- A fatigued driver can lose concentration, pay less attention to the road and traffic conditions around them and have a slower reaction time. These factors can cause an accident, and drivers who feel tired should stop and rest for a period of time. Long journeys can increase the likelihood of fatigue, and scheduling regular breaks can reduce the chances of becoming too tired for safe driving.
- Paying careful attention to the highway layout and other vehicles while driving can help avoid accidents. However, many distractions can take a drivers attention away from the road. Examples of this can include using a mobile phone, admiring the scenery, changing the radio station or passengers causing distractions. Rubbernecking can also come into play as a driver distraction. This is where drivers slow their car to watch something happening on or near the highway, and become distracted while doing so.
Alcohol and Drugs
- Alcohol and drugs can affect the brain and central nervous system in similar ways, which make it more dangerous to drive when under their influence. They can affect reasoning and judgment, which can lead to decreased fear and an increased likelihood of risk-taking. Consumed in sufficient quantities they can also cause relaxation and tiredness. These factors will affect driving skills, and greatly increase the chances of causing an accident.
- The faster an automobile travels, the less time a driver has to react to road and traffic conditions around them. Increased speed also requires greater braking distance to safely maneuver or bring a vehicle to a stop. These two factors typically mean that speeding can increase the likelihood of an accident.
- A range of inclement weather can make accidents more likely. This can include conditions such as fog or blizzards which reduce visibility. Snow, rain and ice can result in a wet and slippery road surface, increasing the chances of drivers losing control of a vehicle. These factors can make driving in bad weather more dangerous.
- A major fault occurring in a moving vehicle can result in a driver losing control of a vehicle. Examples of this can include brake failure, a tire blowout or steering failure. Safety standards in car design these days typically mean the chances of this happening are rare, although if a major fault does occur while driving, it can cause an accident.