Top Five Causes of Road Accidents and How to Prevent Them

At Waterdown Collision, we are happy to help our customers restore their vehicles after an accident. But we’d rather you didn’t get in an accident at all. Car accidents can happen for a number of reasons, but we’ve identified the top five causes of road accidents here – along with some tips on how to prevent them.

1. Distracted Driving

Probably the number one cause of serious accidents is distracted driving. When a driver is fully alert and paying attention to the road, they might still get in an accident, but it is often less severe because they have more time to react. Talking or texting on a cell phone is a frequent cause of distracted driving but anything that diverts your attention from the road can lead to an accident.

If you can’t resist the buzzing of your cell phone, turn it off or set it to do not disturb while you are driving – better yet, keep it out of sight. A text or call may seem important, but it is never worth risking serious injury or worse.

2. Shooting Gaps

Some drivers, when they feel that traffic is not moving quickly enough for them, may feel tempted to speed things by darting into traffic when they are merging, changing lanes or making a left turn. This is referred to as shooting gaps.

The problem is, it doesn’t give other drivers enough time to react and it can result in a crash. The best way to avoid this is to remember your old driver’s ed course and merge and make left turns properly.

3. Going too Fast

When an accident happens because of speeding, it is usually much worse than it would have been if everyone was following the speed limit. But accidents involving too much speed don’t always happen because someone broke the speed limit. Driving too fast for weather conditions can also lead to accidents.

Remember, even if you’re in a hurry, it won’t matter if you’re in an accident. Obey posted speed limits and slow down even more when the conditions require it.

4. Cutting it too Close at Traffic Lights

One common area for serious car accidents is intersections with traffic lights. Accidents can happen at these intersections when one car rear-ends another going in the same direction or when one car T-bones another crossing its path.

The cause of such traffic accidents is often stopping suddenly at a yellow light or trying to rush through a light before it turns red.

To avoid accidents at traffic lights, you should always drive defensively. Never slam on your brakes at a yellow but instead, make sure there is enough room for you – and the car behind you to stop. If there isn’t, continue through. Also, never speed up to make it through an intersection.

5. Following too Closely

One of the most common causes of rear-end collisions is following too closely behind another vehicle. If the car in front of you comes to a sudden stop, you need to make sure that you have room to safely stop as well.

The faster that traffic is moving, the more room you will need to stop.

Remember, keep safety as your number one priority when you are on the road. Doing so will not only help preserve your vehicle, but it may even save a life.

Check out some of our other blogs on safe driving.