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Key Reasons Why Accidents Happen, and What You Can Do About It

A major study was published in 2008 by researchers at the University of Michigan that largely has gone unnoticed in the years since. Part of this is because, for the better part of the last decade, car accidents and fatalities related to those accidents were on the decline. But that all changed int he last couple of years. Accidents and deaths have jumped up an alarmingly large chunk.

But the study is still important. It looked at nearly 7,000 accidents from all across the country and analyzed the causes of the wrecks and behaviors of the drivers involved in them. The study concluded that there are a few common reasons why accidents happen.

The first is the “rolling right turn on red.” This is when you pull up to a red light with the intent of turning right. You don’t fully stop though. So you roll up, look to the left to check for traffic, see your opening, and then start to make the turn — when you realize there is a bike or pedestrian to your right. These accidents are easily avoided by fully stopping and checking to your right after you have cleared yourself to the left.

Drowsy driving is also still a surprisingly common reason for fatal crashes. About 21 percent of such crashes involve a sleepy driver. So the tip here is to make sure you are well rested before driving for any amount of time. If you feel drowsy during a drive, pull over and give yourself a moment to recover — or even sleep.

Losing control of your vehicle and not leaving enough room between you and the vehicle in front of you are two other critical reasons why accidents happen. In both of these cases, it simply boils down to driving in a safe manner that is compliant with the law.