Driving is part of daily life, but it comes with its fair share of risks.
Motor vehicle accidents are unfortunately common, and understanding their root causes is important for promoting safer roads.
One of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents, including those that led to 46,980 traffic accident deaths in 2021, is distracted driving. When drivers divert their attention from the road, even for a split second, the consequences can be devastating. Common distractions include texting, talking on the phone, adjusting the radio or interacting with passengers.
Speed limits are carefully set to ensure road safety. Unfortunately, many drivers underestimate the risks associated with speeding. Excessive speed reduces reaction time and increases the severity of collisions. Adhering to speed limits and adjusting speed according to road conditions help prevent accidents.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious hazard on the roads. Impaired judgment, slowed reaction times and compromised coordination make drunk driving a major contributor to accidents. Individuals should plan alternative transportation when they are not in a condition to drive safely.
Reckless driving includes aggressive tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic and ignoring traffic signals. Such actions put the reckless driver and everyone sharing the road at risk.
Adverse weather conditions, such as rain, snow or fog, significantly increase the likelihood of accidents. Reduced visibility and slippery roads require heightened caution from drivers. Adjusting driving behavior to match the current weather conditions, including reducing speed and increasing following distances, helps prevent weather-related accidents.
Safe driving is a shared responsibility that starts with each individual behind the wheel.