It’s fairly common for people to think of car accidents as events that happen for many different reasons. That often makes the issue feel overwhelming. If so many things can cause accidents, what can you possibly do to avoid getting into a serious wreck?
With that in mind, it’s important to note that most accidents have one main cause. They happen because of human error. Studies have put it at 94 to 96 percent. The vast majority of accidents occur because of human error.
What this means is that the most dangerous component of any drive is not the car or the weather or the road design or anything like that. It’s the human driver behind the wheel. Most people would probably tell you that they’re good drivers. The statistics show that this just is not true.
Another thing to consider is that you can be a good driver most of the time and still cause a crash. Choosing to text and drive once is enough. Choosing to drink and drive once is enough. Plenty of “good drivers” make one mistake and wind up in a wreck.
What can you do?
To some, this news can make the whole thing feel very negative. If people cause most crashes, every car is a potential wreck just waiting to happen. You can’t drive by yourself, on empty roads. You have to share the road. That means you have to accept the risk.
It’s true; you do have to accept the risk. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do.
Understanding that human error causes accidents can help you focus on defensive driving. You can anticipate the errors those drivers are going to make and get ready for them in advance.
Approaching a stop sign? Carefully watch other drivers on the cross street in case they pull out in front of you without stopping.
Coming up to a red light? Remember that people accidentally and intentionally run lights all the time. Take an extra second to check for red light runners before driving forward.
Driving down the road with an aggressive driver behind you? Consider pulling over and letting them pass. Maybe they’re tailgating because they don’t understand the risk or maybe they don’t care. Either way, you know tailgating causes accidents, so let them go to keep your distance.
Crashes will happen
All that said, it is true that accidents will happen as long as people drive cars. You have to understand that, and you also have to understand what legal options you have to seek compensation when someone else makes a mistake that puts you in the hospital.