Top 15 causes of car accidents and how you can prevent them - Part 2

You already know the first seven ways you can prevent car accidents. Here are another eight top causes of car accidents. 

8. Design Defects

Sometimes vehicles have flaws in their design, engineering, or manufacture. Though rare, it's possible these can cause car accidents. However, drivers can keep apprised of recalls, and regular maintenance can turn up problems before they cause irreversible damage. 

9. Tailgating
This is entirely possible to avoid. Often tailgating occurs due to road rage or distraction. Following Too Closely is illegal, and is highly dangerous due to the increased risk of a rear-end collision. Giving yourself enough reaction time is critical in giving yourself time to react to sudden turns or uses of brakes. 

10. Wrong-Way Driving/ Improper Turns
Typically signage is hard to miss, but now and then someone can get confused and end up making a driving mistake. I have personally seen a few cars driving the wrong way through The Lettered Streets neighborhood, because there are many one way streets throughout it. Luckily the speed limit is slow enough to give most drivers enough time to react if they or another driver is wrong-way driving, but only if they are paying attention.  

When people don’t get in the proper lane to make a turn, use signals properly, or follow traffic signals, accidents happen. Always look out for traffic signs and obey the proper right-of-way when you make a turn.

10. Teenage Drivers
It takes years and maturity to drive skillfully, and unfortunately many teens don't have that until years after they've gotten a driving license. Teens lack of experience can become dangerously apparent while driving in unsafe conditions, such as any of the situations on this list, which greatly increases their chance of an accident. Equip your teens with good driving education by enrolling them in a defensive driving course, talking with them about cell phones and other distractions in their cars, limit the number of passengers they're allowed to ride with, and don't try to call or text your teen when you know they are driving. Also, teens will ignore everything you say about distracted driving if they see you do it, so set a good example. 

11. Drugs: 
Alcohol is the top contender for dangerous drugs for driving, but it's not the only thing on the list. Drugs, including now-legal marijuana here in Washington, and prescription pills that are available to anyone with a medical ailment or not can all cause terrible accidents. Do not drive if you are under the influence of any drug. 

12. Potholes:
Potholes are frustrating and at times unavoidable. You can try to avoid them, but in so doing, don't ram your car into a stationary object or another vehicle. Potholes are very frustrating for drivers because sometimes they can’t be avoided. If you see a pothole in the City of Bellingham, you can email the location and any other info to Public Works at this address: AskPW@cob.org

13. Tire Blowouts
Regular maintenance can do a lot to keep blowouts from happening, though accidents - ha - do happen. If you get a flat while driving especially at high speeds, you may swerve unexpectedly. You can read up here about how to handle a tire blowout

14. Animal Crossings 
Especially during mating season during the months of October and November, deer and vehicle collisions can occur and cause serious accidents. Take seriously any animal crossing signs, do not speed especially in wooded or rural areas, and be extra watchful for animals during dawk and dusk. Click here for more tips on avoiding collisions with deer.

15. Construction Sites
These zones can be confusing. When you enter a construction zone, be on the watch for signage and slow down. Other drivers may be confused and do unexpected things, so defensive driving becomes very important in such situations.

As you can see, every situation is entirely preventable or there are ways to greatly mitigate the risks involved. If you ever get in a serious accident that was not  your fault, you know we are here for you. 

 

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