6 Bad Driving Habits That Can End in a Car Accident in St. Louis, MO

Vehicular accidents are often the result of negligence or human error. In 2013, IIHS calculated that over 32,000 people were killed in car crashes in the United States. Many of these accidents were caused by preventable mistakes and bad habits. And when you are injured in a preventable crash caused by another driver’s negligence, you can get compensation for your resulting injuries and other damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

Here are the five most common bad driving habits that can lead to a car accident in St. Louis, MO. 

1. Distracted Driving

According to the NHTSA, distracted driving resulted in 3,142 fatalities in 2019.

While talking on the phone or texting are the most common causes of distracted driving, many other distractions can also result in vehicular crashes. Eating, drinking, and adjusting the radio or GPS navigational system are all activities that can cause accidents and put lives at risk.

Before you start driving, take care of any tasks, such as phone calls or setting your navigation system, first. If an emergency should occur, pull over safely and deal with it before resuming your journey.

2. Fatigued Driving

The National Sleep Foundation has numerous studies investigating how lack of sleep contributes to a considerable amount of car accidents. According to their research, 100,000 car accidents every year can be traced to driver fatigue. Researchers estimate that lack of sleep or insufficient sleep causes 1,500 fatalities and 71,000 injuries each year.

You may get some temporary relief from opening the window or drinking coffee. However, if you are sleep deprived, get some rest before trying to drive. If you are going on a long drive, schedule frequent rest stops or swap driving duties with a passenger. 

3. Dehydration

On long road trips, some drivers may prefer to avoid drinking water if it means stopping less frequently for bathroom breaks. However, studies suggest that driving while dehydrated can be just as detrimental to your performance as driving drunk. Dehydrated drivers made just as many errors, such as lane drifting, crossing the rumble strip, and delayed braking as drivers with a blood alcohol level of 0.08.

4. Tailgating

This aggressive driving style is extremely dangerous. The NHTSA has found that rear-end collisions account for 33.4% of car crashes, 6.8% of which included a fatality. A vehicle traveling at 60 mph takes at least 240 feet to stop, and many drivers follow too close to provide sufficient space to avoid a collision.

Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab report that journey times could be cut in half if drivers stopped tailgating. When cars follow the vehicle in front too closely, it creates a compressed wave of traffic that worsens as other vehicles join the road. If cars maintain their distance, traffic flows more smoothly.

The best way to deal with a tailgater is to let them pass or move into another lane and put some distance between you.

5.    Failing to Use Turn Signals

The Society of Automotive Engineers has shown that failing to use turn signals may cause twice as many accidents as distracted driving. The same study has found that drivers don’t use their turn signals nearly 50% of the time when changing lanes and nearly 25% of the time when turning.

Missouri Revised Statute 304.019 states that you must use an appropriate signal when making a turn or switching lanes. Failure to signal may result in a Class C misdemeanor, penalized by a fine of $750 or up to 15 days in jail.

6.    Speeding

Half of all drivers surveyed by AAA admitted driving at least 15 mph over the speed limit. With speed contributing to almost 10,000 fatalities per year, it pays to slow down.

Speeding increases your chances of accident involvement because it reduces your reaction time and braking distance.

Get Car Accident Compensation with Cofman Townsley

If you have been injured in a car accident by a driver who was guilty of any of these bad driving habits, call the St Louis car accident lawyers at Cofman Townsley. Our car accident lawyers have the experience needed to help get you the compensation you deserve. Our auto accident lawyers can help you establish your case and assist in getting the settlement to cover the financial burden of your injuries.

Contact us today for a no-obligation, free consultation to understand what compensation you may be entitled to after a car crash that wasn’t your fault.