Car accidents are not an event we ever plan for in our lives. We do our best to avoid them, but did you know that these accidents result in tens of thousands of serious injuries and fatalities every year in the United States? As a matter of fact, approximately 58,000 people die in these accidents annually. Let’s take a look at which age groups cause more accidents, and what are the top 10 causes of these sometimes catastrophic accidents.
If you guessed that younger and older drivers are responsible for the majority of accidents, you are correct!
Those who cause the most car accidents are teenagers and those in their early 20s along with those who are elderly (75 and older). And in reality these statistics are easy to understand. Teens often feel they are invincible; young and vibrant, and they THINK they will never be involved in a bad accident. With this mentality, they take to the road, often too fast, texting, talking on the phone while driving and basically not paying attention to their surroundings. Before they know it, they are that young driver statistic. For those who are 75 and older, they many times face the issues of not seeing clearly or being hindered in their driving because they may have slower reflexes. It’s not say that other aged drivers can’t have wrecks, but the facts show these two groups are involved in the most car accidents each year.
So what exactly do motorists do that increase their risk of car accidents?
1. Driving while distracted. Distractions are any activities that take the driver’s attention away from his/her primary focus — driving. This may include text messaging, talking on a cell phone, eating or simply being too engaged in a conversation with passengers.
2. Speeding. Drivers often drive at speeds much higher than those posted; the faster you drive, the less likely you will be able to react in time when it becomes necessary to pre-vent a crash.
3. Driving under the influence. Those who drink do not have control of their faculties. Reaction time slows, focus becomes blurred and judgment is impaired. If you are going to drink and must go from one location to another, please have a designated driver.
4. Driving recklessly. Reckless driving includes any type of driving that is not done in a careful manner. Speeding, tailgating or changing lanes repeatedly. It is important to keep your attention on your driving and those around you.
5. Wet, slippery roads. When it rains, there are far more accidents than when the weather is fair. Roadways become slick, your ability to see is diminished. Drive carefully and never exceed the speed limit when it is raining or sleeting.
6. Running stop lights. A red light means STOP — it does not mean skid through on pavement. When a light is yellow, it means caution as you proceed through. By ignoring red lights, you put yourself and others at risk when those who have a green light proceed through the intersection.
7. Ignoring stop signs. Come to a complete stop and look both ways TWICE. Running a stop sign increases the likelihood that you will be struck from the side or even become involved in a rollover accident.
8. Teen drivers. We’ve already mentioned this above, but it is worth repeating. Lack of experience and a feeling of invincibility lead to many serious injuries and fatalities.
9. Driving at night. It’s harder for anyone to see after dark than during daylight hours. In fact, the chances of being involved in a car accident doubles at night. Anticipate what is coming and pay particular attention to other motorists and roads around you.
10. Defects in design. Clothing, appliances, toys and other products often have defects, and cars are no different. Automobiles are constructed of hundreds of parts, and defects can result in accidents. Some SUVs are prone to rollover accidents due to top-heaviness; other accidents have resulted due to defects as well.
By obeying the rules of the road and paying close attention, many car accidents could be avoided. Please remember to never drink and get behind the wheel or drive distracted; doing so could cost you and others more than you can afford to pay when someone loses their life.