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Every time you get in the car, regardless of your driving skills or your record, you’re at risk of getting into an accident. All it takes is one other driver who makes a critical mistake. Defensive driving may help you avoid these crashes, but there is no guaranteed way to eliminate the risk. 

Most car accidents come from just a few main sources, however. Understanding what leads to a wreck can help you be a better defensive driver.

Human error is the leading cause of wrecks

It’s long been said that the main reason people crash their cars is because of human error. While this is true in a big-picture sense — most accidents don’t happen due to issues like mechanical malfunctions or poor road designs — you may be wondering exactly what errors cause these accidents. A few examples include:

  • Drunk driving: Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, including legal prescription drugs.
  • Distracted driving: Operating the car without full attention on the road. Distractions include eating, texting, talking to passengers, adjusting the mirrors and much more.
  • Following too closely: Often called tailgating, this just means driving so close to the next car that there’s no space or time to stop if needed.
  • Major traffic errors: Errors include running red lights or going out of turn at four-way stops.
  • Speeding: It may be true that almost every driver has broken the speed limit at some point, but those who do it consistently and recklessly increase accident odds.

Have you gotten injured in an accident? You could find yourself missing paychecks while you’re out of work, wondering how you’ll make ends meet and facing high medical bills. Make sure you know how to seek proper financial compensation for your injuries and losses following a wreck.