Despite major advances in car safety, road engineering and greater public education regarding the dangers associated with driving, the sobering fact is that car accidents remain one of the leading causes of death among adults and the leading cause of death among teenagers. The top ten causes of car accidents are:
- Road Conditions - Icy roads, crumbling streets, potholes and slick roadways can present significant danger to the motorist. In Las Vegas, given the year round sunshine, rain can pose a significant hazard when it mixes with the oil on city streets. The mixture creates an extra slick surface leading to cars colliding as a result of poor tire traction.
- Reckless Driving - How many times have you observed someone engaging in aggressive driving placing others at risk? If you received a penny for every daily observation, you'd have a nice chunk of change at the end of the day. Drivers that fail to yield the right of way, failing to provide a turn signal, tailgating, excessive speeding and sudden braking can all lead to catastrophic consequences. The road can be a dangerous place based on the reckless behavior of others!
- Speeding - This one is fairly obvious. Sadly, far too many people treat the city streets like a raceway. It's bad enough when a speeding driver places him or herself in danger, but it's unconscionable when they jeopardize the safety of others. Speed limits exist for a reason. Unfortunately, though, far too many people treat them as merely optional.
- Driver Distraction - Kids wrestling in the car, fixation with the radio, daydreaming while driving; all events that can lead to deadly results. Keeping one's eyes on the road is the key to ensuring maximum safety.
- Drug Use - You'd be surprised to learn some people believe they can consume drugs and drive. It happens far more frequently that one might think. Illegal drugs, however, are not always the culprit. Even over-the-counter cough medicine with a sedative effect can induce sleepiness leading to fatal results.
- Drunk Driving - Again, no surprise. Drinking and driving is simply asking for trouble.
- "Rubbernecking" - A car accident or other event occurs that gets everyone's attention as they crane their necks to observe what is happening roadside. This is called "rubbernecking" which is merely a form of distracted driving.
- Multitasking - The average person is under constant barrage of information as a result of ubiquitous technological innovations. This, coupled with the constant pressures associated with modern life, can cause people to do too much. Eating and talking on the phone while driving is not a smart move.
- Switching Channels - While driving safely should always be the first priority of every driver, far too many people make it a secondary concern to their desire to have the perfect song play on the radio.
- Cell Phones - Texting, talking or snapping constant pictures can lead to tragic results when those activities occur behind the wheel of a car. For this reason, many states have enacted laws regulating cell phone use while driving.
Being aware of safe driving habits can significantly minimize the risk of a car accident. Of course, while you can always change your own behavior, it still pays to be a defensive driver given all the other motorists engaging in high-risk behavior while behind the wheel.