It was a clear day, the weather was mild, and traffic didn’t even seem particularly intense, but you ended up hurt in a car wreck, just the same.
What happened? Well, the reality is that even the most cautious defensive driver can still fall victim to another driver’s negligence. It happens all the time – but the causes behind those wrecks are fairly common. Here are three of the biggest mistakes drivers make:
1. They’re drowsy
Blame it on “hustle culture” or the tendency for people to push themselves to the limit, but drowsy driving is a significant issue on the nation’s roads. According to research, drowsy driving can be just as bad or worse than drunk driving.
A driver who has slept between five and six hours is almost twice as likely as other drivers to get into a wreck, while those who get four to five hours are more than four times likely to crash. Sometimes, drivers are so tired they’re actually falling into “microsleeps” while in motion or when stopped at lights, and that’s a huge hazard for everyone.
2. They’re distracted
Distracted driving has become so endemic that cities and states have all taken steps to ban the use of cellular phones behind the wheel – but that only addresses part of the problem.
Drivers can be distracted by virtually anything that takes their eyes, hands or mind off their driving for any length of time. This includes routine activities, like sipping their morning coffee, eating a burger from a drive-thru for lunch, adjusting their radio, talking to their passengers or even getting lost in their own thoughts.
3. They’re drunk or drugged
You probably don’t need anybody to tell you that drunk and drugged driving is still a major problem, despite official efforts to curb it. Impaired drivers can also include someone who is unintentionally impaired, like your neighbor who accidentally mixed their cold and allergy medications together.
If you suspect a wreck was caused by any of these factors, it may be easier to prove the other driver’s negligence. Experienced legal guidance can help.