Car collisions are terrifying. No matter whose fault it is, or if it could have been prevented, car accidents can shake a person’s confidence at best and cause serious injury at worst.
In 2015, 300,000 car accidents were reported to ICBC from throughout the province, a number up 20,000 from the year before. The unfortunate thing is that many, if not most, accidents are preventable.
There are a few main reasons that car accidents occur. Here are the top three most common reasons for car collisions and how to avoid them.
When smart phones first came out, distracted driving accidents shot up. Law enforcement has tried to combat it by handing out distracted driving tickets. In BC, the ticket is no joke. As of June 2016, distracted drivers pay a hefty $368 ticket and will be penalized four points on their insurance. On a first infraction, the driver pays a further $175 ICBC Driver Penalty Point premium, for a total of $543.
If the fines are any indication, it is still a major problem on the roads. If you are texting while driving, your eyes are off the road for an average of five seconds at a time. When traveling 85 km per hour, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field as if you’re blindfolded.
How to avoid: This one is simple. Don’t do it! Even at a red light or if you think you have the road to yourself, distracted driving puts you, other drivers and pedestrians at danger. If you must use electronics while you drive, get a hands-free set up for your vehicle or pull over to the side of the road until you can concentrate again.
Driving tired is never worth it, but many people risk it. At nighttime, when the sky is dark and your body is sending signals that it’s bedtime, is the most dangerous time to be driving while tired.
Tired drivers experience many symptoms that put themselves and others in danger. These include having heavy eyelids, drifting the vehicle over the midline into oncoming traffic, fluctuating vehicle speed, errors in judgment and even hallucinations.
How to avoid: If you feel yourself getting sleepy on the road, the best course of action is to pull over and have a nap. This will relieve some of the stress and allow your body to recharge before getting back out onto the road. Some advice suggests getting some caffeine or cranking the air conditioning, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Pulling over until you feel rested keeps everyone safe.
Drunk driving continues to be a leading cause of car collisions, despite increases in penalties and stricter restrictions for anyone consuming alcohol before they get behind the wheel. The holidays always sees a spike in incidents, even though law enforcement is out looking for offenders.
How to avoid: This is another easy one, Don’t do it! There is no excuse for drinking and driving in today’s world of public transit, taxi services and ride shares. If you do drink and drive, you probably shouldn’t have a license, considering how many people’s lives you are putting in danger.
At Grandcity Autobody, our vehicle technicians repair vehicles from a wide range of collisions, some that couldn’t have been helped but many that could have been. We hope that everyone is safe on the roads and that drivers make smart decisions that keep themselves, other drivers, passengers and pedestrians safe.
If you have been in a collision and need repairs, come see our experienced staff today.