Each year over 6.5 million car accidents happen in the United States. These crashes result in 2.75 million injuries and 34,000 deaths every year (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Besides the threat to your safety, causing or being in a car accident can raise your insurance costs. While accidents are unexpected, experts agree some things increase your risk of a car crash.

Drinking and Driving

Drinking and driving increases your risk of having a wreck by 575% (NHTSA). Alcohol is involved in nearly 30% of all traffic deaths (NHTSA).

Distracted Driving

Many things can distract you from driving, such as using mobile devices, playing with the car stereo, and reaching around in your car for items. These are three of the most common activities that raise your chances of a crash. Also, being tired, angry, or stressed can cause driving errors that can lead to a wreck (PNAS).

 

Driving at Night

Driving when it is dark can be more dangerous. Not only can it be harder for you to see but other drivers are more likely to be tired or paying less attention too. Nearly half of all traffic deaths happen at night even though there may be less traffic (Safer America).

Aggressive Driving

Driving too fast makes you less able to brake safely or steer out of trouble. It also causes more deaths from driving. About 1 in 4 deadly accidents are because of speeding. In addition to speeding, other aggressive driving, like tailgating and unsafe passing, can also cause wrecks (NHTSA).

 

Poor Car Maintenance

Driving with worn tires, failing brakes, and broken or missing headlamps or brake lights increases your risk of an accident (Edmunds).

Always Driving in the “Fast Lane”

Driving in the far-left lane of highways, rather than using them only for passing, is linked to more accidents. Staying in the left lane blocks escape routes when other vehicles lose control. It also increases your chance of getting a speeding ticket (Edmunds).

Bottom Line

While we can’t always avoid risk when driving, a lot of safe driving is just common sense. Look down the road ahead for danger, don’t drink and drive, stay in the speed limit, and pay attention. Stay safe out there!

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