Automobile accidents seem to be something you may only hear about or see on the evening news or passing by on the side of the road—that is, until it happens to you. Many people underestimate how frequently and suddenly car accidents can occur. Each and every driver on the road, however experienced, has their less-than-optimal habits. When you take thousands of people operating vehicles on Colorado roads and combine those numbers with the number of mental and physical calculations and decisions a driver must make at any given time, the results can be staggering.
According to the Colorado State Patrol Department of Safety, 70 percent of Colorado’s roadside accidents have five common causes. Perhaps we can all learn a thing or two from them. These causes include:
1. Inattentive Driving
Also known as distracted driving, inattentive driving is when a driver is texting, eating, chatting with passengers, looking at the GPS, adjusting the radio dial, or anything that distracts the driver from paying attention to the road. The average text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. At highway speeds, that’s enough time to travel the length of a football field. Think about it: the length of a football field is 120 yards—that’s quite a distance. If you’re going 55 mph while looking at your phone and another car attempts to merge into the lane in front of you—well, let’s just say five seconds isn’t enough time to react safely.
Everyone speeds. Some do it on purpose, some inadvertently. Whatever the reason, it’s safe to say that many car accidents could be prevented if drivers just obeyed the speed limit. When you’re behind the wheel, be sure to check for speed posting signs. Drive in the right lane unless you need to pass someone. If a car is tailgating you because they think you’re driving too slow, just pull over and let them pass. This isn’t “The Fast & the Furious.”
3. Driving Under the Influence
Somehow, despite all evidence to the contrary, people still manage to convince themselves after a night of drinking that it’s okay to get in the car and drive home. In 2015, 10,265 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, making up nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. These kinds of accidents can be avoided. After a night of drinking, call a friend for a ride home, an Uber, or a taxi cab. If you’re on the road and notice a car swerving or driving erratically, call the police and report the driver.
4. Lane Violation
For whatever reason, some drivers seem to have a hard time staying in their own lane. They’ll swerve between lanes, make unsafe lane changes and merge abruptly. Don’t be one of those people. Always use your turn signal and check your blind spot before merging or changing lanes.
5. Failure to See or Obey Road Signs
The fifth most common type of accident for Coloradans results from failing to follow yield signs. Needless to say, staying alert, paying attention, and following all the rules posted on signs can mean the difference between life and death.
Even when drivers in Colorado do their best to drive safely, accidents still happen. When they do, the Denver car accident attorneys at Bachus & Schanker is there to take your case. If you’re unsure whether to hire a personal injury lawyer, their legal team is only a phone call away. Their experienced staff is always ready and willing to advise the best course of legal action for you to take.