7 causes traffic accidents

The Facts of the Road: What Are the Top 7 Causes of Traffic Accidents?

Each year, thousands of traffic accidents occur that cause serious injuries and claim lives. Not all traffic accidents ends in serious harm, but it is a common feature of the roadways. Human error is one of the main causes of traffic accidents because of unsafe driving habits. Here are seven top causes of traffic accidents.

1. Speeding

Speeding is a significant cause of car accidents annually. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2016, speeding killed 10,111 people, accounting for more than a quarter (27%) of all traffic fatalities that year, and for over two decades, speeding has been involved in roughly one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities

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2. Drunk Driving

Even a small amount of alcohol can impair judgment and cognitive abilities to drive, and each year, drunk-driving crashes claim more than 10,000 lives per year. Based on NHTSA statistics, each day, approximately 29 people in the United States die in alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes in 2016, amounting to one person every 50 minutes, and there were 10,497 deaths that year related to alcohol-impaired driving.

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3. Distractions

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the U.S., roughly 9 people are killed every day in car crashes that are related to distracted driving, while more than 1,000 injured; in 2015, 3,477 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, while 391,000 people were injured. Common distractions that divert a driver's attention from focusing on driving include tasks such as talking on cell phones, texting, eating and adjusting radio/climate controls. Texting and driving accident statistics has led to policy creating in some state to deter the practice.

5. Weather

Weather related traffic accidents can occur while driving under adverse conditions including, fog, hail, rain and snow. Driving in bad weather increases the risk of an accident because it’s dangerous. Approximately 21% of yearly traffic accidents are weather-related, and between 2007 and 2016, on average, roughly 5,000 people are killed and over 418,000 people are injured in weather-related crashes each year, according to one source.

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6. Running the Red Light

Running the red light is another top reason for traffic accidents. Based on data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), in 2016, 811 people were killed in crashes that involved red light running, including pedestrians, bicyclists and people in other vehicles who were hit by the red light runners, while in the previous year, approximately 137,000 people were injured in red light running crashes.

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7. Driver Fatigue

It is risky, if not dangerous business to drive while experiencing fatigue. It may seem innocent enough, but driving while tired is proven to be deadly. One source found that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported in 2017 that driver drowsiness was involved in 1.4% of all police-reported crashes, 2% of crashes resulting in injuries and 2.4% that resulted in death from 2011 to 2015.

Car accidents continue to injure and kill thousands of people each year. It is a serious problem based on the statistical findings. Drivers have a responsibility to practice safe driving habits and should strive to make the roadways a little safer themselves and everyone else.

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