You can control what you do when you drive, but you don’t have a say in what other drivers do when they drive. This means that you can’t always ensure that you are going to make it to your destination safely. It is imperative that all drivers have an understanding of the most common accident causes so that they can attempt to avoid them.

If you notice that someone around you is doing something unsafe, try to avoid that vehicle. You might even alert the local police department if the person is likely going to cause an accident and if it is safe for you to do so. Here are some causes of wrecks to remember:

Alcohol and drugs

Driver impairment is a big factor in wrecks. Nobody should drink alcohol or take any drugs that might alter their mental or physical state if they know they are going to drive. It doesn’t take much to impair a driver enough that they are a safety hazard to others on the roads.

Distractions

Paying attention to the road is critical. Drivers who are distracted can’t react to obstacles on the road appropriately. Some people might be surprised when they realize that some tasks done while driving are actually considered distractions. These include eating or drinking, talking to occupants of the vehicle, looking at billboards and adjusting the radio or climate control. Even checking the GPS can be a distraction if you are having to adjust it. Putting on make-up, reaching for items in the vehicle, caring for children and using a phone are also culprits.

Reckless behavior

The laws of the road are in place to help ensure safety for everyone. Drivers who drive faster than the posted limit, run through red lights, bypass stop signs, weave through lanes, and drive aggressively can cause wrecks.

Road conditions

Potholes and road construction can lead to crashes. Rain and fog are other risk factors since drivers might still try to drive at the speed limit instead of honoring the need to slow down. Uneven pavement and sudden lane shifts might also be hazardous.

Vehicle malfunctions

Tire blowouts and brakes failing can lead to accidents. These are sometimes unavoidable. However, proper vehicle maintenance can usually prevent these issues from becoming a problem.

Wildlife

Wildlife and animals trying to cross the road can lead to wrecks. While this is more common on rural roads, all drivers should be aware. Having to make the decision between hitting an animal or causing a wreck is a hard one to make, but everyone should be prepared to do so if necessary.