It is hard to precisely identify exactly what causes a motor vehicle accident. This is because they happen all the time and under such varying circumstances. There are so many moving parts in any individual accident -- the speed of the vehicles, the setting of the crash, the mindset of the drivers involved, the time of day, the weather -- that pointing to any single factor does a disservice to the idea of fully investigating a crash.
That is why it is important to understand the many different common factors in car accidents.
- At red lights, always fully stop before making a turn. Many drivers will "roll" through the red light once they know they are clear to the left and just turn. This means you could miss a pedestrian that is walking to your right.
- Before driving, make sure you have had enough sleep. During your drive, if you start to feel sleepy or fatigued, pull over and take a nap to make sure you don't fall asleep at the wheel. Fatigued driving causes many serious motor vehicle accidents every year.
- Give your fellow vehicles out on the road the space they need to safely travel. If you tailgate the vehicle in front of you, it greatly increases your chances of causing a rear-end accident -- a completely avoidable wreck.
- And, of course, never use your cellphone while driving. It only makes it more difficult for you to focus on the road in front of you.
Source: Slate, "Anatomy of a Car Crash," Steve Casner, Nov. 21, 2017