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9. Auto Accidents: Causes & Prevention

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2. Illness, Fatigue, Stress

Illness

Illness can make it difficult for you to process and act on the things you’re seeing and hearing, impair your ability to rapidly take corrective action such as changing the direction and speed of your vehicle. It could also make you more likely to fall asleep at the wheel.

Some prescription and over-the-counter medications, even common cold medications, can cause you to become drowsy while driving.

You should be very careful if you choose to drive when you are feeling ill. You are responsible for knowing the effects of the medications you take.

Fatigue

Physical and mental fatigue increase the likelihood of accidents by affecting your vision, judgment, and reaction time.

Driving when you’re tired can be just as dangerous as driving when you’ve been drinking alcohol. When you’re tired, you’re less alert. Most drivers are less alert at night, especially after midnight.

You increase your chances of being in a collision if you are tired or fatigued because you may not see hazards early enough, or react quickly.

Emotional Stress

As was also discussed in Module 3, avoiding accidents requires that you focus on the task of driving.

Safe driving requires concentration. If you are preoccupied with your emotions, you will not be able to focus on driving safely. You should not drive if you’re emotionally distressed (e.g., angry or upset) or otherwise preoccupied with your emotions or thoughts.

Heavy traffic, bad weather, and road work can cause you to become stressed, especially if you are in a hurry. Being late can also cause you to become stressed, and drive unsafely.

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. If you have a tire blowout:


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


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  5. 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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