On average, 6 million accidents occur in the US each year. That works out to over 14,000 accidents per day. And a large chunk of these crashes results in long-term injuries and even death.
Not all car crashes occur out of the blue. Many of these crashes occur because of heightened risk factors that increase the probability of the accident occurring. Let’s examine some of these factors and see how to reduce the chance of accidents happening.
No one gets a license in a day: it takes many hours of practice and exams to get one. In a similar vein, becoming a good driver takes hours of training and driving experience. Unfortunately, becoming a good driver is a rather steep learning curve, and many new drivers make lots of mistakes before perfecting the skill. For instance, if a new driver is plying a new road or driving an unfamiliar car, the risk of a crash goes up.
So, if you are a new driver or are in a car with one, take extra precautions. Familiarize yourself with the terrain you are driving in and as much as possible drive slowly and carefully. Such precautions help reduce the risk of car crashes.
With the rise of smartphones and social media clamoring for our attention, distractions are all-too-common. Distractions involve anything that takes the mind and care of the driver from the driving. It includes activities like eating, texting, talking to other passengers. According to a study by Virginia Tech, distracted driving doubles the risk of accidents for more than half of a driver’s journey.
Always ensure that your sight and your mind are on driving. Don’t take your hands off the steering wheel. If you need to eat or do something with your hands, pull over, do it and get back on the road.
Drinking While Driving
Unfortunately, drunk driving is one of the top causes of car crashes. Once a person is intoxicated, their ability to make sound decisions is impaired. That’s why, across the US, there is a legal limit Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08. Once you hit that limit, you are not eligible to drive, and you’ll be charged if police officers arrest you.
As a rule of thumb, if you drink, don’t drive. Instead, use a car-hailing app or hitch a ride with a friend. It will save your life and that of other road users.
The Condition of Your Car
A car with faulty parts is at a higher risk of causing a car crash on the road. So, don’t be lax about maintaining your vehicle. It would be suicidal to wait until something goes wrong before heading over to the mechanic. Always make sure your engine, tires, exhaust, amongst others, are in good shape. And every so often, give your car a good paint job.
And when you’re painting, be cautious about the color you choose because even that can increase your risk on the road. For instance, compared to black cars, white cars are 12% less likely to crash than black cars. So you might be better off choosing a car color that makes you noticeable on the road.
Over speeding reduces the impact of collins and does not give a driver enough time to respond to a potential crash.
Respect and obey speeding limits on each stretch of road. Those numbers are from research, and you’ll be safe if you drive within the given limits.
Driving on the road with other road users is risky enough. However, several factors can heighten the risk of car crashes. From distractions, over-speeding to your car’s condition, we’ve looked at some of the risk factors and how to handle them. Take advantage of these tips to ensure you are safe on the road.