If you’re like most people, you spend quite a bit of time driving every day. While this can be convenient and fun, it also comes with car accident risks. This means that it’s important to understand common facts about crashes so that you know what to do in the event you are in one.
Car accidents are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 1 and 34, so it’s vital that you take steps to reduce your risk of being in one.
While most car accidents are caused by human error, there are several key facts about accidents that you can learn that can make all the difference in the world.
Whether you’re a passenger or driver, these five-car accident facts are important to know as you hit the road and drive to work, school, or wherever else you need to go.
Most Crashes Are Caused By Fatigued Drivers Falling Asleep At The Wheel
It’s estimated that between 20 and 40 percent of car accidents can be attributed to tired drivers. It’s so dangerous that several states have passed laws against drowsy driving. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep if you plan on getting behind the wheel.
Then again, driving drowsy can be hard to spot. According to Medical News Today, you’re at higher risk for drowsy driving if you’ve worked irregular hours, are a shift worker, or have had fewer than seven hours of sleep per night in recent days. It also doesn’t help that many drivers overestimate their alertness while on the road.
Most Drivers In Fatal Crashes Were Intoxicated
It’s well-known that drinking and driving increase your risk of getting into a car accident. If you have an accident while drunk, your chances of dying are significantly higher than if you weren’t impaired by alcohol.
A 2015 study found that 82 percent of fatally injured drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.08 percent were at fault for their accidents. Compare that to just 15 percent of fatally injured sober drivers.
Speeding Is More Dangerous Than You Think
You might assume that speeding is less dangerous than driving under the limit. But in many cases, it’s more dangerous because you are more likely to lose control and crash. Your risk of getting into an accident doubles for every 10 miles per hour you drive over 50 MPH.
If your state has a 70 MPH speed limit on a highway, driving at 80 MPH (assuming no other factors) would make you 40% more likely to get into an accident.
When Driving At Night, Look Out For Animals
A major cause of nighttime car accidents, particularly during hunting season, is oncoming headlights—or shine—revealing a deer or other animal in your path. Make sure you can see around you by keeping your headlights on a high beam until they reflect off an oncoming vehicle.
If an animal darts into your lane, hit the brakes, and try steering clear of it rather than swerving, as this could throw you into another vehicle or cause you to lose control and crash.
The Most Deadly Type Of Accidents Are Vehicle Rollovers
Out of all car accidents, rollovers are one of the most dangerous types. According to NHTSA statistics, 54% of car accident fatalities occur each year are caused by a rollover accident.
Understanding your vehicle’s propensity for rollovers can help you avoid becoming part of these statistics by making informed decisions when driving under challenging road conditions like wet roads or hilly terrain. It’s also important to wear your seatbelt and never drive while intoxicated.
Having this knowledge will help keep you and your passengers safer on the road. Nonetheless, should you be involved in a car accident, having a highly qualified accident attorney will make all the difference.