Car accidents, big or small, can have a massive impact on the lives of the people involved. Even when you do everything right, the unfortunate truth is that whenever you find yourself on the road, you’re at risk of being injured in an accident. There are a ton of reasons accident happen, and your best defense against sustaining an injury is knowing these reasons. That’s why we’ve created this list of the top causes of car accidents in Alberta, where you’ll learn what to watch out for and what you can do to avoid being seriously injured.
1. Driver Inexperience
We’ve all been here at one time or another – still learning the ropes of driving and enjoying a newfound sense of freedom that comes with the open road. However, this lack of experience can have a profound impact on the safety of others. According to the Alberta Ministry of Transportation, young drivers had the highest involvement rate of all drivers in deadly collisions, along with the highest casualty rates in accidents for 2015. A massive 86.4% of total accidents in 2015 were caused by one or more drivers committing a driver error. The reality is that there will always be new, young drivers on the road. The key to protecting yourself from the decisions of these inexperienced drivers is by giving them a wide berth. Often these drivers are easy to spot based on their driving behaviors, so when you see one, be prepared for them to make a mistake and drive defensively.
Obvious, right? Well, despite how often we’re told about the dangers of speeding, there are still those who fail to heed the warnings and drive well over the speed limit. As a result, a whopping 25% of 2015 fatal collisions in Alberta were caused by speeding. When you’re sharing the road with a speeder, you must be constantly aware of your surroundings and react calmly to their negligent driving. You may want to let the driver know what you think of their behavior, but it’s not worth it. Just stay out of their way, and if they’re driving dangerously fast, pull over safely and notify the police. Make sure you pay attention to your own speed to avoid putting yourself and others at in danger. It’s better to arrive late and safely.
3. Distracted Driving
We have access to so many gadgets and toys these days, it’s no wonder distracted driving is a major cause of car accidents in Alberta. Distracted driving means that you’re splitting your attention between the road and something else, like a mobile phone, music, food, GPS, or any number of other distractions. And, like the other causes outlined in this list, it can have deadly results. According to CAA, distracted driving in Canada is causing more accidents than impaired driving. You owe it to yourself and your fellow drivers to help keep our roads safe by avoiding common distractions. Keep your music at a reasonable volume, don’t touch your phone unless you’re parked, and avoid multitasking with food or makeup. You can check out our article about distracted driving here.
We’re blessed to be living so close to the beauty of nature here in Alberta, but unfortunately, wild animals on the road have been proven to be a leading cause of rural accidents in our province. In fact, 54% of 2015 rural accidents occurred as a result of a collision involving an animal, so the risk is not to be taken lightly. When animals appear on the road, it’s often sudden and without warning, so it’s absolutely vital that you don’t panic. Swerving is almost never the answer, as it can actually increase the severity of the accident if your car loses control. Most of us love animals, but the safety of you and your family is far more important. The hard truth is that sometimes you must hit an animal in order to protect yourself. For more tips on avoiding accidents with animals, see this list.
Although you’ve learned some of the major causes of car accidents and injuries in Alberta and what you can do to avoid them, accidents can still pose a real risk to your safety. If you or someone you know is injured in a car accident, rest assured that the personal injury lawyers of Litwiniuk & Company are here to help however we can. Contact us and we’ll fight to get you the compensation you deserve.