Four Driving Behaviors That Increase the Risk of a Car Accident
Most Common Car Accident Causes
A November 2015 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that over 32,000 people were killed in car crashes and collisions throughout the country in 2014, and another 2.3 million people were injured as the result of these accidents. According to the NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts report, there are several types of driving behaviors that are responsible for the majority of fatal car crashes and collisions. These include:
- Driving Under the Influence
According to the NHTSA, alcohol-impaired driving was responsible for over 31 percent of driving fatalities, and resulted in almost 10,000 deaths. Under Section 56-5-2930 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, it is illegal to get behind the wheel of a car while under the influence of alcohol or any other types of intoxicating substance, including prescription drugs. While the penalties for driving while intoxicated are severe and include heavy fines, mandatory jail time, and the loss of driving privileges, many drivers continue to engage in this dangerous and potentially deadly behavior.
The NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts report indicates that speeding was a main contributing factor in 28 percent of all fatal accidents, resulting in the deaths of over 9,000 people. Accidents involving speeding and other types of aggressive driving behaviors, such as tailgating, improper lane changing, and racing, are responsible for more than a third of total car accidents involving drivers under the age of 30, and the NHTSA reports that speed-related accidents result in over $40 million a year in damages.
- Distracted Driving
According to the NHTSA, distracted driving, such as texting, talking on cell phones, and changing radio station dials or fumbling with GPS, is responsible for over 10 percent of all car accident fatalities, and results in over 400,000 injuries per year. The problem of distracted driving has grown to such proportion that the United States government has established a website specifically geared to educating the general public on the dangers posed by being distracted behind the wheel. Distraction.gov offers facts and figures about the types of distracted driving behaviors that cause accidents, as well as what the general public can do to help raise awareness of the dangers
- Drowsy Driving
While the NHTSA estimates drowsy or fatigued driving is responsible for more than 72,000 car accidents resulting in 44,000 injuries and 800 fatalities each year in the U.S. Drowsy driving can occur due to any number of factors, such as working night shifts or overtime, having small children who keep you up at night, or as the result of pulling ‘all-nighters’ studying or out socializing with friends.
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