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On the many reasons why crashes occur

In 2008, researchers at the University of Michigan did a heavy analysis of nearly 7,000 car accidents all across the country. The purpose of the study was to find out some of the definitive reasons why car accidents occur. That may seem like a silly goal, given just how ubiquitous car accidents are and the myriad different reasons that any individual car accident could occur. But the study did yield some important information.

For one, the "rolling right turn on a red light" was a primary reasons why car accidents occur. This is an oddly specific reason, but a critical one to understand because many drivers get lazy and use this technique as the years go by. When you reach a red light and you want to make a right turn, it is imperative that you check to the left for oncoming traffic. What this means, though, is that you have less time to check to your right for pedestrians. If you "roll through" this red light to make the turn, it gives you even less time to see people who are in the crosswalk.

Another critical reason is fatigued driving. According to the data, about 7 percent of all crashes and 21 percent of fatal crashes involved a drowsy, fatigued, or sleepy driver.

And of course, rear end accidents area a major problem, so people not leaving enough space for the car in front of them is a serious problem too. Please make sure to respect the driver in front of you.

Source: Slate, "Anatomy of a Car Crash," Steve Casner, Nov. 21, 2017

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