Main causes of serious and fatal road accidents

Fatigue and drowsiness often affect long-distance and night drivers.

What you need to know:

  • Pedestrians, cyclists, and other non-driving road users can cause accidents.
  • Alertness helps you to not only be in control of your vehicle but also to anticipate the actions of other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.
  • Drunk drivers are also more likely to take risks on the roads by speeding and disregarding traffic rules.

Oftentimes, accidents are just that, accidents. There isn’t much you can do if a tire bursts or brakes fail.

However, accidents are also caused by conditions that can be prevented if all road users were keen and mindful.

Here are the top causes of preventable car accidents:

  • Distracted driving

Asked to guess, most people would say speeding or drunk driving are the main cause of motor accidents. While those are the leading causes in selected areas, distracted driving is the main cause of accidents worldwide. The numbers are quite high in developed countries such as the US and UK.

The driver can be distracted by the phone or conversing with a passenger. Other times, the distraction could be from something outside the car. It could be something as mundane as a billboard, or a biker doing stunts on the road.

  • Speeding

Government agencies, driving school instructors, and other stakeholders always warn that “speed kills”. But many drivers ignore this warning, overconfident that they are too experienced.

Speed limits are set to allow you to assess the state of the road and communicate with other road users. If you are speeding in a residential area, near a school, or in places with high traffic, a small error or loss of control could lead to many casualties and serious damage to the cars involved.

Such recklessness is common and speeding has been recorded as one of the main causes of car accidents in the world.

  • Drunk driving

Keeping yourself and others safe on the road requires a high level of attentiveness. You need to be able to control your car and also react to unexpected occurrences fast. Alcohol inhibits that sharpness. It makes it hard to notice and react to the actions of other roads users and also hinders your ability to control the car properly.

Drunk drivers are also more likely to take risks on the roads by speeding and disregarding traffic rules.

It is, therefore, no surprise that drunk driving causes a high number of accidents that lead to serious injuries and death.

  • Fatigue and drowsiness

Fatigue and drowsiness impair the driver’s ability to concentrate on the road and respond to various situations. Extreme fatigue can cause the driver to sleep on the wheel.

Although drowsiness is often a symptom of fatigue, it can also be caused by illnesses or some medications.

Fatigue and drowsiness often affect long-distance and night drivers. Take a rest, a nap, or get the necessary medical attention if you feel drowsy or fatigued while on the wheel.

  • Mistakes by other road users

Not all accidents are caused by drivers. Pedestrians, cyclists, and other non-driving road users can cause accidents. This often happens when the road user disregards traffic rules on crossing the road or is not attentive.

In trying to prevent an accident, the driver may veer off the road and hit other road users. This may also confuse other drivers leading to a pile-up accident.

Some pedestrians, especially children, may not be literate about road usage. Such road users should be accompanied by someone that can direct them appropriately.

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