Car crashes occur every day in Michigan, and the vast majority of them are preventable. It is quite frequently bad decision-making by one of the drivers involved that causes a car crash, rather than winter weather or the questionable condition of certain Michigan roads.
Although you may try to be safe at the wheel, it is easy to become complacent and to fall into dangerous habits. When it comes to preventable car crashes, three kinds of mistakes in particular have an outsized impact on traffic safety. There are three different driving habits that are responsible for a significant portion of the crashes that occur in Michigan and across the country every year.
The best-known driving risk is also the deadliest. Drunk driving claims hundreds of lives in Michigan every year and thousands of lives across the country, in addition to causing thousands of injuries and millions of dollars in property damage.
In 2019, the most recent year with data from the state, drunk driving claimed the lives of 985 people. Despite essentially all drivers knowing that it is illegal to drive after drinking, people still decide to try driving themselves home after having a few too many drinks and can cause tragedy for themselves or others.
Drowsy driving is arguably one of the most widespread driving risks. As many as one in 25 people will admit that they have fallen asleep at the wheel in the last 30 days. Drowsy drivers often behave a lot like drunk drivers, having a hard time making good decisions at the wheel and longer reaction times. Drowsy driving is an epidemic, and it can be particularly dangerous when the person is in control of a commercial vehicle or has gone nearly a full day without sleep.
The rise of digital technology has led to a massive increase in the number of distracted driving crashes that occur. However, it’s important to recognize that mobile phones are only one of many possible sources of distraction. Eating at the wheel, singing along to the radio and even daydreaming can all be distractions that cause collisions.
Identifying and avoiding dangerous driving behaviors can reduce your risk of motor vehicle collision or at least help ensure that you are not the one at fault for the crash.