Anyone can be involved in a car accident, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself. If you’re trying to minimise the risk that comes with being a regular road user, leaning about the most common causes of car accidents is a great place to start.
Minor distractions may not seem all that dangerous, but operating a vehicle without paying attention to your surroundings is just as risky as driving drunk or speeding. Things can go wrong in an instant on the road, and losing focus for a split second can have devastating consequences.
Don’t allow these common distractions to break your focus:
- Using your mobile phone
- Looking at objects outside the vehicle
- Applying makeup
- Turning around to speak with passengers in the backseat.
If you’re guilty of doing any of the above (and let’s face it, most of us are), it’s never too late to break these bad habits. Learning to resist distractions can take some practice, but doing so will significantly reduce your chances of being involved in a car accident.
Speed is one of the leading causes of car accidents in Australia (according to insurance provider Allianz, speed is a factor in a third of all crashes on Australian roads). Despite the ever-present danger of causing an accident (not to mention the increased risk of receiving a heavy fine or licence suspension) many drivers choose to ignore the speed limit.
No matter how great a driver you are, speed kills, and driving too fast is an easy way to cause a car accident. The faster you drive, the slower your reaction time will be. Going just 10 kilometres/hour above the speed limit can mean the difference between avoiding an accident and winding up with serious injuries, a hefty repair bill and dangerous driving charges.
When you consume large quantities of alcohol, you lose the ability to concentrate properly. Even a small amount of alcohol can have a big impact on your body – everything from your vision to your reaction time can cease to function properly for hours at a time. Impairing your bodily functions with alcohol may be a fun way to spend a night out on the town, but it can be extremely dangerous if you choose to get behind the wheel of a car.
To avoid being involved in an alcohol-induced car accident, always use a designated driver if you’re planning to have a few drinks.
Reckless driving (also referred to as careless driving) covers a wide range of dubious driving behaviours, including:
- Running red lights
- Running stop signs
- Exceeding the speed limit
If the police can prove you caused a road accident by failing to pay due care and attention to your surroundings and the road rules, you may be charged with reckless driving. Depending on the circumstances of the accident and your traffic history, this charge can carry a 6-month prison term and heavy fines.
Everyone who owns a road vehicle, whether it be a car, motorbike, truck or bicycle, has a responsibility to keep it in good working condition. Failing to get your car serviced regularly can lead to dangerous mechanical defects, such as faulty brakes, cracked windscreens and blown headlights.
These kind of faults are a contributing factor in many road accidents. This is why it’s so important to take good care of your vehicle – if anything seems amiss with your car, always get it checked out by a mechanic.
These are just some of the most common causes of car accidents, but there are plenty of other factors to be aware of. These include poor weather conditions, ignorance of the road rules, tail-gating and fatigue.
If you’ve been left out of pocket after being involved in a car accident, Sinnamon Lawyers can help. Regardless of what caused the accident, we can make sure you get the compensation you’re entitled to. To speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer, contact us today.