The first step in defensive driving is defending against your own carelessness. Five ways to get into a preventable accident and what to do instead.

Five Common But Preventable Causes of Car Accidents

Most automobile accidents in the U.S. are caused by human error. Here are five of the most common causes of car accidents and how you can avoid them.

Distracted Driving

If you’re thinking about talking on the phone or sending a text while driving, don’t. The human brain can’t fully focus on both activities simultaneously. As your brain switches attention from one task to the other, it often becomes overloaded, resulting in slower reaction time and reduced driving performance. The best way to avoid the unnecessary risks of distracted driving is to make a determined effort to never text, never email, never talk on the phone while driving. A rare emergency may justify an exception, but—rarely.

Drunk Driving

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), every year more than 26,000 people are arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol. A third of all traffic fatalities in Colorado occur in alcohol-related crashes. Although many people do not believe that driving after having just a few drinks is dangerous, the CDOT launched its A Few Can Still Be Dangerous campaign to remind us that having only a couple of drinks does not mean it is safe to drive.

Drugged Driving

In Colorado, driving under the influence of any drug is illegal. It is considered to be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. If a person drives while impaired by any type of drug, even legal ones like marijuana or a prescribed medication, he can be arrested for DUI. Colorado drug recognition experts are trained to detect signs of drug impairment. And the state’s implied consent law requires any driver to consent to a chemical test if a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that his ability to drive is impaired by drugs, alcohol, or both.

Night Driving

Lower visibility at night means that road hazards are harder to see and steer clear of, making automobile accidents and injuries more likely. You should have your headlights on from about an hour before dusk until an hour after dawn. Any time you’re in doubt about whether to use them, turn them on, making sure that they’re aligned and functioning properly.

Speeding While Driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding is one of the most common causes of traffic accidents. It can be tempting to go just a little bit faster, particularly if you are running late. But is the risk of a ticket, higher insurance premiums, and injuring yourself and others worth getting where you’re going just a few minutes faster?

Unfortunately, careful driving on your part does not ensure that all other drivers will take the same precautions. If you were injured in an accident involving a negligent driver, contact the Law Offices of Daniel R. Rosen online or call 303-454-8000 or 800-ROSEN-911 today.

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