In 2018 alone, more than 12 million vehicles were involved in an accident, both minor and fatal. What can we all do to reduce this number and improve road safety? One of the solutions is understanding the factors that increase the risk of a crash.
This article looks at some of the lifestyle choices associated with causing car accidents.
1. Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Driving under the influence of alcohol or other mind-altering substances is considered a serious offense by both federal and state laws. Each year, tens of thousands lose their lives to road accidents caused by drunk drivers.
Alcohol and other drugs impair your mind and slow the reaction time. It can also cause drowsiness, fatigue, and cognitive distraction. Further, drugs can affect your eyesight, causing blurred vision on the road. All these are dangerous because they put both the driver and other road users at risk of a crash.
If you are taking prescription drugs, ask your doctor whether these can cause drowsiness too.
2. Sleeping for Fewer Hours
For some, sleeping less is a lifestyle choice while others work for long hours so that there is no time to get enough sleep. Regardless of your situation, you mustn’t get behind the wheel if you have not been having sufficient rest.
Insufficient sleep can cause drowsiness and fatigue on the road. Scientific research shows that people who sleep for fewer hours or have sleep disorders are more likely to cause an accident.
3. Poor Time Management
Poor time management increases the risk of a car accident in different ways. If you have a habit of sleeping through the alarm, you’ll be rushing at the last minute, including driving to work. Speeding, distractions, and reckless driving are some of the seemingly minor, but unsafe, behaviors that may result as you get to your destination.
Being late for important meetings can also cause stress, impatience, and road rage, increasing the risk of a crash.
4. Traveling at Night
There are people who simply prefer to travel at night because of less traffic, cooler temperatures, and peace of driving when the kids are asleep. But this simple pleasure can increase the chances of getting in an accident.
Darkness compromises the vision, making it difficult to see clearly and for a long distance at night. Drivers operating at night are also likely to be fatigued and drowsy, which exposes you to road accidents.
5. Staying Plugged-In for Long Hours
If you are in the habit of spending long hours on your phone, what guarantees that you will not be tempted to check your Twitter feed when traffic is slow?
Distracted driving is a huge concern and causes thousands of annual deaths. Worse, people who are used to multitasking on the road believe that they cannot get into an accident.
6. Poor Nutritional Habits
Having poor nutrition habits can affect your health, which subsequently affects your ability to drive properly. For instance, hunger causes fatigue and drowsiness among people with additional health problems, like diabetes. Driving under such conditions reduces your response time and alertness on the road.
7. When a Car Accident Occurs
Avoiding the lifestyle choices we’ve discussed above reduces the risks of causing an accident, but does not guarantee that you will not be involved in one. Other drivers on the road might be intoxicated, have insufficient sleep, or be distracted by one thing or another.
If you have been involved in a car accident caused by another driver, a personal injury lawyer can advise you on how to get compensation for your injuries and car damages.
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