Unfortunately, car accidents are a common occurrence in California on congested roads and highways and thousands of car accidents are registered each year. According to the California Highway Patrol, a total of 193,564 crashes were registered in 2017, 3,582 of which had a fatal outcome. The very same year, for instance, Riverside registered 2,119 injuries and deaths from motor vehicle accidents.
To greatly decrease the risk of such accidents and prevent injuries and fatalities, we must ensure that the roads are properly designed and in good condition but also pinpoint the most common causes of traffic accidents and figure out what we can do about them.
In this article, we’ll look more closely at what these causes are and try to encourage and motivate drivers to become better at avoiding bad road habits, and ultimately contribute to better traffic safety.
Driving While Impaired
One of the leading and deadliest causes of car accidents in California is impaired driving which is usually related to driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. In the last several years, more than one-quarter of traffic fatalities in California have occurred in alcohol-related accidents, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Driving while under the influence (DUI) or while intoxicated/impaired (DWI) are serious criminal driving offenses in all US states and if you’ve been involved in such an accident, the first step you must take is to contact a lawyer. If, for instance, you live in Riverside, CA, make sure to look up a reputable Riverside car accident lawyer to prepare you for what is to come and guide you throughout the process.
When motorists drive while impaired, drivers’ response time and their ability to focus on the road are significantly reduced, which increases the risk of a serious car accident. Impaired driving could also be the result of prescription medications and drivers must always follow their doctor’s guidelines on prescriptions and avoid operating a vehicle when advised not to.
Distracted driving is a widespread problem throughout California and although the exact number of such accidents is unknown, it’s still is a leading cause of car crashes. Technology has gotten so integrated into our lives and although it’s illegal to text, browse, or talk on the phone in California, people still use these devices while driving which has greatly increased the risk of an accident.
Distraction is not limited to the use of the phone, but activities like eating, reaching for an object, flipping the channel on the radio, and smoking can still raise the risk of a car crash. Although greatly discussed, these habits persist and many drivers still fail to recognize the associated risk of accidents.
Speeding can be defined as aggressive driving behavior and is among the top leading causes of traffic accidents in California, endangering not only the life of the driver but also other drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. For more than twenty years, it has been involved in one-third of all motor vehicle deaths and data shows that in 2019, speeding was a contributing factor in 26 % of all traffic fatalities.
When a motorist drives too fast for road conditions, especially in congested traffic, it can reduce their reaction time and increase stopping distances. It’s quite simple, since a large amount of energy is released during a crash, the higher the risk is of a severe injury or catastrophic outcome.
Tailgating ranks high on the list of most common causes of traffic accidents and is considered dangerous driving behavior. Tailgating means that a car is following another car too closely, and in some cases, the tailgater might also honk their horn, flash their car lights and make rude gestures.
Motorists are required to maintain a safe and adequate space between their vehicle and the car in front of them or otherwise they’ll lack the necessary room to brake or maneuver if a sudden hazard comes up on the road ahead, which significantly increases the risk of them slamming into another vehicle.
Knowing how to cope with a tailgater will ensure your safety on the road, as well as the safety of your passengers.
Although driving is a necessity for most Californian residents, there are many risks on the road causing thousands of car accidents every year.
Failure to obey traffic rules and irresponsible behaviors like driving while impaired, distracted driving, impulses to drive fast, and tailgating are certainly the most common causes of traffic accidents in California. Being aware of these causes can greatly reduce the risk of accidents and fatalities, and make us better and more responsible drivers.