In 2020, nearly 39,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents despite a 22% reduction in accidents and a 17% decline in injuries from 2019. This is a 6.8% increase in fatalities in one year.
To address this national crisis, it is important to understand the causes of motor vehicle accidents. These are the top four.
Distracted driving cause more accidents than any other factor. When drivers allow distractions, they can drift into other lanes of traffic, not see potential dangers or signals from other vehicles and slow their reaction time.
Some key distractions include looking at cell phones, texting, paying more attention to GPS than the road, loud radio noise and passenger conversations or actions.
Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is the second leading cause of traffic accidents. In fact, law enforcement has investigated nearly 2,900 more than 500 accidents that involved some form of intoxication in 2022 and already in 2023, respectively.
The weather has significant impacts on road conditions, visibility and stress levels. However, not everyone is adept at driving in inclement weather. They do not expand the distance between themselves and other vehicles on the road, slow their speed, etc. This may be especially true for those new to an area with different weather patterns.
Reckless driving includes speeding, participating in road rage, driving aggressively, not adopting patience or purposely frustrating other drivers. When emotions rule a driver’s actions, they can start driving dangerously and lose their ability to reason and judge situations.
With the exception of the weather, most of these incidents are preventable. Drivers should plan ahead, put away distractions, drive with a clear head and adopt safety precautions to reduce the risk of traffic accidents.