RAC Cars News


Why Car Accidents Happen

By raccars Published

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Very few motorists with a driving career of any length escape being involved in an accident at one time or another, with varying degrees of severity. Whether you are the cause of the accident or on the receiving end, it's a very distressing experience. While most drivers make every effort to avoid collisions, they still happen, and these are the most common reasons why. Ultimately, they can all be put down to human error or negligence.

Reckless driving

The sensation of burning rubber and a growling exhaust can be so intoxicating that some drivers leave their common sense back in the parking bay. As exhilarating as it can be to put pedal to metal, this kind of excitement puts the driver and other road users at risk. Speed limits are disregarded and red lights ignored, but the adventure too often ends in the A&E department or, worse, at the funeral home. See also tailgating and swerving between lanes.


Mobile phones usually take the blame for distracted driving but they are not the only dangerous distraction facing drivers. Multitasking in the form of fiddling with the car stereo or air conditioning, turning round to control squabbling kids in the back and eating or drinking are all things that otherwise sensible drivers regularly do, and which cause a number of senseless accidents.

Dodgy parts

Defective car parts are one of the most common causes of road accidents, in particular worn and burst tyres. Tyres in bad condition can affect traction and braking, while a blowout can cause a complete loss of control. Brake failure, broken headlamps, faulty steering and defective suspension can all reduce control at the wheel. Use genuine parts when making repairs, buy good quality tyres at a trusted retailer and maintain your car in good condition.

Conditions on the road

Poor road conditions accounted for 19,000 road deaths or serious injuries from March 2012 - March 2013. This includes slippery road surfaces, thanks to wet and freezing weather and deteriorating blacktop due to a lack of maintenance and sheer volume of traffic, all of which can mean drivers miscalculate their braking capability or how fast they can go around a corner.

Driver health

Tiredness and stress may not be the obvious cause at the scene of an accident but they inevitably affect driver reaction times. Similar effects are seen from drinking or taking drugs and driving, or driving with uncorrected vision and other health problems. If you have any doubts about your physical condition, do not drive.

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