Top 6 Reasons Car Accidents Happen and How To Avoid Them

concept of car accidents

Car accidents happen, and unfortunately, they happen often. Motor vehicle crashes have become so common that you are bound to see an auto accident on almost every highway in the U.S.

According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around 42,915 people died in car crashes in 2021, up by 10.5% from 38,824 fatalities in 2020. In fact, traffic fatalities were at a 16-year high in 2021.

But why do road accidents happen? And how can you avoid car accidents? We discuss everything below.

1. Distracted Driving

Distracted driving causes fatal car accidents, killing 3,000 people yearly. Also, 1000 sustain injuries daily in crashes involving a distracted driver, as per a report by the NHTSA.

According to a report by the U.S. Department of Transportation, heavy equipment crashes are six times more likely when you use a mobile phone than when you are intoxicated.

Any activity that diverts your focus from driving – including texting or talking on your cell phone, eating, drinking, or fiddling with the music or navigation system – is a distraction.

But how can you prevent distracted driving? Here are some tips that will help.

  • Keep your vehicle clean and organized so that everything you need while driving is at your fingertips.
  • Avoid multitasking, such as fiddling with the radio, grooming, or even checking your email.
  • Do not eat while driving.
  • Use a route planner app like Route4Me, which has an in-app voice-guided navigation system that helps you follow directions without looking at your smartphone’s screen.
  • Pull over if you need to make a phone call.

Always wear a seat belt to reduce the risk of injuries during a car crash.

Learn in detail about the types of distracted driving and how to avoid them by clicking the image below.

Distracted driving concept

2. Bad Weather Conditions

Inclement weather is another significant reason why auto accidents occur. Here is why.

  • Bad weather, like heavy rain, can make roads wet and slippery and make it more difficult to stop or turn.
  • Visibility gets poor, making it more challenging to see other vehicles, pedestrians, and potential hazards.
  • High winds can make it difficult to control the car and cause debris to blow onto the road.
  • Extreme temperatures can cause vehicle malfunction.

So, drive carefully and use a multi-stop route planner like Route4Me for route planning to avoid driving in areas with bad weather.

Route4Me route planner automatically factors in the weather for your specific area while planning routes, so you don’t need to worry about this yourself.

When you plan a route, Route4Me looks at the geographic region and route date. And then, it uses the anticipated snow or rain conditions for that area and date. Depending on the severity, the delivery scheduling software suggests adjusting the service time or reducing travel speed.

Route4Me delivery route planner app even offers weather map layers that show real-time visibility of weather conditions on the map so that adjustments can be made in advance to ensure driver safety.

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3. Drunk Driving

Alcohol-impaired driving is one of the most significant causes of road accidents. According to a report by CDC, every day, 29 people in the U.S. die in car wrecks that involve drunk drivers. That’s one death every 50 minutes.

When you drink or take drugs, your judgment becomes impaired, and you lose the capability to function, which increases the risk of a car accident.

Plus, if you are caught drinking and driving, you will not only be made to pay a massive fine, you could even end up going to jail and having your license suspended for at least a year.

So, protect yourself and your fellow drivers on the road by avoiding drunk driving.

4. Speeding Causes Fatal Car Crashes

Speeding is one of the leading causes of most accidents. It killed 11,258 people in 2020 in the U.S., as per another report by the NHTSA.

When you speed up, you’ll have less time to react to road or traffic conditions changes. This can lead to loss of control and car crash.

Even if you don’t crash, speeding reduces your ability to stop safely if something unexpected happens on the road. For example, if a child suddenly ran into the street, you would be unable to stop in time to avoid hitting the child.

Speeding is simply not worth the risks involved. So, here are some tips to stay safe on the road.

  • Obey speed limits.
  • Adjust your speed when driving through adverse weather conditions like rain and snow and in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
  • Drive defensively and be aware of reckless drivers.
  • Plan ahead, so you don’t feel rushed to speed and reach destinations comfortably and on time.

You can also use Route4Me’s delivery route planner to ensure your drivers don’t cross the speed limit. It comes with a speed alert that automatically notifies you whenever a driver speeds up.

This way, you can immediately communicate with the driver to rectify their behavior and avoid fatal crashes.

Custom image showing the concept of reckless driving

5. Poor Vehicle Maintenance

According to a study by NHTSA, vehicle malfunction causes around 45,000 road accidents annually. Mainly because of poor maintenance. That’s why checking your vehicles regularly is critical to keep them in top shape.

Periodic maintenance can help keep your car’s tires in good condition, improving your car’s handling and reducing the risk of a tire blowout.

It can help to identify potential problems before they cause an accident. For example, a problem with the car’s alignment can be fixed during a routine maintenance appointment, but if left unchecked, it could eventually lead to a blowout or loss of control.

Also, vehicle maintenance helps to maintain the car’s value and improve gas mileage, which can save you money and help the environment.

Here are some ways you can avoid car accidents through regular maintenance:

-Ensuring that tires are correctly inflated and have sufficient tread depth;
-Checking and replacing worn brake pads;
-Topping up fluid levels;
-Servicing the engine according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Learn the top six vehicle maintenance tips to avoid any kind of glitches.

6. Tailgating

Tailgating puts drivers at high risk of rear-end collisions. This is why you should keep a safe following distance between your car and the vehicle ahead of you.

If you are too close behind someone else’s car, slowly brake until you have created enough space between your vehicle and theirs so that if they suddenly stop, you will have plenty of time to react.

A good rule to follow is to maintain two seconds (or more, depending on driving conditions) of the distance between you and the car in front of you.

You can measure this easily by picking a marker, such as an overhead sign, street lamp, or tree along the side of the road. When it passes your view, count out “one Mississippi, two Mississippi” until it passes again in your rearview mirror.

If you reach “two Mississippi” before it passes again, you have sufficient space between you and the vehicle ahead. If not, you are following too closely and should reduce speed to establish a more significant gap.

Following this simple safety tip each time you drive can avoid potential disasters such as rear-end collisions due to tailgating.

Final Thoughts About Avoiding Car Accidents

Car accidents can have devastating consequences. Therefore, you must practice caution and drive safely to ensure you do your part in avoiding them.

This includes keeping a safe distance from other vehicles, avoiding sudden turns and lane changes, driving within the speed limit, staying focused on the road, and using a route planner to avoid driving in areas with poor weather conditions.

By taking these steps to be mindful of your own actions and the actions of others on the roads, you’ll help to make roads safer for everyone.

Remember – safety first! Stay vigilant so that you can enjoy a safe drive every time.

Route4Me

Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Help Avoid Road Accidents?

Whether you want to plan safe delivery routes, track aggressive driving, or keep your customers satisfied by avoiding delays… Route4Me helps you achieve that!

USE ROUTE4ME FOR 14 DAYS FOR FREE

About author: Parker Woodward

Parker Woodward has spent more than a thousand hours working directly with customers to understand their challenges and help them successfully implement Route4Me. Leveraging this experience he is a passionate writer and advocate of sharing knowledge and learned lessons that will benefit others. He is a Certified Routing Expert and his work with clients has translated into significant operational efficiency gains for the clients he works with. In addition to implementation he has managed multiple projects and product development cycles for new features and solutions to resolve client challenges; some of which include telematics, advanced optimizations, API integrations, and more.

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About Route4Me

Route4Me has over 40,000 customers globally. Route4Me's Android and iPhone mobile apps have been downloaded over 2 million times since 2009. Extremely easy-to-use, Route4Me's apps create optimized routes, synchronize routes to mobile devices, enable communication with drivers and customers, offer turn-by-turn directions, delivery confirmation, and more. Behind the scenes, Route4Me's operational optimization platform combines high-performance algorithms with data science, machine learning, and big data to plan, optimize, and analyze routes of almost any size in real-time.