In Texas, we drive just about everywhere. Whether it’s just around the corner to the store, or a road trip across the state, car wrecks happen in a flash. There is a lot that we leave to chance when we get on the road, but there is also a lot that we as drivers can do to make the roads safer for everyone.
What are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents?
Road Rage/Aggressive Driving
Driving requires patience, and when that patience is exceeded, emotions can take over. The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as occurring when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” This may involve speeding, rapidly changing lanes, or tailgating.
If you tend to get aggressive on the road yourself: relax. Consider alternate routes so that you do not lose control of your emotions while in traffic. Consider the severity of accidents that can occur in situations of aggressive driving, and try to focus on the task at hand. If you encounter an aggressive driver, do not engage or react. Only change lanes when you can do so safely, and allow the driver to pass.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving after drinking alcohol is an all too common occurrence in our society. It creates an extremely dangerous atmosphere on the road. Even one drink slows a driver’s reaction time and affects his ability to focus. Several drinks can result in a drowsy driver as well. In the state of Texas, every 20 minutes someone is hurt of killed in a crash involving alcohol. It doesn’t take much for a person to be legally intoxicated, so before you even begin drinking, decide how you will get where you are going.
This is the most common contributing factor to car accidents. The faster the speed, the greater the risk of an accident, but you don’t need to be driving at 100 miles per hour to be at danger while speeding. Sometimes even speeding 5 miles over the limit can mean you aren’t able to stop safely and appropriately.
Poorly Maintained Roads
Just as each driver enters the road with a responsibility to drive safely and attentively, each city and state has the responsibility to maintain its streets and highways. Potholes need to be filled, cracks need to be fixed, roads needs to be resurfaced, and signs need to be current. If even a single element isn’t maintained, car wrecks are much more likely to occur.
Distracted driving can take many forms. From texting to emailing to following GPS, our phones present an ever-present temptation towards distraction. These new digital distractions join the old: purses, radios, food, and even our passengers present infinite opportunities for distraction. Distracted driving is as dangerous as drinking and driving, and is responsible for more and more accidents each year. Even hands-free devices create mental distraction and therefore are best avoided. Consider the consequences of distracted driving each time you get behind the wheel.
A driver can do everything right, but if the vehicle she is driving is defective, an accident can still occur. Steering can lock, brakes can give way, tires can blow out, and accelerators can stick.
In Texas, where inclement weather can appear and disappear in a flash, rain, hail, snow, fog and even heavy winds can make driving more dangerous. Combined with other conditions such as bad roads, aggressive drivers, general distractions, you can literally end up in the perfect storm. Avoiding accidents can be as simple as leaving extra room between your car and others, and slowing down. If possible, waiting until conditions improve can avoid problems altogether.
Contact the car accident lawyers in Dallas at Kirkendall Dwyer today!