Driver Behaviors Commonly Connected With Vehicle Accidents


If someone you love has caused more than one vehicle collision in a relatively short amount of time, you can assume that individual is probably doing something unsafe while behind the wheel. Maybe the police have determined what the problem is or maybe you're still trying to figure it out, but it's important for that behavior to stop before something even worse takes place. Perhaps showing this person some statistics and behavioral factors connected with automotive collisions might be persuasive.

The NHTSA Study

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a report to Congress in 2008 that provided detailed information about factors associated with vehicle accidents. Page 2 of this report highlights numerous details common to many collisions.

Collision Locations

Some 36 percent of vehicle crashes occur at intersections, according to the NHTSA report. When moving through an intersection or making a turn, it's critical to be alert to what other drivers are doing. It's also important not to attempt risky maneuvers such as speeding up to get through a yellow light -- or worse, not stopping for a red light.

In addition, making a left turn after the green arrow shuts off or treating a stop sign as a yield sign may result in accidents. 

Drivers also rear-end vehicles at intersections -- a problem generally related to inattention or following too closely. In addition, fender-benders sometimes occur when a red light changes to green, and an over-eager driver moves forward before the car ahead does.

Attention and Related Factors

Factors that the NHTSA categorizes as "recognition" are the most common thread in collisions, with 41 percent of automotive accidents characterized by this aspect. This can include problems such as general inattentiveness, being distracted by talking with passengers or on a phone, and being distracted by something outside the vehicle. 

Fatigued drivers are significantly more likely to make what the agency refers to as performance errors when driving, such as turning too fast and fishtailing.

Additional Research

It's common knowledge that drinking alcohol and driving may result in accidents, but could your loved one be indulging in marijuana before getting behind the wheel? Only recently has research focused specifically on cannabis as a factor in vehicle collisions. A study published in 2012 found that people using cannabis before driving are almost twice as likely to get into an accident. 

Drug use also is connected with an increase in fatal collisions. The worst culprit is depressant medication, but drivers using narcotics, stimulants and marijuana are at increased risk as well. The situation becomes substantially worse when the driver has not only been using drugs but also drinking alcohol. 

Switching to Better Behavior

A person can make numerous changes to become a safer driver and prevent any collisions in the future. Some of these positive changes include:

  • obeying the speed limit
  • driving more cautiously when the weather is bad
  • staying a safe distance away from the vehicle ahead
  • stopping for yellow and red lights
  • staying off the phone when behind the wheel
  • not trying to pass another vehicle when the situation could be dangerous
  • not driving when under the influence of alcohol or other drugs

If the person you're worried about is willing to do all these things, he or she will drastically reduce the chances of an accident. 

Concluding Thoughts

Give some authoritative information to your loved one that could make it clear what behavior he or she must change. Perhaps this individual needs to allow some additional time for trips to work or elsewhere. Maybe more sleep is needed, or some stress-relief strategies are in order. No matter what the issue, changing that behavior now before something worse happens is essential. 

For more tips about how to avoid accidents or how to repair any resulting damage, contact a local collision repair expert. 


22 December 2014

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Now that I'm finished with college, my parents have turned over several obligations to me. One of them happens to be the insurance on my second hand car. Since it is up for renewal in a few months, I want to compare the benefits and see if someone else can give me a better deal. Already, I've found that auto insurance can get complicated. Do I really need more coverage than the minimum my state requires? How about provisions that will help with auto repair after an accident? How do I know when the cost of a policy is within reason? Slowly, I'm finding answers to these and other questions. If you are also looking into options for auto coverage, stick with me. I'll share what I learn and both of us can end up with policies that meet our needs!