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The 4 risky behaviors to blame for many car wrecks

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2024 | Car Accidents

Car crashes don’t occur out of nowhere. The vast majority of them are both predictable and preventable. They occur specifically because drivers engage in unsafe behaviors, many of which are actually violations of traffic statutes.

According to federal research performed by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), four categories of behavior are responsible for a significant percentage of the preventable collisions that transpire each year.

Impaired driving

Both drunk driving and drugged driving are dangerous choices. People who decide to get behind the wheel while under the influence of a mind-altering substance can make major mistakes and oversights in traffic that lead to collisions. Illegal drugs and prescribed medications can impair someone’s ability much like alcohol can. Even over-the-counter medication can sometimes affect someone’s safety in traffic.

Distracted driving

The rise of digital devices has had a negative impact on traffic safety. People feel as though they cannot put their phones down even for the duration of their commute to work. Digital distraction is incredibly dangerous, and there are many other forms of distraction that affect traffic safety as well, including eating while driving and conversing with passengers.

Fatigued driving

The longer someone goes without adequate sleep, the more their fatigue begins to affect their functional abilities. Those who feel drowsy while driving may notice that they have increased reaction times and difficulty focusing. They may also have a harder time making the right decision for their safety and the protection of others. Those who feel fatigued could also fall asleep at the wheel, leading to a total loss of control of a vehicle.


If there is one traffic violation that people readily admit to, it is driving at well over the posted speed limit. Given that speeding is a common traffic violation, people may not realize how dangerous it actually is. Quite a few of the worst collisions every year involve excess speed. Both traveling at over the posted limit and traveling irresponsibly fast given road conditions could lead to preventable, tragic collisions.

There has been a marked increase in risky driving conduct in the last few years, which may help to explain why crash rates have risen despite improved safety systems in many modern vehicles. Understanding that personal choices largely drive risk levels may help people limit their risk of causing a serious car crash. Drivers who avoid the riskiest common behaviors in traffic can do their part to keep the roads safer.