Fatal car crashes are a problem all across the country. The most common behavior leading to these crashes varies from state to state. A recent look into data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that the most common cause of fatal accidents in the U.S. is the failure to stay in the proper lane. Texas is one of the majority of states where lane violations are the most common form of dangerous driving leading to deadly accidents.
Other leading causes
Ten different driving behaviors took the top spot in various states. These include everything from overcorrecting (South Dakota) and improper turns (California) to reckless driving (6 states) and failing to yield the right-of-way (7 states). The data compiled by the Auto Insurance Center presents a compelling case for what behaviors you should avoid to stay safe behind the wheel.
Lane discipline and lane changes are related issues. Failures in lane discipline lead to an increase in lane changes. The more lane changes you make, the more likely you are to get into an accident. First, it is important to remember that the left lane is a passing lane in typical four-lane divided highways. You should not be driving for long periods of time in the passing lane. Before changing lanes, check your rearview and side mirrors. Signal your lane change and check your mirrors again. Finally, check your blind spot before moving over into the new lane. Every lane change should be signaled in advance, even if you think there is no one around to see the signal.
Of course, sometimes the reason a lane change is not signaled is because the driver isn't changing lanes on purpose. Distracted driving contributes to many accidents that may be attributed to improper lane changes. A driver wandering into a new lane may be staring at a cell phone or otherwise taking his or her attention away from operating the vehicle. Distracted driving is responsible for many types of accidents, not just rear-end collisions.
Fatal car accidents are a horrible tragedy. If drivers remained mindful of the rules and responsibilities of safe driving, the vast majority of these accidents would be prevented. Stay safe by remembering to signal lane changes, look before you enter a new lane and always pay attention to where your car is on the road.