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5 most common causes of road accidents and how to avoid them

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Road accidents are more common than you think. These accidents still make headlines amid the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic when the number of cars on the road is expected to decrease.

From January 2021 to September 2021, there were 142 traffic fatalities in Nevada, United States alone, according to the latest data collected by the state’s Department of Public Safety. On September 18, 2021, four separate deadly crashes happened in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It is estimated that 1 out of 6 people will be involved in a car crash at some point in their life. Here are the top five causes of car accidents on the road and how to avoid them:

crushed car (©Clark Van Der Beken)
crushed car (©Clark Van Der Beken)

1. Speeding

You may not think that driving over the speed limit is such a big deal but anything more than 5 or 10 miles per hour can make all the difference in the world when you’re involved in a collision and it really doesn’t take much to slow down. It isn’t just about sticking to the limits, which is obeying speed limits gets you home safely. It is also about driving smoothly and responsibly at all times of the day.

If you were speeding in Las Vegas and you got in an accident, you would have to contact a Las Vegas rear-end collision lawyer to see what the aftermath of the accident that you caused will be like. Speeding is very dangerous, especially if you’re tired or distracted because your reaction time will be much slower than usual, and it is one of the main reasons accidents occur in highly euphoric places such as Las Vegas. 

How to avoid: Drive smoothly and don’t speed. If you feel tired, take a break. Be sure to check your surroundings at all times and don’t switch lanes unless you’re sure that the person you’re passing won’t speed. 

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2. Not using seat belts

Seat belts are designed to keep you safe so everyone in the car must wear one when they’re on the road no matter how short the journey is. It can seem like a hassle putting your belt on but it’s not as difficult as you might think.

There are lots of guides online that will show you exactly what to do. You never know when an accident or mishap might happen so always make sure you’ve got yours on whenever you turn the engine on.

How to avoid: Everyone must wear his or her seatbelt at all times when in a moving vehicle. Don’t turn off the seatbelt sensors and alarms just because you don’t want to wear it. 

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3. Drinking and driving

Alcohol is very dangerous on the roads but even more so when you mix it with driving. Ever since breathalyzers were invented, lives have been saved by simply having to breathe into them before getting behind the wheel. A blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher can seriously impair your judgment while driving on the road and crash risk increases exponentially after every drink you take. 

How to avoid: Always have a designated driver or take a taxi home after a night out. Give one of your family members or a friend the key to your car at the beginning of the evening when you start drinking so that you don’t feel tempted to go home with your car. 

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4. Driving under the influence of drugs

Drugs are just as dangerous as alcohol when driving so it’s very important to avoid them altogether if you’re going to be driving the next day. Illegal drugs, prescription medication, over-the-counter medicine and all kinds of drugs can make you drowsy and unable to concentrate on the road, which can result in an accident really easily. Your reflexes will also be impaired leaving you open to injuries from whatever else is happening on the roads at the time.

How to avoid: Never drive under the influence of drugs. If you can’t control yourself while influenced, assign someone to take care of you and keep the keys to the car away from you. 

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5. Not paying attention to the road

It does not take much to stay safe on the road by paying attention and only looking at what you’re supposed to while driving, which are other vehicles and pedestrians. If you’re trying to reach for something in the glovebox or changing the radio station, you will inevitably not be paying as much attention as necessary, which leaves you open to mishaps happening around your car. 

How to avoid: Stop driving if you have to do something that will distract you. Otherwise, forget about the distraction and keep your eyes on the road while driving.

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Road safety is really important and it always pays to be safe before you’re sorry. The most common causes of road accidents are speeding, not wearing seat belts, driving under the influence of drink or drugs, driving while being influenced by medicine or illegal substances and not paying attention when on the roads. Hopefully, these tips will help you stay safe in your car for years to come.

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