According to the insurance companies, young inexperienced drivers have a high risk of getting into a car accident. In addition, a person with a driving record full of accidents will likely continue this pattern.
Does this mean older and more seasoned motorists are safe drivers. Not necessarily. If a motorist is not actively focused on defensive driving, she is at risk of having a car accident. This is true even if the she hasn’t been in one for many years. Why is this? Because these people are driving without full use of their greatest asset: their brain.
Years of driving without an accident does several things to you. First, it desensitizes you to the dangers of driving because it has been a long time since experiencing the terror of being out of control in your car. Sometimes this fear briefly returns when driving on a road during a raging snow blizzard. What’s ironic about this situation is that you and most of the other motorists on the road are driving much slower than normal. Although the treacherous conditions increase your risk of getting into an accident, the slow driving speeds make the consequences less severe. On the other hand, an accident while cruising along at 65 mph on clean dry pavement can easily be fatal. What is the state of mind of most drivers in this circumstance? Probably relaxed.
If you haven’t had an accident in years but aren’t focused on defensive driving, you’re relying on luck. You’re also relying on your built-in reflexes and automatic responses to routine driving situations. This is called driving on autopilot. It frees up the thinking part of the brain for other things. Unfortunately, too many people use that spare capacity to talk on a cell phone or simply daydream. This makes them highly vulnerable to unexpected dangers.
Here are a few things that could happen while driving on autopilot:
- A distracted driver can hit you broadside at an intersection because he didn’t notice that the light turned red for him.
- A child can suddenly run in front of your car, or a pedestrian distracted by her mobile device can walk in front of you.
- A drunk driver going the wrong way on an interstate can hit you head on.
- You can collide into a car that’s riding without its headlights at night.
- A deer can jump in front of your car at night.
- Your car can have a tire blowout.
- Another car can have a blowout and veer into you.
The above list only scratches the surface of the many ways that things can go wrong. If none of this has happened to you in your years of driving, there’s always a first time. In other words, your luck can run out. If you aren’t doing so, drive defensively. Keep your eyes and mind focused on the road and on your driving.
Contact us at Hogan Injury if a negligent or reckless driver injured you in an accident. There’s no reason you should have to suffer loss without compensation from those responsible.