New Jersey drivers face numerous hazards on roadways as they commute to and from destinations. Between perilous weather conditions and high traffic, accidents can happen at any time.
Sadly, even though the New Year has just begun, over 20 fatal car accidents have already occurred in the Garden State. While not every accident can be prevented, below is a list of six common accident scenarios to avoid. Most of these accidents can be prevented by drivers paying more attention to their surroundings and using better judgment.
1. Rear-end accidents
Rear-end accidents account for 23 to 30 percent of crashes, yet most rear-end collisions are avoidable. By following too closely behind the car in front of you, you limit your reaction time if you need to suddenly stop. While most drivers consider a rear-end collision relatively harmless, most whiplash and neck injuries result from this type of collision. Use the two-second rule to keep adequate space between you and the car in front of you.
As more things compete for attention our attention while driving, distracted driving collisions will continue to rise. According to the most recent statistics, distracted driving is a factor in at least 33 percent of vehicle crashes. Distracted drivers have difficulty staying in their own lane or even just staying on the road. Limit your distractions by stowing your phone out of sight and paying attention to your surroundings.
Blind intersection accidents
Accidents at blind intersections account for 12 percent of car accidents. Just because you cannot see the threat that does not mean the threat does not exist. However, drivers continue to test this theory by running red lights or turning into an intersection without being able to see oncoming traffic. Threats do exist, so make sure to check for them before crossing the road.
Loss of control
While somewhat surprising, drivers losing control of their vehicle only accounts for 11 percent of accidents. The loss of control can be due to weather conditions, such as hydroplaning or sliding on ice. It can also happen when a driver is going too fast through a turn. If road conditions are not ideal, make sure to slow down and drive with caution.
Falling asleep at the wheel
As our schedules become more jam-packed with commitments, sleep becomes less of a priority. Drowsy drivers account for 7 percent of car crashes. Studies have shown tired drivers to have slower reaction times than drunk drivers. If you are overtired you should not get behind the wheel.
Rolling through a right-hand turn at a red light
Before attempting to make a right-hand turn at a red light, drivers must come to a complete stop, but many don't, resulting in 6 percent of all car accidents. The driver is looking left for oncoming traffic, but fails to notice a pedestrian or cyclist crossing the road. It is simply not possible for a driver to equally divide their attention between both right and left sides without stopping their vehicle. Making a complete stop only takes about three seconds on average and could save someone's life.
Whether you are culpable of speeding, tailgating or texting while driving, commit to changing your behavior this year. It could save your life, or someone else's, so what are you waiting for?