Auto Collision Statistics
Accidents happen, especially in regions that get a lot of snow or rain, like the pacific northwest. Maybe you’re on your way to work, or picking your kids up from school, or going out to eat, and then out of nowhere, it happens. It’s never expected and is usually unintended. No matter who is or is not at fault, collisions are never an enjoyable experience, especially when they require costly auto body repairs. Even the most minor accidents can leave you shaken and disrupt an otherwise good day.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are over 6 million motor vehicle crashes every year. That’s pretty high, and the numbers typically go up each year.
Why Car Accidents Happen
The top behavior reasons that cause accidents haven’t changed much over the years – fast driving, being under the influence, failure to yield or stay in your lane, and distracted driving. So why is the number of auto collisions rising if our behaviors haven’t changed?
The likely answer? More cars on the road from population increases, and a lack of defensive driving. Most drivers ed classes teach you to focus on your own driving, but defensive driving is just as important. You shouldn’t just be aware of your driving, but of others around you as well.
Common Types of Auto Collisions
There are nearly infinite possibilities for how a car accident can happen. Surprisingly, even with so many variables at play, there still tend to be patterns that lead to some types of collisions occurring more often than others.
Being rear-ended or rear-ending another driver is relatively common. Every driver has likely experienced this type of accident or been close to experiencing it. You look down for a split-second, and in that short amount of time, you have hit or have very nearly hit the car in front of you. Or perhaps you were the one getting hit. Either way, these types of accidents happen often, but there are some things you can do to avoid them:
- Keep your distance. You should keep at least one or two car lengths between you and the car in front of you. This gives you time to react if they stop without warning. If there is rain or snow, the distance should increase to allow for the possibility of sliding or skidding. If someone else is tailgating you, even if you are driving the speed limit, get over and let them pass. Staying in front of them will typically aggravate the situation and can result in them rear-ending you.
- Use your turn signal. If you are slowing down to make a turn, be sure to flip on your turn signal ahead of time. When you wait until you are just about to get over or make a turn to signal, it doesn’t give the car behind you much time to react.
- Avoid distractions. Distracted driving is one of the top behaviors that lead to accidents, according to NHTSA. And what is the number one distraction? You guessed it – cell phones. If you can, put your phone somewhere you can’t reach while driving to avoid temptation.
- Slow down gradually. Try to avoid hitting your breaks last minute. Decelerating over a few seconds will allow others behind you time to also slow down.
Front-End or Head-On Collisions
More common than rear-end accidents are front-end impacts. This is because they not only involve accidents with other cars but hitting objects as well. These tend to happen when cars fail to stay in their lane and veer over into another lane or off-road. To avoid these types of collisions:
- Don’t drink and drive. This one should go without saying, but driving under the influence is still one of the top behaviors that lead to accidents. NHTSA lists it as the second most common behavior, just behind driving too fast.
- Stay alert. Failure to keep in the proper lane is another top contender listed by the NHTSA for behaviors that lead to vehicle collisions. When you are daydreaming or not entirely focused, it’s easy to cross over into another lane without realizing it. Driving drowsy is also a top reason why people veer off-road or into oncoming traffic.
Side collisions are most often seen at intersections and usually occur when one driver fails to acknowledge the right-of-way of another vehicle. This can happen when a car blows through a red light or fails to yield the right-of-way at a stop sign. It can also occur when cars pull out into traffic with limited visibility. To avoid side collisions with another vehicle:
- Proceed with caution. When the light turns green, don’t immediately step on the gas without first checking that there aren’t any cars trying to squeeze through the light. When pulling out into traffic, or crossing over a road, pull forward slowly to give oncoming traffic time to see the nose of your car pulling out.
- Have patience. If you arrive at a stop sign at the same time as another vehicle, take the high road and let them go first. Similarly, if you arrive at a stop sign before another car, but that driver is determined to pull out before you, just let them go. Getting road rage and trying to beat them to it won’t help and may result in a collision.
You’re pulling out of your spot at the grocery store, or backing out in a parking garage, and you hear that telltale thump or crunch. You cringe and hang your head – you’ve collided with another vehicle. Though collisions in parking lots or garages tend to result in minor damages, it doesn’t make them any less frustrating. In fact, parking lot collisions are often the most annoying because they should be easily avoidable. To lessen the likelihood of a parking collision:
- Don’t rely on the mirrors. Parking lots and garages are known for having blind spots. Merely checking your rear-view and side mirrors is not enough. Check the mirrors, check over your shoulder, and then continue to check as you slowly pull out.
- Park farther away. If you park in an aisle with fewer cars, the chances of colliding with another vehicle will drop significantly.
How Speed’s Auto Body Can Help
If you ever find yourself in need of auto body repairs, contact Speed’s Auto Body near Milwaukie, OR, for superior quality service and repairs. Our state-of-the-art facility utilizes the most up-to-date technology to ensure your vehicle is restored to its original factory specifications.
As a locally owned company, we have earned a name as one of the best auto body shops in the Portland area, providing excellent service and customer care. Call us for all of your auto body and collision repair needs today!