Research has shown that car accidents are one of the most common causes of emergency room visits. While some of the factors are out of our control, most accidents involve at least some level of human negligence. The number one cause of all accidents is “driver error or reaction” which accounts for more than 65% of fatal crashes on the road.1 Have a read through the most common causes of car accidents to make sure it’s not your lack of skill adding to the statistics. These five common causes of car accidents are brought to you by Iverson Tyres London.
In the U.K. it rains an average of 156 days a year, yet it’s surprising how many people do not adapt their driving in the wet.2 Wet conditions mean slippery roads and increased stopping distances, so it’s important to alter your driving to match. At 70 mph, increase the distance to the car in front from two seconds to four. It’s a good idea to turn off cruise control, as it will cause your tyres to spin if you hit standing water. Keeping your tyres in good condition will also help prevent aquaplaning, as good tyre tread will dissipate water quicker.
Rain can impede visibility so give yourself plenty of time to react to any sudden changes. You need to be smoother with controls, gradually applying the brakes and no sharp steering.
In the summer, the rain can be even more dangerous. During dry and sunny periods, rubber and other lubricants build up on the road surface and when it does start to rain, it creates a greasy layer without much grip. Again, always leave yourself extra room during these conditions to compensate for the extra distance you’ll travel when attempting to stop.
- Running a red light
No matter where you go, everyone always seems to be in a rush. We’re trying to fit more and more into our day and as a result we start to take risks to save time. The lights are amber and you might think you can squeeze through but by the time you pass the lights they’ve changed to red. You’ve committed to continuing through, and as a result you’re also carrying a lot more speed than you should be. The car waiting to cross your path starts to move as their filter light has changed to green, and there’s nowhere for you to go…
Don’t risk lives for the sake of saving two minutes on your journey.
- Tyre blowouts
Maintaining good tyre condition is critical for your safety on the road. The main cause of tyre blowouts are under-inflated tyres, as this causes them to overheat at high speeds and explode. Any cracks, cuts or bulges weaken the tyre and increase the chance of a tyre blowout. For those who don’t know how to deal with a tyre blowout, it can be a pretty terrifying. But in fact, it’s quite straight forward to deal with. Most importantly, don’t brake! Braking will cause you to spin around the blown tyre and lose control of the car. Don’t steer either, as the same thing will happen. Instead, keep the wheel straight and gently remove your foot from the accelerator. Don’t brake until you’re travelling at less than 50 mph, then very carefully ease your car onto the hard shoulder with minimal steering.3
Make sure you’re checking your tyre tread, pressures and condition regularly, and if you’re looking for new tyres check out Iverson tyres London branch.
Some accidents are attributed to driving too fast for the conditions. Don’t think that an empty rural road means it doesn’t matter if you break the speed limit. Hidden junctions or bends can mean you don’t see the obstacle until it’s too late. Inexperienced drivers may also incorrectly judge how fast they can safely travel around bends. The amount of times I’ve been in the car with drivers who don’t slow down enough, realise on the bend they’re going too fast, panic, brake too sharply and then don’t know what gear they need to be in. Brake before the bend and select the correct gear. Start to accelerate smoothly once half way around the bend and always drive within your limits. Make sure this becomes second nature, as sometimes braking on the bend is already too late.
My number one cause of accidents is drivers simply not paying attention. Road conditions are changing constantly and taking your eyes off the road for a split second is all it takes. The penalty for using your phone while driving doubled last year in an attempt to cut down the number of phone related accidents. The road safety campaign THINK! shows you are four times more likely to crash if you use your phone, and your reactions are two times slower if you text and drive than if you drink and drive.4
Sat navs aren’t much better. Sometimes we spend more time looking at the sat nav instead of looking where we’re going. Turn right in 200 yards means cutting across two lanes without even looking, because we’re so focused on not missing the turning. Surprisingly, “being lost” is not an acceptable excuse for causing an accident. Don’t get caught up with the directions. If you miss a turning, it’s not hard to get back on track.
Ask your passengers to help you with directions, or pull over at a safe location if you need to use your sat nav or mobile phone. Out of sight and out of mind, and that is where your phone should live while driving. A clearer mind means a clearer road.
- Ben Collins, How to Drive.
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This is a sponsored post by Iverson Tyres