With all the systems in place, one would think roads would be safer. But they are not. So here is a scientific approach to car crashes to help us avoid them.
Fatality! It’s the Worst
Thanks to the number of distractions we can have while we are driving car accidents are becoming more and more fatal. Just imagine: you are driving on the interstate then suddenly you get a Tinder match. You check out the image of a beautiful person and the next thing you know you are surprised by how close the vehicle in front is. You swerve away and promptly hit another even closer car. Sad.
Moral Lesson: Do not drive distracted.
Is the Driver to Blame?
Ninety-Four percent of car accidents are due to the fault of the driver. Due to lack of concentration, sudden surprise, or just not paying enough attention the driver causes accidents.
Remember the interchange of driver actions and car reactions is not perfect. There is still some delay between a driver telling a car to do something and the vehicle responding.
Three phases are relevant:
Causes of Accidents
While some people think an accident is just a stroke of bad luck a scientific approach to accidents precludes plain “bad luck”. It is a confluence of factors that cause accidents most of which are within the control of the driver.
For example, if it is foggy or rainy perhaps the driver should skip the trip until the fog passes.
Another example is making sure the car’s safety features are in order. Bad brakes or weak steering are often scapegoated in the accident. But then again car maintenance ought to be a priority in the first place.
The element of chance exists, but often the driver is far from powerless from reducing these risks.
Deconstructing the Accident
When an accident has already happened it is prudent to deconstruct it to recognize what happened and what could have been done to prevent future accidents.
For example, distracted driving is a common cause of accidents. If the reason why the driver failed to respond in time is that he was texting or talking to a passenger the accident can be another cautionary tale for people who would to avoid getting into accidents.
A driver distracted by a cell phone or even a conversation with another passenger might fail to perceive a truck running a stoplight up ahead. If the driver was traveling too fast for road conditions, it might decrease reaction time. A slick road surface can affect the coefficient of friction, which can affect how long it takes to safely come to a stop or avoid an accident.
Drive at a Safe Speed
Driving at a safe speed for road conditions and a safe following distance can help to give drivers the time they need to react to conditions that could lead to an accident. Or as Hayes states, “maintaining speed and following distance is important because it gives a driver time to respond to unexpected events.”
While it’s not possible to completely eliminate your chances of getting into a car accident, even seemingly small choices you make every day behind the wheel, like setting your GPS before you leave your driveway, instead of while you’re driving, can play a significant role in whether you safely reach your destination. Being prepared to identify and respond to danger can help you make a potentially life-saving decision when seconds count.