The odds of you being in a car accident per 1,000 miles driven are one in 366. Those odds are pretty low, especially if you drive less than 1,000 miles each month, but it increases if you drive more than 1,000 miles each month. What’s even more fortunate is that out of those car crashes that do happen, the majority of them are not fatal. However, any type of accident can prove to be fatal, so it’s important to know what causes certain accidents and how they can be prevented.
#1: Rear-End Collisions
Rear-end collisions (when one vehicle strikes the back of another vehicle) are the most common type of car accident. Fortunately, this type of collision isn’t always fatal or even too damaging to the vehicles. This type of car accident, as well as many others, is also preventable. Rear-end collisions are often caused by one car following too closely behind another car (also known as tailgating), and the car in front stops suddenly.
This can also be caused by distracted driving, which can be the result of:
- Texting, or using a smartphone for other reasons, while driving
- Intoxicated driving, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Reckless driving, including speeding
#2: Cross-Traffic Collisions
Cross-traffic collisions are also known as T-bone accidents, and they usually occur at intersections. T-bone accidents are almost always caused by a negligent and reckless driver that either runs a red light or stop sign and drives into oncoming traffic. These accidents can be caused by the same things that cause rear-end collisions, and they can be prevented by obeying all traffic laws.
However, sometimes a cross-traffic collision can be caused by a faulty traffic light. Many people are unaware that if a traffic light is out, it is to be treated as if there were a four-way stop sign in its place, and not knowing this can cause a wreck to occur.
#3: Merging Accidents
Many times on a busy highway or interstate, a car needs to merge over. However, if the driver of the car doesn’t make sure that he or she has enough room to merge, they may end up clipping the front end or side of the car they’re trying to merge in front of. This type of accident can be avoided by drivers checking their blindspots to make sure that it’s safe to merge.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to check blindspots when merging, which is why you should merge when you’re certain that there are no cars in your blind spot. The good news is that many newer model cars have an alert when a car moves into your blind spot when you’re trying to merge. This may be a feature that you’ll want to look into when choosing a new car.
#4: Low-Speed Accidents
Not all car crashes happen at high speeds, and even the ones that occur at lower speeds can be damaging. This type of accident is most common in residential areas and parking lots, even by careful drivers. Low-speed accidents can involve both cars and pedestrians, so it’s important for drivers to be extra careful when backing up. Luckily, backup cameras on newer cars can help reduce the risk of this happening.
Still, low-speed accidents can be caused by reckless drivers not paying attention when they’re backing out, or by backing out too fast. If you’re involved in a low-speed accident that you didn’t cause, it still may be necessary to call an auto accident attorneys in Chicago even if there was only minor damage.
#5: Single-Vehicle Crashes
The first four car accidents involved more than one car, but accidents that only involve a single car are actually pretty common. Types of single-car crashes include:
- Hitting stationary objects
- Running off the road
- Slipping on icy or wet roads
- Swerving to miss an animal or object on the road
The key to avoiding this type of accident is to avoid intoxicated driving, take extra care when it’s raining or snowing, and to slow down (but not break too hard) when there’s an animal or object on the road.
The bottom line, everyone who drives must practice safe driving habits to avoid any type of collision. Drivers must understand all of the rules of the road, especially when it comes to unexpected circumstances, such as a traffic light not working properly. Being properly educated, staying alert, and not driving recklessly are all ways to reduce the occurence of car accidents.