Car accidents: Why are they increasing?

Across the country, the number of car accidents is increasing each year, leading to severe injury and death. Maryland is no exception to this as there has been a noticeable increase in car accidents over the past five years.

Crash statistics

In 2019, there were 496 motor vehicle accidents in Maryland and 32,919 crashes that involved injury. Fatalities marked an increase of just over 3% from 2015, and injuries increased almost 7% since 2015.

Distracted driving

One of the most common causes of accidents throughout the country is distracted driving. Texting, talking on a handheld device, and using a phone to get directions while driving requires you to take your eyes and at least one hand from the wheel. If you do this for just a few seconds at 55 miles per hour, it is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. The best way to avoid distractions is to put your phone out of reach or place it on Do Not Disturb until you arrive home.

However, your cellphone is not the only distraction in your vehicle. Eating, drinking, doing your makeup or hair, talking to other passengers, or trying to pick something up are all types of distracted driving that could lead to motor vehicle accidents.

Vehicle malfunctions

It is critical to keep your vehicle in good working condition. You need to perform routine maintenance such as checking tire pressure, changing the oil, and making sure all fluids are at the proper level. Failure to do so could result in your car breaking down at a high rate of speed. Even something as minor as a broken taillight could result in someone hitting you from behind.

Weather

Weather is a common cause of car accidents on icy or wet roads. Always clean ice and snow from your car before heading out on the highway, especially if it has significant snow covering. As your car warms, the snow and ice melt from the bottom. This can lead to large chunks of ice or snow lifting from the roof of your car and striking the vehicle behind you. Snow and ice can also slide forward if you hit the brakes, covering your windshield and blocking your vision.

There are many factors potentially causing an increase in accidents. Understanding those reasons could help protect you from being the victim of a serious crash.