Car accidents are one of the leading causes of injury in the United States. Texas in particular, with its huge land area and large population, has its share of crashes. However, you don’t have to be a statistic yourself. By understanding the most common causes of car accidents, you can help keep yourself safe. Here’s what you need to know.
Distracted driving is one of the greatest causes of crashes in Texas, accounting for more than 10,000 crashes each year. This type of accident is also among the most preventable. By putting down the cell phone, keeping your eyes on the road, and avoiding multi-tasking, you can dramatically decrease your likelihood of being in an accident. Even if it’s another driver who isn’t paying attention, your focus can often allow you to see trouble coming and get out of the way.
Perhaps to nobody’s surprise, alcohol is another major cause of car accidents in Texas. Drunk driving collisions – with cars or other objects, such as trees – accounted for 14,000 yearly accidents in the state. Like distracted driving accidents, drunk driving accidents are entirely preventable. Choose a designated driver, call a cab, call a friend, or take away a person’s keys; but do whatever you have to in order to keep an inebriated person from getting behind the wheel.
Excessive speed in another major cause of car crashes. Going fast is fun, and the Texas highways beckon thrill-seekers, but it’s just not worth the cost. Excessive speed multiplies the forces involved in any collision, and makes high-speed crashes the most likely to cause fatalities. The thrill of driving a fast car isn’t worth your life; follow posted limits and get your thrills elsewhere, such as riding roller-coasters or taking in a scary movie.
Failure to Yield
Failure to yield is a top cause of crashes in Texas. Drivers expect other drivers to behave a certain way at traffic lights, stop signs, and other road signals. When that doesn’t happen, collisions are often the result. You can keep yourself safe by following road rules. Allow the right-of-way to those who legally have it; stay alert for those who may not be following standard protocol; and obey all rules of the road.
A final contributing factor to car accidents in the Lone Star State is road rage, especially in large cities like Dallas. Road rage often overrides logical thinking, making “punishing” another driver more important than your own personal safety. If another driver makes you angry, take a deep breath, remember the people who love you and are counting on you to get home safely, and just let the other car go.