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What Causes Auto Accidents?

Knowledge is power. That phrase has always rung true, and it applies to everything in your life – even your driving and insurance. As brokers, part of our job is to make sure you pay as little as possible for insurance. The best way to pay as little as possible is to avoid making claims – the more claims you make the riskier of a driver you are, and the more expensive your auto insurance will be.

So we want to give you some knowledge, sharing with you the top 5 causes of automobile accidents, so that you can learn from them and be aware of how dangerous some behavior really is.


Cause #5 – Medical/Emotional Impairment

It’s great to see mental illness gaining increased international exposure and attention in today’s society, because it is an issue that effects millions of Canadians every year. And, being so prevalent, it has an impact on many drivers.

The state of your mind while driving makes a large impact on your abilities, and is closely linked with another major causes of accidents – distracted driving. Your mind is incredibly powerful, and operating a vehicle while distraught, angry or in pain is a recipe for disaster.

Mental illness is important to understand, but so are the temporal emotional states of otherwise completely healthy individuals. You know that when you are really upset, you aren’t effective at doing tasks – why put yourself and others in harms way by driving?

It can be hard, but do everything you can to avoid getting behind the wheel when you are hurt or upset. It may end up saving your life.


Cause #4 – Weather

We loved to talk about the weather. And for good reason, it drastically effects our lives. The saying “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing” evidentally they never tried to drive his/her car in a Canadian snowstorm.

But just because bad weather is a regular occurrence for Canadians, doesn’t mean you should treat it like any other day. The weather, especially slippery snow and ice, have a huge impact on your ability to drive.

Auto Insurance is in place to replace your vehicle if you get into a crash, but you should strive to avoid crashes altogether, and to do that you must be aware of the weather. Being prepared beforehand for bad weather (winter tires, rain repellant etc.) can help you when driving in poor weather, but there is no substitute for common sense.

If you are in a storm and your ability to drive is compromised – slow down. Everything becomes much less dangerous if you are going at a decreased speed. And of course, if your visibility is poor, go off the road. A one hour delay won’t make or break your life, but a fatal car accident absolutely will.


Cause #3 – Driver Fatigue

A sneaky cause that is becoming all too common nowadays, fatigue cripples your ability to react and think critically – two skills essential to operating a motor vehicle.

It’s the primary reason why accidents spike the day after daylight savings time. It’s a challenge to drive a vehicle well at the best of times, nevermind when you’re barely staying awake. According to DrowsyDriving being awake without rest of 18 hours is comparable to having a blood alcohol content of 0.05, which would get you arrested for driving drunk Ontario.

Tired driving is way more popular among youth, but is still prevalent among more mature drivers – especially those on shift work.  If you are feeling tired you should rest, not drive.


Cause #2 – Impaired Driving

Driving impaired is undoubtedly the most advertised cause of accidents, and for good reason. Using alcohol or drugs while operating a vehicle is intensely dangerous. Drunk driving accounts for at least 25% of Ontario’s road fatalities each year, and costs the province a least $3 billion annually.

The tragic thing about many people who drive impaired is the damage they can inflict on others – many fatalities in drunk driving accidents were third parties who got hit by the irresponsible driver.

Because of the damage impaired driving causes, there are massive penalties for being caught, including license suspension, court convictions and car impoundment.


Cause #1 – Distracted Driving

The number one cause of automobile accidents, distracted driving represents a broad spectrum of activities that cause you to take your eyes off the road, and your attention away from the machine you are operating at incredible speed. Distracted driving includes: doing makeup, drinking, eating, reading and texting while driving, but that isn’t the full list.

Gawking at scenery is also a major cause of distracted driving, and perhaps that largest contributor to it is actually a phenomenon called “rubbernecking“, which is when people ignore their driving to look at the wreckage of a recent car accident. Have you noticed how traffic jams occur in the lanes going the opposite direction of where the accident is on major highways? That’s rubbernecking.

The Ministry of Transportation suggests that when you take your eyes of the road in front of you for more then 2 seconds, the chances of you being in an accident double. And when you text while driving, they quadruple.

You’re simply going to fast with too many variables to be able to pay attention to anything other than the road. So please, don’t drive distracted, it will save you on your insurance, and maybe even save your life.

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