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9. Auto Accidents: Causes & Prevention

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1. Introduction

Traffic accidents are one of the top 5 causes of death in the United States. Although some accidents are unavoidable, the sad truth is that thousands of lives would be saved each year if drivers were aware of the conditions that increase the risk of an accident and took defensive steps to drive safely.

Although drivers under 30 years of age account for only about 23% of licensed drivers, they comprise about 35% of all drivers in fatal and injury collisions. Teenage drivers have total accident rates which are 4 times that of adults. Traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers.

Faulty Driver Performance
As was discussed in Lesson 3, there are physical abilities that are necessary for avoiding accidents. Physical conditions that can lead to accidents include poor vision, poor hearing, illness, and fatigue.

Vision
Good vision is important for safe driving and avoiding accidents. You need to have good visual acuity, peripheral vision, depth perception, and glare resistance and recovery. Good vision allows you to identify potential hazards and react more quickly. You should have your vision checked and wear prescription lenses when necessary. Keep your windows and mirrors clean and don’t hang things from your mirrors or windows that could block your view. Accidents can happen if you don't check blind spots. Make sure to turn your head before merging into a lane during a lane change or before making a turn.

Hearing
Good hearing is also necessary for safe driving and avoiding accidents, so be sure to get it checked periodically. Your hearing can help you notice vehicles in your blind spots. Make sure to have your hearing checked periodically. In order to be aware of your surroundings, keep your radio turned down. Driving with at least one of your side windows open will also allow you to hear what is going on outside your vehicle better.

Driving with headphones or earbuds is illegal.


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Lesson Summary


  

Lesson 9 Quiz


You will now answer 5 questions to test what you learned during this lesson. You must answer all questions correctly to receive completion credit for this lesson. You may answer the questions as many times as necessary to get them right.

You should review the lesson material if you don't do well on the quiz.

  1. To avoid tailgating, and help avoid a rear-end collision, you should give yourself a gap of how many seconds behind the car in front of you?


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  2. Teenage drivers have a total accident rate that is _____ times that of adults:


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  3. If you are distracted for one second, by a cell phone, passenger, or other distraction, at 30 mph you will travel how far "blindly"?


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  4. If you have a tire blowout:


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  5. Failure to yield is the primary cause of what percentage of fatal and injury collisions?


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