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What are the leading causes of car accidents?

Texting while driving has become a hot button issue lately, and for good reason: distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents. In fact, the National Safety Council reports that texting and talking on cell phones is the reason for 25 percent of car crashes. Moreover, drivers are becoming increasingly distracted by technological devices in automobiles such as GPS systems. Even tuning that old fashioned radio can also be perilous.

Multi-tasking While Driving

Many people mistakenly believe that they can multi-task while driving, however, medical studies show that the human brain is incapable of performing two important tasks as the same time. In fact, the brain can really only handle one task at a time. By switching back and forth between competing tasks, each cannot be performed adequately. Based on these studies, the NSC points out that texting or checking a GPS system interferes with a driver’s ability to perceive and respond to hazards, whether from other vehicles or road conditions.

Other Driver Errors

In addition to the perils of distracted driving, there are a number of other driver errors that lead to accidents. Obviously, driving under the influence continues to be a bad decision drivers are making in spite of laws prohibiting this behavior. It is well known that driving while intoxicated decreases reaction times and leads to reduced vision and depth perception. Nonetheless, the National Highway Safety Administration reports that alcohol is involved in 40 percent of car accident deaths. Another danger on the road is fatigued drivers who not only have slower reaction times but are also more likely to fall asleep at the wheel than rested drivers. Last but not least, speeding frequently causes accidents, particularly among young drivers whose inexperience makes them less capable of handling hazards.

The Takeaway

In the end, car accidents just don’t happen, rather, they are often caused by driver mistakes. Texting, driving under the influence, disobeying traffic laws, or being fatigued causes accidents that can lead to devastating injuries and even death. One would think that the roads are becoming safer, but it was recently reported that traffic fatalities have been rising over the last few years. While there are laws that prohibit distracted driving and other bad behaviors, accident victims also have the power to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.