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Behind the Wheel: The Psychology of New Jersey Auto Accidents


When it comes to auto accidents, many people immediately think of factors like weather conditions, road hazards, or mechanical failures. However, human factors play a significant role in the majority of car crashes. In this blog post, we will explore the psychology behind New Jersey auto accidents and provide tangible tips on how to avoid common issues that can lead to collisions.

1. Distracted Driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2019 alone. Distractions can come in many forms, including texting, eating, or even adjusting the radio. The key to avoiding distractions is to stay focused on the task at hand: driving. Here are some tips to help you stay focused:

  • Put your phone away or use a hands-free device.
  • Set your GPS and adjust your music before hitting the road.
  • Avoid eating or drinking while driving.
  • Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel at all times.

2. Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving behaviors, such as speeding, tailgating, or weaving in and out of traffic, can lead to dangerous situations and increase the likelihood of an accident. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that aggressive driving plays a role in more than half of all fatal crashes. To avoid aggressive driving, consider the following tips:

  • Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination, so you don't feel rushed.
  • Maintain a safe following distance from other vehicles.
  • Use your turn signals and obey traffic laws.
  • Remain calm and avoid engaging with other aggressive drivers.

3. Driver Fatigue

Driving while tired can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that drowsy driving is responsible for 100,000 crashes and 1,550 fatalities each year. To combat driver fatigue, try these tips:

  • Get a full night's sleep before a long drive.
  • Take regular breaks during long trips to stretch and rest.
  • Avoid driving during your body's natural “down times,” such as late at night or early in the morning.
  • If you feel drowsy, pull over and take a short nap or find a safe place to rest for the night.

4. Emotional Driving

Driving while angry, upset, or stressed can impair your judgment and lead to risky behaviors. To avoid emotional driving, practice these techniques:

  • Take deep breaths and count to ten to help calm yourself.
  • Listen to soothing music or an audiobook to help take your mind off your emotions.
  • Pull over and take a break if you're feeling overwhelmed.
  • Consider talking to a therapist or counselor to help manage your emotions.

5. Seeking Help After an Accident

If you've been involved in an auto accident in New Jersey, it's essential to understand the role that human factors may have played in the collision. At Levinson Axelrod, P.A., our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you navigate the complexities of your case and fight for the compensation you deserve. Our team has extensive knowledge of the psychology behind auto accidents and can help you build a strong case. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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