The year 2015 saw the first increase in deadly car accidents in 50 years. The number of car crash fatalities increased in 2016 as well: Last year, approximately 40,000 people were killed in car accidents in the United States.
Why do these crashes happen, and what can motorists do to prevent them? The technology that is used to analyze car accidents is becoming more precise, leading to a better understanding of the scenarios that result in car crash injuries and fatalities. The website Slate.com recently analyzed several scientific studies of car crashes. According to their findings, these are some of the most common reasons for automobile accidents.
1. Turning right on red
Yes, it is technically legal to turn right at a red light—but it is not always safe. When drivers make a rolling turn at a red light, they often fail to see oncoming cars, bicycles or pedestrians. In fact, six percent of all pedestrian fatalities are caused by this action. The solution? Make a full and complete stop before turning.
2. Losing control of the car
A startling 11 percent of car accidents are caused by a driver losing control of the vehicle. Some of the reasons that drivers to lose control of the car include aggressive maneuvering, taking curves too fast and not slowing down according to weather conditions. By driving cautiously and defensively, you can avoid loss of control and protect yourself from other drivers’ reckless actions.
3. Limited visibility
Twelve percent of car accidents are due to drivers who have limited visibility, but insist on plowing ahead anyways. For example: Running a red light because they don’t see any other cars, making a left turn at an intersection even though the view is blocked or speeding down a curving road whose twists and turns aren’t visible. The answer to this is simple: Watch carefully when you drive.
4. Distracted driving
Drivers have more technology available at their fingertips than ever—and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Distracted driving was responsible for a whopping 33percent of all car crashes in the country. Distracted driving can lead to injuries and even fatalities, all for the sake of texting or talking on the phone. To avoid this dilemma, simply put the technology away and focus on the road.