Highway Accidents: the Driving Mistakes to Avoid

By  //  September 28, 2021

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Road accidents can cause loss of life and ruin families as a whole. That is just a hard fact. Although the most undesirable of events, road accidents do occur quite often.

Be it the government taking steps to fix the roads or vehicle manufacturers introducing newer technologies to prevent mishaps, the chance of unfortunate highway accidents remains, mainly due to the risky personal behavior of certain people behind the wheel.

Most of us tend to forget the past and keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again, even after being in a road accident before. This is highly alarming!

A recent report published by the Stanford Law School states that over 90% of all vehicular crashes are down to human error – either partially or completely.

For instance, in 2020, as many as 336,062 road accidents occurred all across Florida. 3,156 were fatal! Palm Beach County encountered 16,139 vehicular accidents in 2021 alone, and the year has not even ended yet! Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles created this interactive dashboard to track crashes in the state. 

Since the start of the millennium, road accidents have caused more casualties in the US than in both the world wars combined! While we agree even the most cautious driver can be a victim of a brutal car crash, there are indeed several ways to avoid it.

This article describes some of the most common personality traits of drivers who get in the most highway accidents.

Lack of Knowledge of Traffic Laws

Many highway drivers, although having driver’s licenses, tend to forget certain traffic laws while on the road. License-issuing authorities make sure that these drivers are aware of road safety guidelines, but in practice, a lot stays unfollowed.

Furthermore, in case a tragic accident does happen, many drivers and victims are left flustered from all the legal intricacies that follow. This puts even more pressure on families, takes a toll on their finances, and causes hassle in their lives that is difficult to overcome.

Thus, taking help from legal professionals is the smart thing to do in such cases. We suggest staying in touch with legal experts from the day of purchasing your first vehicle. If you reside in the West Palm Beach area of Florida, there are various options that you can choose from. Shiner Law Group is a law firm located in the city that specializes in litigations involving road accidents.

You can hire established lawyers from here who will take care of all the legal matters if an unfortunate road accident does take place and also teach you methods to avoid such tragedies in the future. Having proper knowledge of road safety guidelines can go a long way in saving lives on the highway.

Excessive Speeding

Speeding offenses are nothing out of the ordinary. According to the Department of Transportation’s specialized National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), excessive speeding causes more than 25% of traffic fatalities yearly. This is a startling figure and is one of the biggest factors leading to traffic accidents in Florida.

Drivers tend to disregard speed limits and road signs when driving through empty highways at full speed. The general idea behind this is to take advantage of the free road when nothing else is in view. Drivers do not want to slow down in such situations – especially the ones driving heavy vehicles like trucks or lorries.

The USA is massive, with innumerable roads and highways spread all over the country. In many rural highways, the speed limit of passing vehicles is not monitored as strictly as in urban areas. This gives rise to speeding in those locations as drivers usually tend to get away with it.

Speeding in densely populated regions is even more dangerous due to the possibility of harming more people in case an accident does occur. Rainy or snowy weather conditions are equally deadly when speeding. The roads get slippery, making it significantly more difficult to stop the vehicle after hitting the brakes.

The severity of accidents caused by excessive speeding is higher than most other factors. This is because the impact of high-speed collisions can wreck most vehicles – despite the durability. On lower speed levels, it is easier to slow the vehicle down and avoid crashes altogether.

High-speed driving gives the driver less time to react in case of potential crashes. Hence, we strongly recommend maintaining the speed limit of whichever road you take. Following these rules would not necessarily slow you down but will certainly keep you safe.

Drivers Getting Distracted

Distracted driving causes thousands of deaths every year. The NHTSA states that almost 30% of all vehicular crashes occur due to the driver being distracted. To put things into perspective, think of a lorry driver taking his eyes off the road for 3 seconds – probably to check some notifications on his phone.

If the lorry is traveling at 60mph, this would mean the vehicle is moving unsupervised for nearly a hundred meters! Most drivers fail to grasp this aspect and tend to get distracted while driving on the highway.

Activities like texting on the phone, turning and talking to the passengers on the back seat, adjusting the wing mirror, gazing at a fancy billboard, or even taking a bite on a hot dog can lead to an accident while driving. Drivers must be completely focused on the road at all times.

If a break is needed, we suggest parking the vehicle at the roadside, if permitted. Need to change the radio channel or adjust the mirrors? Ask your fellow passenger to help you out. Potential accidents due to drivers getting distracted are quite difficult to avoid, and the consequences are generally severe.

Driving Under the Influence

Every day, almost 30 people in the US lose their lives as a result of impaired driving. This is a staggering number and is completely unacceptable in this day and age. Drinking clouds your sense of distance and judgment. It hampers your ability to make decisions and slows you down significantly, making it harder for you to think efficiently in the face of an impending crash.

Alcohol consumption is very common in Florida. Of all the drunk driving fatalities in the US, almost 10% occur within this state. That is about 3 people losing their lives on the roads of Florida every single day!

While drinking is not a crime in the US, drinking under the influence most definitely is. If you are drunk and in need of a ride, make sure you have someone sober who can drive you home. Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to drive after having alcohol. With even a minute increase in blood alcohol level, the effects can be significant and should not be taken lightly.

Rash Driving

Reckless and erratic driving practices can cause major accidents on the highway. Actions like constant tailgating, rapid lane changing, and snap overtaking are some of the most common examples of rash driving.

Most aggressive drivers fail to realize the mere fact that they are not saving a lot of time by “tactfully” maneuvering through heavy traffic but are putting themselves and others into danger. We suggest you take action the moment you witness any erratic driving by reporting it to the authorities.

Speeding is a form of rash driving. Many drivers try to force through a yellow traffic light or take sharp turns without slowing down. These are such common scenes that people have started to ignore them nowadays. Taxi passengers tend to urge the driver to go faster instead of following the right traffic rules.

People have started to value time over their lives. However, the question remains: does rash driving save us enough time to ignore the danger it imposes in our lives? We, most definitely, do not think so!

Avoiding the Use of Protective Gears

Visit almost any country in the world, and you will find traffic laws stating that a seat belt should be worn at all times if driving a four-wheeler and a helmet if on a two-wheeler. Head injury is, evidently, the most severe aftermath of a highway accident as it is often fatal. Wearing a helmet can greatly reduce the chances of such injuries. Seatbelts, on the other hand, protect the entire body and are especially effective during a head-on collision.

Although drivers in the US are more aware of using safety gears than ever before, the risk remains. The usage of seatbelts and helmets is essential. An improperly tied seatbelt might fail to work at the moment of need. The same can be said for a helmet. Thus, drivers need to know their use and keep using them every time they hit the road.

Final Words

Florida is a hotspot for pedestrian road accidents. For this reason, the state requires all motor vehicle owners to acquire damage liability insurance worth at least $10,000. The roads of Florida have plenty of toll booths that drivers need to be aware of.

Seat belt rules, guidelines for changing lanes, and the validity of the driver’s license are some of the aspects that the government of Florida is really strict about. When we are on the roads, all our lives are at risk. Being aware of the seriousness of this situation can save lives. Thus, it is essential to follow the proper guidelines for driving.