people on car accident talking to their phones

Six Common Causes of Car Crashes

According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in Australia, fatalities from road accidents have decreased by 14.7% in the past decade. That’s great news, especially since there are now more vehicles on the road than ever before.

Unfortunately, this data doesn’t mean that Australian roads are 100% safe. Hundreds of road accidents happen every day, for many reasons. Some of these reasons are the following:

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is a major traffic violation. When you drive above the speeding limit, change lanes without looking, tailgate and ignore road signs, among other thoughtless actions, you are driving recklessly.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving happens when you drive while your attention is somewhere else. Examples of distracted driving include activities such as eating and drinking, texting, answering a call and talking with people inside the vehicle, among others.

There are three main types of distraction, namely manual, visual and cognitive. Manual distractions make you take your hands off the wheel, visual distractions occur when you take your eyes off the road and cognitive distractions take your mind off of driving. Texting involves all three of these distractions.

Driving Under the Influence

Whether it’s because of alcohol, recreational drugs or even some prescription drugs, driving under the influence – especially driving while drunk – is extremely dangerous and is responsible for approximately 30% of fatal auto crashes in Australia.

Alcohol bears a significant impact on your driving ability. Even a blood alcohol level (BAC) as low as 0.04 can affect your coordination, muscle control, reflexes, and mood. A few more drinks and even your eyesight can become impaired, resulting in blurred vision, reduced light sensitivity, and tunnel vision.

Driver Fatigue

Driving while extremely tired is just as dangerous as driving under the influence. When you are fatigued, your ability to drive and to think are both impaired. Your reaction times and decision-making abilities are affected. You may even fall into periods of microsleep – brief episodes during which you involuntarily fall asleep for a few seconds – which could result in a serious accident.

Weather

car in front of another car's blurred window

The weather can greatly affect your driving, as well as the road conditions. When it is raining, for example, your tires may lose their grip and slide along on the wet road. Dense fog can interfere with your vision. The weather is out of your control, though, so when faced with inclement weather while driving, you should be extra careful. If you can, pull over in a safe place until the weather clears.

Animals

Animals have no knowledge of and no concern for road rules. When an animal is on the road, you may swerve to avoid it and cause an accident. Large animals such as deer may cross the road at high speeds and run right at your vehicle, resulting in injuries.

Though the causes of car crashes can vary, the consequences are often the same. They can result in everything from property and vehicular damage to traumatic – even fatal – injuries. However, it is important to know the exact reason so that your car accident lawyer can present your case properly and help you recover any losses.