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    Common Reasons for Road Accidents

    The road is a dangerous place, no matter how seasoned of a driver you are. 

    Many external factors contribute to the dangers of the road, from weather conditions to seemingly harmless distractions, driving under the influence, and other phenomena. 

    Every time you take the wheel, it is wise to have your guard up in case of any accidents. According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, there are upwards of 38,000 crash-related deaths in the United States annually. This makes road accidents the leading cause of death among inhabitants of the country aged 1 to 54. 

    In addition to this, 4.4 million individuals are hurt in road accidents every year, with injuries serious enough to require medical attention. 

    Naturally, medical fees and property damage caused by these accidents can cost you a lot of money. This is one reason why securing insurance for your vehicles—especially commercial vehicles—is something to prioritize. 

    We’ve rounded up some of the most common reasons for road accidents below to illustrate just how important it is to stay safe and secure even before these events occur.

    Why Road Accidents Usually Occur

    Of the many reasons road accidents occur, the following points enumerate the most common causes.

    Drunk Driving or Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

    Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs like marijuana, heroin, or cocaine—or even over-the-counter, prescription drugs may heighten your chances of getting into a road accident.

    Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that around thirty people perish in crashes caused by drunk driving every day. To put it simply, one person dies from a DUI crash every fifty minutes.

    Alcohol impairs brain function, such as your ability to think and reason. It also affects muscle coordination. Although there are mandated Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limits to ensure that you abide by the law, there is still a possibility that accidents will occur among individuals who have low BACs. 

    Illegal drugs may obviously impact one’s senses, but even prescription medications may be dangerous due to their adverse side effects such as drowsiness. Moreover, an individual may not know what the effect of a prescribed drug is on them until it impacts their driving abilities.

    Distracted Driving

    The smartphone is of today’s biggest distraction—this is true generally, but is especially dangerous when on the road. Many people today may think that they are fully capable of multitasking, whether this is texting or scrolling through a social media feed while driving.

    However, the more you practice this habit without facing any repercussions, the more you may put yourself at risk. Other distractions, from blasting music to eating and daydreaming, or doing any other activity while you are driving can alter your focus. 

    The problem is that these are mostly unconscious acts that may be considered harmless. However, this makes it riskier because drivers may be more comfortable with lowering their defenses. In turn, this increases the chances of an accident occurring.

    Poor Weather Conditions

    Poor weather conditions may be far beyond your control but they can, unfortunately, worsen road conditions, affecting even the most careful of drivers. Conditions such as rain can reduce visibility, cause roads to be more slippery, minimize traction, and obstruct signs or hidden hazards.

    Vehicles that have not been properly maintained are more susceptible to inclement weather-related accidents. Drivers should make sure that their tires are properly inflated or suited to changing weather conditions. It is equally important to check your windshield wipers and lights or to do regular inspections to keep the vehicle functioning as well as it should.

    Aside from the rain, more extreme weather conditions can cause debris to fly or roads to be icy. It is always best to avoid driving under these circumstances if not necessary, or to practice defensive driving if you must get on the road, since not everyone may be as cautious as you.

    Speeding

    While speed limits exist for a reason, speeding is one of the leading causes of road accidents in the US. For any number of excuses ranging from speeding out of habit to being in a hurry, or simply getting an adrenaline rush from going faster than usual, it cannot be argued that lives remain at risk in doing so.

    When a driver is speeding, the chances of them having the ability to quickly react to signals or hazards are much slimmer. In times of inclement weather, speeding becomes even more dangerous as drivers have less control over the effect of the elements on the road. 

    The force of accidents such as crashes or collisions will also be far greater when a driver is speeding, posing more risks to not only the driver of the speeding vehicle but to those around them as well.

    Frequently Asked Questions

     

    What do I do if I get into an accident with my commercial vehicle?

    We previously covered a post on ‘What to Do In The Event of a Commercial Vehicle Accident – A Checklist’ that enumerates specific steps to take in the unfortunate event that you are in a car accident. This includes immediately reaching out to authorities or medical services, and taking proper documentation for evidence to show your insurance companies. 

    How much is the average cost of a car accident? 

    The average annual cost of car accidents that happen in the US is $230.6 billion. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that accidents can cost a company roughly $66 billion. An additional $33 million may be factored in for lost work during recovery periods.

    What does commercial auto insurance cover?

    Commercial auto insurance typically covers physical damage caused by collisions, together with liabilities for property damage, bodily injury, and their ensuing medical or legal fees.

    It may also include coverage for towing, or injuries sustained from collisions with under-insured or uninsured drivers. In some cases, you may be able to add-on rental reimbursements and others to your policy.

    Additional Resources

    I Drive Safely

    I Drive Safely is an organization dedicated to encouraging safe driving. They teach defensive driving courses and have a wealth of resources on safe driving as well as auto insurance.

    Together for Safer Roads (TSR)

    TSR is another organization committed to road safety, largely influenced by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the UN General Assembly, and other governing bodies’ recommendations.

    While there is no foreseeing what exactly awaits you on the road, you can never go wrong with thinking ahead and securing yourself – and your vehicles. Check out Assured Standard for more information on commercial auto insurance and personal recommendations suited to your needs. 

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