Traffic Safety Episode 2: The 5 Most Common Traffic Crashes
According to NTHSA traffic crashes was the number one cause of death in the U.S. for young adults between the ages of 16-24. Understanding the common types of traffic crashes can help in preventing death and serious injuries. As a Police Officer with 15 years of experience this statistic is unacceptable. Our young adults are dying from a cause that is completely preventable. That is why I went live on Facebook today to discuss the top 5 types of traffic crashes. If you missed my live you can watch a replay of it here:
Rear End Traffic Crash
A rear-end traffic crash results when one car collides into the back of the car in front of it — and, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, this type of crash accounts for 29 percent of all accidents. The NHTSA found in a 2007 study that drivers involved in rear-end crashes were “routinely engaged in activities that divert their attention from the forward roadway while driving,” and 64 percent of those involved in rear-end crashes were not looking at the road at the time of the crash. When drivers try to smash a bug on the windshield, talk on their cellphone, or play with the radio, they take their eyes off the road, which is a big mistake.
To help avoid rear-ending another vehicle because of inattention, always pay attention to your surroundings, particularly the street and other vehicles. Make sure your cell phone is safely put away and focus your attention to the road and your speed.
Hitting a Parked Car
This type of accident is completely avoidable. Be aware of your surroundings and take into account the size of the vehicle you are driving. The best advice is to always check your mirrors and even turn backwards when reversing to keep a clear view of where you are going.
When you hydroplane, you have no control over the car’s direction. Because the car is not in contact with the road, turning the wheel left or right has no effect on direction, and hitting the brakes actually increases the hydroplaning, since a stationary tire acts more like a water ski than one that is turning.
To avoid hydroplaning, drive a bit more slowly during and right after rain storms, especially in areas where water accumulates. Slowing down makes it easier for the tires to connect with the ground. You should also regularly check your tire’s treads to make sure they aren’t worn down. If you do find yourself in a hydroplane situation, the best thing to do is stop accelerating. Avoid stomping on your brakes. Instead, apply steady pressure to the brakes and allow the car to coast down to a slower speed.
Drivers may be required to know the rules of the roadway, but wild animals don’t always follow them. Depending on the size of the animal, a collision with your car can cause serious vehicle damage, resulting in body damage or broken windows. This is important now as Spring approaches and deer start to appear near roadways. A tip to scare them away is to use your high beams and honk your horn. Make sure to follow the speed limit to ensure that you are able to slow down in time if one darts out into the road.
Side-Impact Traffic Crash
These are commonly called “T-bone” accidents, but include other types as well. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2009, side-impact crashes accounted for 27 percent of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in the U.S.
These types of collisions include “T-bone” crashes, which occur when one driver fails to stop and collides with the vehicle that has the right of way. These types of accidents are especially dangerous because the sides of vehicles have less space to absorb energy and shield passengers.
To avoid these dangerous crashes you should:
- Look both ways for oncoming cars when you have the right of way.
- Stop at red lights and stop signs completely.
- Follow posted speed limits to make sure that you will have adequate time to stop for a changing light.