The word “accident” has become to mean a whole of incidents that aren’t actually “accidental.” People who text and drive get into accidents. People who consume excessive amounts of alcohol get into accidents. People who speed, run red lights, and disobey the law get into accidents. But all of these cases aren’t truly accidental, as the people behind the wheel of the car are responsible for their actions.
We say all of this as a lead-in to talk about a number of circumstances that are leading causes for accidents. They were found in a study by researchers at the University of Michigan in a sprawling analysis of nearly 7,000 motor vehicle accidents.
According to the data, one of the most common triggers for a car accident is the “rolling right turn on red.” Alliteration aside, this statement means that there are far too many drivers that, when approaching a red light, are unaware of what is happening to their right as they glance left at oncoming traffic while trying to make that right turn. 6 percent of pedestrian fatalities can be attributed to this circumstance.
Another crucial reason is falling asleep at the wheel. Apparently 37 percent of drivers admit to falling asleep at the wheel at some point in their lives, and about 7 percent of all crashes — and 21 percent of fatal crashes — involve drowsy drivers.
And of course there are many other causes as well: failing to give enough space to the care in front of you, departing your lane due to distraction, or simply driving in a dangerous fashion. None of these things is acceptable, and they lead to far too many accident every year.
Source: Slate, “Anatomy of a Car Crash,” Steve Casner, Nov. 21, 2017