone that has experienced someone driving the wrong way on the road can understand how dangerous this is. Noone is expecting you to be coming the wrong way and there is no way to get out of your path. This can lead to a head on collision that can cause enormous bodily harm.
12. Road Rage:
Road rage normally results in the angry person tail gating the other driver, speeding to catch up and sometimes blocking the other driver in and slamming on the brakes. This is dangerous and it happens daily. Yes, it sucks when someone cuts you off or almost hits you but in most cases they are not doing this on purpose and harassing them afterward will only lead to more problems. You are safe, noone got hurt so move on and take some deep breaths. It will allow you to handle what happened and move on with your day.
13. Potholes in the road:
Driving over potholes can blow out a tire, have the driver lose control and spin out or have hubcaps fall off the car. Care should be taken when driving over potholes and if you see someone driving over one, be aware that there may be some debris or loss of control.
14. Driving while tired:
There was a study done where they tested intoxicated drivers and tired drivers. It was actually shown that driving while tired had the same if not higher rates of accidents than intoxication. Your concentration is not at its best while tired and there have been times where people have fallen asleep at the wheel.
15. Tire Blowouts:
Tires to blow from time to time and if you are driving a truck or on a freeway it can mean losing some control over the vehicle. Leaving space between you and other vehicles is a good idea and can help you if someone loses a tire or loses control of their vehicle.
16. Foggy weather:
Again keeping a good distance behind the vehicle in front of you and slowing down can really help if there is fog. It can be hard to see the road and other vehicles. Make sure your headlights are on and do not use the high beams.
Keeping a speed that is not excessive on curves is key. Most people brake on curves but it is best to just keep a slow speed on the turn and keep the wheels tractioning. Braking can lead to skidding which can slide you into oncoming traffic or off the side of the road.
18. Deer or other animals on the road:
Note where animals can be hiding or jumping on the road. There are normally signs in these areas so slow down and keep an eye on the sides of the road once in a while. Most times, animals are on the side of the road waiting to cross so you can slow down and flash your lights to warn other drivers of their presence.
I guess the biggest part of this article is to slow down and don’t be in a rush. This is when most people end up in an accident.