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6 of the top reasons car accidents occur

It's common for victims to feel disoriented and confused after a car accident, and unsure of what has happened. However, when looking back at the wreck, it's sometimes not that hard to pick out where things began to go wrong - and it may have nothing to do with you. Below are six of the top reasons car accidents occur in the United States.

Driver distraction

Texting and driving may lead the way, but common distractions also include talking on the phone, eating behind the wheel, and talking with other people in the car. Anything that takes a driver's eyes off the road is a distraction.

Speeding and reckless driving

Reckless and overly-aggressive driving can lead to serious mistakes at high speeds and often results in car accidents. When driving recklessly, operators may lose control of their vehicles or have insufficient time to react to changes on the road such as a traffic jam ahead or the sudden appearance of a sharp turn.

Drunk driving

Police have tried roadblocks, educational campaigns, ignition interlock devices and many other tactics to eliminate drunk driving, but it remains a problem. Even drivers who don't believe they are impaired may, in reality, be too drunk to drive. For example, drivers do not have to reach the black-out stage of drunkenness to make mistakes that might not have occurred when driving sober.

Driving at night and/or in the rain

Both of the above can reduce visibility. If they happen to occur at the same time, the glare from bright lights on a wet windshield can be nearly blinding. The rain also brings up issues like hydroplaning, which can make drivers lose control in light vehicles or at high speeds.

Teen drivers

Inexperience can be deadly. Teen drivers tend to cause accidents at a higher rate than any other age group simply because they don't have years of experience to fall back on. Teens also may not understand the full consequences associated with breaking rules like exceeding the speed limit or texting while driving.

Running stops signs and red lights

Ignoring traffic signals, even accidentally, can very easily lead to a car crash. Other drivers expect traffic to follow the rules of the road, and many will pull into the path of a car that hasn't slowed at all, not bothering to check and see if the driver is going to run a traffic signal. These crashes can also lead to massive injuries since cars driving on perpendicular roads often crash in such a way that the passenger cabin is struck directly and not protected by the car's frame.

Accidents can happen for just one of these reasons or a combination of the above. When other drivers make mistakes, you may be able to do very little - or nothing at all - to avoid the crash. While it is impossible to plan ahead for a car accident, you can have a measure of control over what comes after. A great way to start is to familiarize yourself with your rights and create a plan to seek compensation for your injuries.

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