The 3 Most Common Types of Car Accidents (and How to Avoid Them)

Car accidents range from benign fender benders to deadly winter pileups. Defensive drivers know how to avoid these incidents. Some motorists can even see peril down the road with enough practice, attention, and foresight.

And there are plenty of reasons to drive defensively. It ensures our safety, the safety of others, and the wellbeing of our vehicle. But there are other benefits too. Cautious drivers also get a break on their insurance rates. Don’t believe us? Try to compare car insurance with an accident-prone friend. One will be able toquickly see how a few accidents can really muck up the works.

But even the safest driver can give account about the crazy things they’ve seen on the road. Driving on the highway during rush hour is the surest way to experience the chaos. This is why safe drivers require a keen eye for potential problems. Below are some of the most common accidents. Luckily, these can be avoided with skill and attention. Stay alert and stay safe with these helpful tips:

Rear-End Collisions. It comes as no surprise to most drivers that rear-end collisions are one of the most common accidents on the road. These can happen at red lights, in parking lots, or in residential neighborhoods. Rear-end collisions occur when the driver in front brakes and the driver behind them doesn’t so these often happen in areas of stop-and-go traffic. The best way to avoid these is to be vigilant and aware of factors in the area that are outside of the car like pedestrians, sudden stops, and traffic. When driving behind someone, leave an adequate space cushion, which every driver should be doing anyway. And don’t speed!

Single Car Crashes: Single car crashes can happen to the safest driver. These accidents are also very common among young or new drivers who might not be able to recognize a danger in the road like ice or slippery conditions. Hydroplaning is often cited as the reason for a single car crash. Essentially, the tires lose traction because of wet conditions and the car can’t be controlled. Avoiding a crash might not be an option in some cases. So, the best thing to do is to learn how to minimize the damage and danger. Defensive driving courses teach how to pull the car out of a spin. The car driving instructor will guide the new drivers how to keep the vehicle steady while hydroplaning. Or demonstrate how to perform basic maintenance like checking the tread on tires. Also, if there are dangerous weather conditions stay off the road unless absolutely necessary.

Distracted Driving: Distracted drivers are as dangerous as drunk drivers. Yet many of us wouldn’t snatch the keys away from a friend who texts while driving. At least not in the same way we would for a tipsy coworker. Texting, eating, making calls, trying to handle a child in the backseat, whatever it is that’s distracting the driver doesn’t matter. What matters is that they are a danger to themselves and others. Like drunk or sleep deprived drivers, the only thing the driver as an individual can do is make sure that himself and the people around him don’t take part in risky behavior. If the reader know someone who is constantly distracted while driving, bring this up to them privately and tell them about the decision of not riding in the car with them until they stop. On the road, if one notices a driver who is clearly not paying attention then keep away from them. Change routes or let them drive pass. It may seem inconvenient at the time but no one know what is going to happen a mile down the road. An astonishing 26 percent of all motor vehicle crashes are linked to cell phone use. So if one happens to see a driver on the phone, steer clear. Avoiding these distracted drivers can help to avert an accident, and higher car insurance costs.

Some accidents are unavoidable but the vast majority are caused by carelessness, risky behavior, and inexperience. As a driver, develop good driving behavior and make better choices for personal and passengers safety. Sometimes it’s a matter of slowing down. Sometimes it’s about staying off the road. And at sometimes it’s just a matter of paying attention, determining where the risks are and staying away from them.

We must do what it takes to keep our lives (and our cars) safe on the roads.

Melissa Thompson
Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.