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Brush up on the common causes of car crashes

Car crashes claim lives and lead to very serious injuries. Before you head out on the road this spring and summer, make sure you remember some of the most common causes for auto accidents. The information could help you avoid being in a serious wreck.

The spring and summer months are especially troubling for traffic because more people, including many new drivers, are getting out and about than during the frigid winter months. Here are a few hazards to consider as you hit the road.

Failing to pay attention

Driving isn't something that can be done with only partial focus. Drivers who are distracted can cause serious accidents. Rather than responding to that text, checking on dinner reservations, or putting cream in that coffee, drivers should be paying attention to the only thing that truly matters - safely operating their motor vehicle. 

Driving recklessly

Drivers who aren't driving safely can cause accidents. Some drivers speed, tailgate or otherwise drive in an aggressive manner. These actions can quickly cause problems because they cause a snowball effect among nearby drivers. Reckless drivers may also be more likely to be involved in road rage incidents. Weaving, passing on the sholder, tailgating, running red lights or stop signs, and driving too fast for the conditions are all hazardous. If possible, give a wide berth to any driver who isn't abiding by the speed limit or other traffic laws.

Vehicle breakdowns

Another issue that can lead to accidents is a problem with the vehicle or a component on the car. Tire blowouts, malfunctioning brakes and other similar issues can cause a vehicle to move uncontrollably. This can be deadly, especially at higher speeds. Make sure your vehicle is in good working order before you take it out.

Animals

When animals are around, drivers might swerve to avoid hitting them. This can lead to accidents if the vehicle goes into another vehicle's path. Even if the driver doesn't swerve, there is still a chance for an accident if the animal is struck. Be aware of the places and times where animals are likely to cross your path. Monitor your speed and keep a watchful eye out if you suspect an animal might cross your path.

Road hazards

Pot holes are a huge problem for many drivers. You have to make the split-second decision about going over the pot hole or trying to dodge it. Either option can lead to an accident so you often have to choose the lesser of the two evils if there are other vehicles around.

While this list is by no means comprehensive, it is a good start on things to watch out for to avoid an accident. Drive safely and hope that other drivers do the same.

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