As a driver, you likely know the standard driving safety tips to avoid getting into accidents. Wear your seat belt, keep two hands on the wheel, and your eyes on the road. But what happens when you’re around a dangerous driver—you may give them more space or honk your horn to alert that they’re veering near your car. You could wonder about the odds of getting into a car accident. The best way to avoid accidents is to drive safely, cautiously, and to be alert for possibly dangerous drivers.
While all accidents cannot be avoided, there are steps that can help reduce them. Let’s first take a look at the group most likely to be involved in an accident.
Who Are the Most At-Risk Groups of Drivers?
While anyone can be put at risk when there’s a negligent driver on the road, there are certain groups that are more likely to be in collisions. The CDC states that in the U.S. in 2018, almost 2,500 teenagers between the ages 13-19 died in car accidents. These accidents were likely preventable.
Of that group, there are types of teenagers that are more at-risk of an accident than others. Those types are:
- Male Drivers. Male drivers between the ages of 16-19 had a death rate that was nearly two times higher than female drivers in that age group.
- Teenage Drivers with Teenage Passengers. Teenagers can become distracted when other teens are in the car. They can forget to check blind spots, use turn signals, or even to keep their eyes on the road at all times. As more teenagers are in the car, the danger of getting into an accident increases.
- Teenagers Who Have Been Newly Licensed. When a teenager gets their license for the first time, they’re ready to drive anywhere and everywhere. However, they’re still not experienced behind the wheel. They still need to learn how to drive at different times of day and how to handle heavy traffic. They could still make common driving mistakes and cause a collision.
Teenagers may be more of an at-risk group, but there are driving behaviors that drivers of all ages and experience may do that increase their chances of getting into a car accident. Let’s take a look at what these factors are.
What Factors Increase the Chances of a Car Accident?
When a driver takes a risk that could make them veer out of their lane, reduce their reaction time, or obstruct their view of the road, they’re increasing the chances of being in a car accident. Unfortunately, these types of accidents would have been prevented had the person not acted in this way. The following common negligent driving behaviors increase the chance of an accident that could cause devastating injuries and damages:
- Distracted Driving. Looking at a cell phone, changing the radio, or using the rear view mirror to make eye contact with someone in the backseat are all distractions that prevent a driver from being completely in control of their vehicle.
- Going above the speed limit is often something people do when they’re in a rush, but this also increases the chances of causing an accident.
- Drowsy Driving. A tired driver may not be able to stay awake behind the wheel and could run out of their lane and hit another vehicle next to them.
- Drunk Driving. Alcohol inhibits decision making, alertness, motor control, and more.
While the above factors increase the chance of a collision, these decisions could lead to having worse injuries:
- Not Sitting Properly. Passengers may feel tempted to put their feet on the dash or lay down in the backseat. However, during a collision they are not going to be in the position the car is designed to protect them in. If someone’s feet are on the dash and they’re in a head on collision, their legs and spinal cord could break.
- Not Wearing Seat Belt. Seat belts lock in place when a collision occurs. This keeps you from being ejected from the vehicle or moving around in the car during the impact. You’re also in a secure spot for the airbag to cushion you when it deploys. When someone doesn’t wear a seat belt, their chances of sustaining serious injuries or possibly losing their life increases. About 47% of the teenage drivers and passengers who died in car accidents in 2018 were not wearing a seat belt.
When factors like these are present, it’s more likely that a car accident resulting in serious injuries will occur. It’s vital to avoid these behaviors and always focus on driving as safely as possible.
Were You Hurt in a Car Collision?
If you’ve been hurt because of a negligent driver, a car accident lawyer from Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC can help you get justice. We serve Jackson and the great state of Mississippi. Contact us today for a free case evaluation and we can get started on your claim.