1.35 million people in the world die in car crashes every year. On average, that’s 3,700 people on a daily basis. Then there are the people who suffer serious injuries that lead to long-lasting disability—ranging between 20 and 50 million. Among young people aged between 5 and 29, the leading cause of death is road accidents.
In the United States in particular, fatal road accidents have crossed 40,000 deaths caused for three straight years.
The question remains: when there are traffic rules in place, and when the country manufactures safe cars, why do so many car crashes occur?
The answer lies in human error.
Leading Kinds of Accidents
Often, when people are behind the wheel, they seem to forget that they’re still around people, that they’re driving a metal machine that can injure people, and that they themselves can get hurt. Something about being inside a car makes them relaxed—and that’s the first mistake most people make.
Among the many kinds of road accidents that occur, the most common are:
- Read end collisions: When one car rams into another from behind
- Individual collisions: When a car rams into something immobile
- Over speeding: Speed thrills, but kills—enough said?
- Under speeding: Staying in the fast lane or on a highway at low speeds can also lead to accidents
- Alcohol: Driving under the influence is a terrible idea, and is particularly popular in Texas
- Distracted driving: When the driver is distracted (usually talking or using a phone) and fails to brake
- No respect for traffic rules: Rules such as the 3–4 second rule, indicating, and others exist for a reason. Ignoring them often results in crashes.
- Ignoring the seatbelt: Seat belts save lives; wear yours!
- Intersection mishaps: Intersections can be particularly tricky, and if a driver isn’t careful, a collision is inevitable
Defensive Driving—and Why it Matters
Defensive driving keeps you, and others on the road, safe. Don’t forget that there are fines and jail terms if you end up injuring another person on the road. In fact, in 2019, Texas made sentencing for hit-and-run car accidents harsher.
Never forget these tips, no matter how great a driver you happen to be:
- Always stay alert.
- Keep track of your surroundings. Always look multiple cars ahead, and gauge the situation on the road.
- Never depend on other drivers or pedestrians to drive safe.
- Don’t give in to the desire to speed.
- Keep your distance.
- Makes sure the car is in apple pie order before taking it out. Check the brakes, the wheels, the alignment—everything.
- Get rid of all distractions—especially the phone.