Car accidents are terrifying no matter what. Usually, you don’t know what happened until you and the other driver are both out of the car–and that’s assuming the other guy doesn’t decide to run away. Highway car accidents can be even more hectic, because there’s a much higher probability that other vehicles will be involved. Sometimes, dozens or hundreds of vehicles can pile up on a crowded highway, causing chaos, hysteria, and compounding the number of injuries or deaths. So what causes highway car accidents?
The short answer is easy: human error. Accidents are called accidents because they are the result of mistakes and usually simple ones at that. If all drivers followed the guidelines set forth by law, fewer accidents would result anywhere, highway or otherwise.
Causes of Highway Car Accidents
One primary cause of highway car accidents is distracted driving. Picking up that cell phone to take an incoming text might not seem like a big deal, but it reduces the amount of time spent watching the road by about 400 percent. Even though most people know they shouldn’t do it, a greater number acknowledge that they do it anyway. Distracted drivers are responsible for about a quarter of all car accidents.
Drinking and driving is another major factor. Huge numbers of people drink and drive. In some demographics, the number reaches as high as 30 percent. About a third of all traffic accidents are the result of alcohol impairment. When combined with distracted driving, we can now account for about 55 percent of all traffic-related accidents.
Highways are unique in that many people feel the need for speed when driving on them. Some even believe that speed is a crucial aspect to highway driving. The faster you drive, the more likely it is that you’ll lose control. On top of that, more speed almost always results in more damage and a higher probability of serious injury or death when an accident does take place.
Reckless driving accounts for nearly all the rest. Teen drivers are most likely to drive recklessly. Weaving in and out of traffic or bouncing back and forth from lane to lane for no reason whatsoever is common enough. When driving on the highway, it is absolutely critical to leave enough space between your vehicle and the vehicles around you that you can stop without slamming into the vehicle in front of you. Reckless drivers don’t care, and most drivers don’t realize how much space is enough to avoid an accident. If you’re driving at normal highway speed limits (and most people drive above it), then sixty feet isn’t enough room to slam on your brakes without slamming into the car directly in front of you. If you tailgate and hit the car in front of you, you are almost always liable for any damage or injury that results. Don’t do it.
If you’ve been in an accident, then seek legal counsel immediately.