Car accidents are a number one cause of death in the Middle East. Forget conflicts, more people are dying from dangerous driving. Car accidents, as any police officer, medical personal, or car accident lawyers can tell you, are among the most common and most devastating parts of our culture. Even in New York where public transportation is common and widely available, almost everyone has a car accident story and can attest to the pain they cause and the inconvenience that they are.
The best way to avoid these hassles is to know the causes of accidents and avoid them. Although you cannot control every accident, a significant amount of accidents could be avoided by remembering the following causes:
If you live in the city, you are likely to experience road rage of some form or another every day. The separation of drivers by their vehicles causes them to act in ways that they would never act if they were face to face with that person. As with anything, everyone has their own style of driving. Some are more cautious, others like to assert themselves, and these factors along with the inability to converse and understand one another lead to those things that we are all familiar with—shouting, gesticulating, and driving recklessly and distractedly.
How to Avoid Road Rage
Feeling irritated with other drivers is unavoidable, but there are things that you can do to alleviate the tension and avoid reckless road rage that can cause accidents. Try to leave on time. When you are late you become tense and frustrated and any delay can tip you over the edge. Begin your drive with a relaxed state of mind. Also, try turning on the radio to a channel that is calming to you.
Drinking and Driving and Other Substance Abuse
Some of the most devastating accidents happen under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs. Any of these substances severely impair your judgment. Driving requires constant focus and the ability to make split-second decisions. Neither of these is possible under the influence.
How to Avoid
Get a designated driver, period. Even if you plan on only having a little bit of alcohol or another substance, have someone else drive you home. Don’t gamble with your life or others’ lives.
Texting and Driving
A relatively new phenomenon, texting and driving involves taking your eyes off the road, taking your mind off of driving, and taking one of your hands off of the wheel. This means that if something happens while you are looking away, you don’t even have the mindset or the physical capability to act as fast as you need to. This is one of the most dangerous things you can do while driving and causes horrible results.
How to Avoid
Don’t do it—not even once. Put your phone in the trunk if you have to in order to avoid the temptation. Pull over if you need to send a text, otherwise the conversation can wait.
Following Too Closely
Sometimes whether because of aggression or lack of knowledge, a person following too closely will cause an accident when the person in front of them comes to an abrupt stop. The rule is, follow no less than one car length for every 10mph that you are traveling. This length should be extended for any unusual circumstances such as night driving or driving in bad weather.
We have all been guilty of distracted driving. Whether it has been a beautiful sunset, or the need to eat your lunch in the car because of a tight schedule, distractions are a part of driving, but they can cause accidents.
How to Avoid
Minimize what distractions you can, and be wise about the ones you cannot control. If a sunset is beautiful enough to be a distraction, feel free to pull over to a safe place and enjoy it.
Traffic Law Disobedience or Ignorance
Laws are sometimes annoying, but they are put in place for our safety. Disregarding these laws is not only a good way to get a ticket, but is a good way to cause an accident. Trying to squeeze through a red light, speeding, neglecting your turn signals, and crossing lanes too quickly are all causes of accidents.
How to Avoid
Always be a student. Traffic laws are in abundance, and we can’t always remember them all. Be mindful as you are driving and if you make mistakes try to learn from them. If you can’t remember a law, look it up. Try to become a better driver every day. Be humble and don’t rebel against the system or the laws. They are put in place for a reason and should be followed.