Common Types of Car Accidents (and How to Reduce Your Road Risk)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017, 6:00 PM | Leave Comment

By and large, most automobile accidents are preventable because their primary cause is driver distraction.

If you keep your attention focused on driving your car every second it is in motion you could well go through your entire driving career accident free.

Of course, this is assuming every other driver on the road does the same.

Sadly, this is highly unlikely, so here are some common types of car accidents and how to reduce your road risk to avoid them.

  • Rear-End Collisions

    According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, fully 29 percent of all incidents involve one car hitting another one from the rear.

    The same source also found in nearly every case, the driver of the offending vehicle had their attention focused elsewhere when their car came into contact with the other vehicle.

    In fact, 64 percent of these people weren’t even looking at the road at the moment of impact. That phone call can wait. Ditto that “urgent” text message asking, “Where you at?” Changing radio stations, yelling at the kids, applying makeup and eating figure prominently in these types of accidents as well.

  • Side Impacts

    In most cases, side impact crashes happen because somebody ran a stop sign, yield sign or a red light. Speeding contributes to these as well. When you’re exceeding the speed limit and a traffic signal changes suddenly, you’ll have less time to stop. This means you’re likely to hit another driver who just got a green signal.

    This risk brings up another point: When a traffic signal changes from red to green, wait a beat before you move your car to confirm the drivers who got red lights stopped. Sometimes one of them won’t.

  • Colliding with Parked Cars

    We know of one young driver who hit a parked car and rear-ended another car, both within the same week. The second accident happened in the rental she got after the first accident. And yes, her car insurance comparison quotes for the following year were higher.

    Again though, this comes down to driver attentiveness. Always look around before you set your car into motion, particularly when reversing.

    Be careful to leave yourself plenty of room to get out of a parking space when it’s time to depart.

    If you had to wedge your car into the space, other drivers are going to have squeeze out of adjoining spaces and could hit your car out of spite (hey, it happens).

    While backup cameras are a real boon, they don’t show everything around you. It’s still important to turn your head and observe your surroundings before you move your car.

  • Skidding & Hydroplaning

    When the roads are wet and/or icy, you must change your driving style to accommodate them.

    Too many drivers go rushing into poor conditions without thinking about what they’ll need to do if traffic suddenly slows or they hit a puddle of water too deep for their tires to penetrate and maintain contact with the road’s surface.

    The best way to avoid these types of accidents is to slow down—period. Your car needs more time to deal with situations such as these and when you insist upon traveling at high speeds through inclement conditions you minimize the car’s ability to help you out.

  • Striking Wildlife

    Deer, moose, wild turkeys and other creatures cross the road where it is most convenient for them. They’re not going to go to the corner, wait on the curb for the light to change and stay in the crosswalk. Therefore, you have to be on the alert for them.

    Hitting a deer can both kill an innocent creature and inflict serious damage upon your vehicle.

    Broken windshields, heavily dented fenders and doors as well as injury to yourself and your passengers can result from hitting an animal. Stay alert when you’re in a known wildlife area. Always stop when you see deer at the side of the road. If one bounds across the street in front of your car, stop and wait. These animals almost always travel in pairs and the second one will be along very soon.

Awareness of these common types of car accidents and how to reduce your road risk could well save your life—or another’s. Drive your car—don’t let your car drive you. Always keep your attention focused on the road.

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