Despite the advances in automobile technology and overall vehicle safety strides, automobile accidents unfortunately still happen. According to the World Health Organization, about 1.24 million individuals will die each year because of traffic crashes, be it on the highway or roadways.
Moreover, WHO also indicates that road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for young people, who are aged 15-29 years of age. Perhaps the more startling piece of information is the data suggesting that the former figure will rise and around 1.9 traffic fatalities will occur annually by the year 2020.
With the idea that traffic accidents are not only on the rise, but also causing more deaths, one should keep in mind the most common causes of automobile accidents. In no short order, here are the five leading causes of automobile accidents in the United States.
Most Common Causes
- Speeding. According to the research, speeding is largely the most common cause of automobile accidents. Although, one may simply chalk this up to an individual that goes well above the speed limit, research has shown that even slightly going above the speed limit can cause accidents. In addition, speeding also refers to going higher than what road and weather conditions would allow. For instance, if a thunderstorm is in place, one should use caution and slow down instead of going the posted 50 mph.
- Drunk Driving. When an individual is over the legal drinking limit to drive, they are considered driving while intoxicated under the law. It is clear as to why drunk driving is on the list as driving while intoxicated can greatly affect vision and alertness, slow down reaction time, and create an environment that is highly conducive to crashes.
- Failure to Adhere to Road Guidelines. According to the research approximately 40% of automobile accidents were caused simply because drivers failed “look properly.” Although, this may be a vague term, it relates to drivers who do not take caution when driving in heavy traffic areas, failing to yield to the right-of-way, or failure to obey traffic signs and general road guidelines.
- Inclement Weather. While it is understandable that some accidents are no fault of the driver, such as an unexpected weather condition, many accidents are equally caused by not paying attention when inclement weather does arise. In this case, drivers did not slow down, took roadways that were flooded or slippery, or used other missteps when it comes to driving in bad weather.
- Inexperience. Automobile accidents are not reserved for those that have driven for years, but also greatly affected drivers who have recently gotten licenses, typically young people aged 17-24 years of age. Since much of driving is a learned experience, there are many young drivers who simply do not use additional caution when driving and as such, more accidents are likely to occur.
Overall, this list helps to show that most automobile accidents are entirely preventable. When one does not exercise proper caution when driving the results can culminate into an automobile crash with various degrees of severity.