Motor vehicle collisions occur for the most unpredictable reasons sometimes. There can be issues with vehicles or problems with road design that no one driving would have a way of foreseeing. There can also be freak weather occurrences and other unusual situations that result in major collisions.
However, most crashes are the results of predictable risk factors. In fact, if you look at annual crash statistics, you will see that four factors account for a huge number of annual collisions and fatalities. If you just attempt to address those four factors, you can reduce the risk of you or one of your passengers dying in a crash.
Alcohol, prohibited drugs and even prescription medications play a role in a large number of crashes every year. Roughly 28 people die every day in crashes related to alcohol. Statistics on drugs are not nearly as clear, but they cause similar levels of impairment and therefore contribute to numerous collisions.
Inadequate safety measures
More than half of the people who die in crashes do not have their safety belts on at the time of the wreck. While young adults and teen drivers may fail to use their safety belts, the same is true of adults. There are also many preventable deaths involving babies and young children caused by the failure to use property restraints, like booster seats.
Speeding is another common issue. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that 29% of the traffic deaths in 2020 involved excess speed. The faster people drive, the more likely they are to lose control of the vehicle and to cause catastrophic damage in the crash that results. The higher the speed at the time of the crash, the more likely it is for the vehicles to incur massive damage or for the occupants to suffer severe injuries.
Distraction has become a serious issue on the modern roads. It was responsible for 2,974 deaths in 2020, which is about 6% of the total traffic fatalities that occurred. It is worth noting that the most common distraction is internal distraction like daydreaming. Phone use is only responsible for a fraction of the distracted driving collisions that occur every year.