According to the WHO, almost 1.35 million people die yearly because of road traffic crashes, \the main cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29 years, (20 to 50 million suffer from non-fatal injuries and disabilities). Losses due to road accidents aren’t just related to health; there are economic losses, too: treatment costs, lost productivity, and workdays off taken by family members to be able to take care of the injured person, etc. Read on to learn more about the most common causes of road accidents and how to prepare for them.
There are many reasons people speed while driving, including but not limited to, running late, zoning out instead of focusing on the road and speed limit, or driving fast just for fun. When someone is speeding and their car collides with another, the impact is great and often leads to serious injuries and even fatalities. Speeding increases stop time – if a pedestrian crosses the road ahead of you or a car swerves out of its lane into yours, the faster you are going, the longer it will take for you to slow down to avoid crashing into them. Also, hitting the brakes at high speeds might lead to losing control of the car. Drivers should check the posted speed limit and abide by it, and leave enough space between their car and the one in front of them to slow or stop as needed to avoid a collision.
2. Alcohol and Drugs
Driving while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any substance that leaves the driver intoxicated may lead to serious road accidents. Intoxicated drivers’ driving skills are extremely impaired. Alcohol and other mind-altering substances slow human reflexes, which means a driver under the influence can’t react to changing road conditions quickly. The drivers’ coordination, concentration, ability to make quick decisions, vision, and ability to assess the vehicle’s position on the road are all impaired. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be catastrophic.
Bad weather can lead to some serious road accidents. If it is too foggy, drivers need to slow down while keeping their low-beam headlights turned on, so other drivers can see their car, and of course, make sure there is an appropriate distance between cars. If the road is too dangerous, drivers should pull over on the side of the road with their headlights on and wait till the fog clears out. Rain and snow can make roads very slippery and cause road accidents; drivers should bear in mind that stopping a vehicle under rainy or snowy conditions can cause the car to hydroplane; slowing down or stopping requires more time than usual. We are not in control of the weather, but we are in control of our decisions and actions while driving in bad weather conditions.
3. Sleeping Behind the Wheel
Drivers who work for long hours, experience drowsiness as a side effect of medication, or have untreated/undiagnosed sleeping disorders might all fall asleep at the wheel. A sleepy driver is not less dangerous than a drunk driver, as sleep deprivation results in less concentration on the road and slower reaction times, which can lead to fatal road accidents. Drivers shouldn’t be driving unless they’ve had their fair share of sleep, know-how medications affect them, and are certain they are not affected by any sort of sleep disorder — for their own safety and the safety of others.
4. Distracted Driving
Nowadays, with all the different apps on smartphones and devices, people tend to chat, watch short videos, and check their messages while driving. Distracted driving is a major cause of road accidents. Driving should be the primary task of the driver, and anything else that requires the attention of the driver is a distraction. No matter how small the shift in focus from the road, a distracted driver is much likelier to cause an accident than one paying attention to his surroundings; an accident can happen in a split second.
5. Aggressive Driving
Continuous honking, rude gestures, and yelling can escalate to aggressive driving. While driving can be frustrating at times, drivers should control their temper because road rage and its accompanying aggressive behavior can affect reasonable and sound driving decisions, which leads to road accidents.
Now that you know what to watch out for, read on to be even more prepared to prevent and handle road accidents.
Seek Professional Help
Road accidents happen all the time; you should learn about the insurance claims process to prepare yourself in case you are involved in an accident. Houston-based lawyers at BayoucityLaw.com recommend that you ask professionals to guide you through the process of filing a claim and give you information about insurance claims. Since road accidents can affect you on so many levels, seeking professional help is your best option to stay on the safe side.
Learn About Your Insurance Policy
Carefully select your insurance coverage and know how it applies in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. Drivers should also know what facts and information they are supposed to gather at the time of the accident. For example, drivers should ascertain the name and address of any other drivers involved in the accident.
Keep Important Information in the Car
Keep important information about yourself, such as whether you are on medication, your name, the name of your physician, and your insurance policy provider number in the glove compartment. This helps in case you’ve had an accident, and you are unable to respond or think clearly.
Driving is a huge responsibility, as the driver’s decisions affect not only himself but also others on the road. If you think you didn’t have enough sleep or are too tired to give the road your full attention, do not get behind the wheel. Definitely do not drive if you are not sober, and contain your anger on busy, frustrating roads. Drivers shouldn’t wait for an accident to happen; drivers should prepare themselves with enough practical and legal knowledge before even getting a license to avoid any unpleasant consequences. Responsible, safe driving can save lives.
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