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75 Mistakes that Can Cause Car Accidents

Photo by: ~W~

It’s a known fact that car accidents occur every day. In fact, flying has always been traditionally known as the safer mode of transportation over driving a vehicle. While you may have never been in an accident yourself, there are a lot of errors that could be made to cause one. Let’s look at 75 mistakes that are known to cause accidents.

Car Maintenance

Car maintenance issues have long been known to cause accidents on the road. Here are some issues you could run into on the road based on maintenance problems.

1. Bad wipers: Windshield wipers seem like such a trivial item on your vehicle, but if they don’t function properly or are too old, they could make it impossible to see on the road.

2. Low tires: If you have one tire that is lower than others, you are more susceptible to a blow-out, which can make you lose control of the vehicle.

3. Bald tires: In rain, snow and ice, tires that no longer have tread are more likely to slide uncontrollably.

4. Bad alignment: It’s important to always ensure that your car’s alignment is correct. Failure to do so could result in the car veering out of your lane.

5. Failing brakes: Whether your brake pads are worn down or your brakes are leaking fluid, failure to have them repaired could mean an inability to stop your vehicle.

6. Oil changes: As you probably know, when an engine runs out of oil, it shuts down. This is why it’s important to have your oil changed regularly and to ensure there are no leaks in the engine.

7. Failing alternator: A failing alternator drains your battery and can sometimes cause vehicle shutdowns while out and about. That’s why a battery light should always equal mechanic visit.

8. Headlight and taillight outages: When bulbs in your headlights or taillights burn out, drivers at night often cannot see your vehicle head on or from the back.

9. Brake light outages: If your brake lights burn out, drivers cannot tell whether you’re braking and could run into you from the back.

10. Turn signal outages: It’s important to always replace your turn signal bulbs since they inform drivers in front and behind you of lane switches and full turns.

11. Snow tires: If you know you’ll be traveling in a snowy area, have your car fitted with snow tires or chains to avoid getting stuck in snow or sliding into other cars.

12. Other maintenance issues: There are a number of additional issues that could cause your car to stall or lose control on the road, which is why regular car maintenance is crucial to a safe driving experience.

Distractions

13. Yelling at the kids: Turning around to tell your child to sit down could easily result in a dangerous crash.

14. Applying makeup: Taking a few seconds to apply lipstick in the rearview mirror could result in an unexpected fender bender.

15. Drinking coffee: You might think that taking the sip of espresso on the way to work won’t hurt, but if a little spills on your pants, that brief distraction could result in an accident.

16. Eating a meal: Unwrapping your burger or trying to apply ketchup can easily distract you. If you’re not careful, it could cause an accident.

17. Reaching into your glove compartment: The few seconds it takes to reach over and open your glove compartment is enough to lose sight of the road..

18. Talking on the phone: It’s easy to lose focus when on the phone, even when staring at the road, which is why experts suggest pulling over to make a call.

19. Staring at an accident: Accidents are definitely attention-grabbing experiences, but if you’re not careful, the next accident everyone gawks at will be your own.

20. Texting a buddy: In order to text someone, you have to remove your eyes from the road, making it a no brainer that this activity can cause an accident.

21. Switching CDs: Switching CDs requires that you switch your focus and even drive with one hand, making it difficult to drive defensively when necessary.

22. Changing the radio station: Switching radio stations may seem harmless, but this quick movement can distract you enough to miss the car that has swerved in front of you.

23. Music volume: The volume of your radio can serve as a huge distraction on the road, which is why many cars automatically turn the volume down when you slow your vehicle.

24. TVs operating in the back: If your kids are watching TVs in the back of the car, it’s important to keep your attention on the road, no matter how tempted you are to listen.

25. Adjusting your seat: Making seat adjustments while in route could easily result in an inability to accelerate or brake properly.

26. Flirting with pedestrians: Believe it or not, a high number of accidents are caused by guys flirting with pretty ladies walking down the street!

Driving Behavior

Aside from being distracted while on the road, sometimes your lack of basic driving skills can cause accidents if you’re not careful.

27. Not coming to a complete stop: Stop signs require that you complete brake the vehicle. If you don’t, a person with the right of way could bolt out and hit you before you know it.

28. Failure to yield: As with coming to a complete stop, if you see a yield sign, it’s important to slow and look both ways. Failure to do so could result in an unexpected crash.

29. Failure to signal: Signaling when switching lanes or making a turn is critical in safe driving as it communicates your movements on the road to other drivers.

30. Driving while medicated: If you take medication that warns of drowsiness, absolutely do not get behind the wheel.

31. Ignoring blind spots: When it comes to blind spots, looking through your mirrors just isn’t enough. Take time to turn your head and look past the blind spot to avoid running into a car next to you.

32. Forgetting to adjust your mirrors: Mirror adjustments are crucial to safe driving as they ensure you can see most of the vehicles around you while behind the wheel.

33. Misjudging parallel parking: Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether your car can fit into a spot when parallel parking. If you’re not certain, ask for help or simply find a new spot.

34. Trailing other vehicles too closely: Riding too closely to another vehicle is a recipe for disaster. Try to always remain several car lengths behind other cars to make sure you have time to brake.

35. Road rage: Getting angry over the actions of other drivers is never a good idea. But taking the actions to the level of arguing or trailing drivers increases your chances of an accident.

36. Driving while sleepy: If you need to travel at night, it’s good to take a nap before driving. But if you must travel, drink plenty of coffee, call a friend and pull over if you find you’re too sleepy to drive.

37. Improper use of emergency brakes: If you’ve parked on a steep hill, it’s important to use your emergency brake so that your car won’t roll backwards or forwards into other cars.

38. Ignoring changes in roadway surfaces: Sometimes roadway surfaces can switch from smooth to bumpy in an instant. Be sure to slow down appropriately if you notice a sudden change.

39. Not paying attention to road signs: Road signs are meant to give you instructions while behind the wheel. Not paying attention to them increases the odds of you colliding with someone or something.

40. Driving while intoxicated: You already know that driving while intoxicated is one of the biggest causes of accidents. So if you’re thinking of doing it, remember this one word: Don’t.

41. Not looking both ways, even on green: When crossing an intersection, it’s important to look both ways to anticipate cars that sometimes jump out unexpectedly.

42. Failure to use brights in dark areas: It’s critical that you turn on your bright headlights in areas where no other lights are present. Animals or people could run onto the road and it’s easier to see them with the extra lights.

43. Failure to turn off brights when cars are approaching: If an oncoming vehicle is headed your way, it’s just as important to turn off your brights as they could block the other driver’s view of the road.

44. Not watching for pedestrians in crosswalks: Making right turns can be dangerous, especially if you don’t look carefully to see if a pedestrian who has the right-of-way is attempting to cross.

45. Ignoring school buses and emergency vehicles: Drivers are required to stop for school buses and pull over for emergency vehicles. Ignoring either rule could cause problems on the road.

46. Improper use of hazard lights: If you must pull over to the shoulder or are sitting in a stalled vehicle in the middle of the road, turn on your hazard lights to alert drivers that you cannot move your car.

47. Not keeping an eye out for animals: If an area is aware of wild animal crossings, signs are normally posted. Pay close attention to these signs to avoid hitting an animal that wanders onto the road.

Natural Disasters

While it’s impossible to control the weather, we can control our reaction to various natural events. Here are some common mistakes made during bad weather.

48. Driving too fast in rain: Many drivers forget that cars can hydroplane at 30 mph causing the car to slide. When the roads are wet, it’s important to slow down.

49. Ignoring windy days: Some think that wind doesn’t affect cars, but in actuality, wind can push heavy cars into other lanes unexpectedly.

50. Misjudging sleet and freezing rain: Sleet and freezing rain can easily look like a mere wet spot. But these patches are as slick as ice and can spin a car out of control in seconds.

51. Traveling on unplowed roads: If a road you plan to travel on has not been slow-plowed, avoid it to prevent getting stuck or sliding into parked cars.

52. Driving through large puddles: Puddles that look shallow are difficult to judge and driving through one could cause your car to stall, resulting in you being rear-ended by another vehicle.

53. Incomplete snow removal: When clearing snow and ice from your car, be sure to get it all from the roof and hood so it doesn’t slide onto your windows and block your view.

54. Not pulling over in bad weather: Sometimes heavy snow or rain blocks your view of the road. If you can no longer see the lanes or cars around you, now’s the time to slow down and carefully pull over.

55. Driving in fog: If you know that you’re facing a foggy drive, it’s good to wait until it lifts. But if you’re already driving, slow down (and pull over if you can) then wait until the fog lifts.

56. Failing rocks: If you’re driving through the mountains, you could encounter failing rocks, so be on the lookout for these natural occurrences that are tough to avoid.

57. Not slowing on wet bridges: Very often, you’ll see signs on bridges that read “Bridge freezes when wet.” Be sure to slow down if you’re traveling over a bridge in cold weather to avoid sliding.

58. Driving near downed wires: After a severe storm, sometimes electrical wires may be laying in the road. Failure to properly avoid these wires while being aware of traffic could result in a crash.

59. Ignoring weather reports: Meteorologists very often warn drivers to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary. Heed these warnings to avoid major accidents.

Poor Road Design and Maintenance

Often times, the mistakes we encounter that cause accidents are not our own. Poor road designs and maintenance can also create dangerous conditions.

60. Malfunctioning traffic control devices: Power outages sometimes cause street lights to stop operating. In these instances, pay close attention to signs and officers directing traffic.

61. Potholes: A major cause of tire blowouts and loss of control at the wheel are moderate to deep potholes.

62. Confusing intersections: Some intersections are poorly designed with streetlights placed in odd positions that could leave drivers confused.

63. Insufficient guardrails: It’s well-known that some parts of the country lack guardrails, making drivers nervous. If traveling in these areas, careful and defensive driving is a must.

64. Road construction: Sometimes road construction can take your car on a number of unexpected detours. Pay close attention to signs to ensure you’re as safe as possible.

65. Malfunctioning railroad crossings: It’s not too much to assume that railroad crossings may not always function properly. To ensure you aren’t the victim of this unusual error, be sure to look both ways before crossing railroad tracks.

66. Traffic flow: Two-lane roads often create traffic congestion that lead to bender fenders and head-on collisions. When traveling on these roads, it’s important to turn up your defensive driving skills.

67. Mismanaged roadway identification signs: Sometimes a previous accident or mischievous teens can affect road signs that can cause wrong turns and subsequent accidents.

Miscellaneous Issues

A few other issues not covered in other sections include:

68. Failing GPS: We’ve grown reliant on GPS systems, but sometimes they can give us the wrong directions. So always keep back up directions to avoid wrong turns that could lead to collisions.

69. Red light cameras: Red light cameras have increased anxiety in drivers who don’t want tickets. This is why it’s good to keep a safe distance from drivers who might brake suddenly at yellow lights.

70. Not properly securing car seats: If you fail to secure your child’s car seat, he or she might crawl out, forcing you to quickly turn around and increasing your chances of losing control of the car.

71. Forgetting to properly defrost the car: When you leave in the morning, it’s important to defrost the car fully to maintain clear views from all windows when driving.

72. Having an active animal in the vehicle: If you have a dog or cat in your car, be sure to train them to sit still so that sudden movements won’t startle you into losing control of the car.

73. Police pullovers: When a police officer has a car pulled over, he often sits out a little in the road. Be sure to carefully pull into the next lane to avoid hitting the police car or officer.

74. Stalled vehicles: If you see a stalled vehicle in the road or on the shoulder, slow down and keep a safe distance to avoid an accident from that or another car.

75. Unexpected objects in the road: Sometimes objects fall from trucks or other cars that you could easily drive into. Always remain alert when driving to carefully and safely avoid those objects—or other cars while moving from the objects.

Posted by stacey | in Infographic | No Comments »

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