There are a lot of things that can cause a car accident. Understanding the top causes of car accidents can help drivers take steps to avoid getting in a crash. In addition, when an accident occurs, knowing the leading causes helps the parties investigate how it happened. Traffic specialists and law enforcement officers study the most common causes of car accidents in order to improve transportation in the United States.
Getting in a car accident is something that a lot of drivers worry about whenever they get on the road. Car accidents can cause serious physical injuries and disrupt a person’s life for a long time. The financial fallout of an accident can also be devastating. All drivers should be aware of the top causes of car accidents. A personal injury attorney specializing in car accident victim representation can help you if you’ve been in a serious car accident that involved a fatality.
The top five most common causes of fatal car accidents are:
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding is a factor in approximately one-third of traffic accidents. Speeding makes an accident more likely to occur because it reduces the reaction time for drivers when they encounter unusual events while driving. Roads are designed for certain speed limits, so going too fast can make a driver unable to navigate turns, lane changes, and other characteristics of the road safely.
Speeding is a form of legal negligence. The driver who speeds is legally at fault for the accident, at least in part. Of course, both drivers may share the blame, but the speeding driver typically has, at a minimum, some amount of legal liability. Speeding is a form of unreasonable driving behavior that places others at risk. Most courts and juries do not view speeding as acceptable behavior. When an accident occurs, you should investigate speed as a possible cause.
2. Distracted Driving
Texting, eating, reaching for things on the floor, talking on the phone, and interacting with others in the vehicle can all be forms of distracted driving. Distracted driving is one of leading causes of car accidents in the United States. Distracted driving can divert someone’s attention. Even a split second of inattention can be enough to cause an accident. Distracted driving behaviors cost 2,841 lives in 2018, according to the NHTSA.
Investigating distracted driving as a possible cause of a car accident can be tricky. A driver doesn’t always want to admit to doing something dangerous in the lead up to the car accident. If they’re seriously injured, they may not be able to speak or remember what happened before the accident. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you use legal processes in order to see if distracted driving played a role in the accident. If so, they can help you gather the evidence to prove your case.
3. Reckless driving
Too many drivers simply don’t use enough care and caution on the roads. Drag racing, unsafe lane changes, and drunk driving are all forms of reckless driving. While definitions vary from state to state, most jurisdictions define reckless driving as a conscious disregard for the safety of others while operating a motor vehicle.
Reckless driving can cause accidents, and it can also result in criminal charges and civil liability for the offending driver. Overall, driving recklessly is not worth it. You may cause an accident that not only hurts yourself physically and financially, but you might also cause a fatal situation for other drivers and passengers.
When you have somewhere you need to be, it can be hard to slow down because of rain. Rain can impede a driver’s ability to see. It can also cause road conditions to become slick and unpredictable. Knowing that rain and other kinds of weather can cause car accidents may help you to be more careful on the road when driving under these conditions.
Weather can make a vehicle react in a way that a driver doesn’t expect. Both wet pavement and rain contribute to a significant amount of car accidents. In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation reports that weather contributes to as many as 21% of car accidents. Public records, such as weather reports, may be admissible to prove what the weather was at the time of your accident.
5. Unsafe Lane Changes
The driver who executes a lane change has to make sure that they can safely make the lane change with regard to other traffic. Making a lane change without the space to do so is a leading cause of car accidents. Drivers may not want to miss their exit. They might want to get ahead of other vehicles by entering a new lane of travel. However, unsafe lane changes are contributing factors to a significant percentage of all car accidents.
Make sure you carefully checked your rearview and side-view mirrors before changing lanes. Anticipate maneuvers ahead of time and give yourself plenty of room to make lane changes if you know your exit or turn is coming up soon. These precautions could help you avoid a fatal car accident.
What Should You Do After a Car Accident?
After a car accident, you should save the evidence that might help you determine and prove the cause of the car accident. Of course, you should always attend to any physical injuries that may have occurred. If anyone has even slight injuries, you should summon emergency services to the scene to secure treatment and rule out more serious injuries. After you address physical needs, you can go about preserving evidence.
You don’t need to prove the entire legal case as you stand at the scene of the accident. For now, saving evidence of the possible causes of the accident is enough. Usually, that means taking pictures. Taking photos of the damage to vehicles and debris on the road can demonstrate causes of the car accident, including speeding or unsafe lane changes. A picture can even show the weather at the time of the crash. After a car accident, you should attend to injured parties, call law enforcement, and preserve evidence of possible causes.
A Car Accident Lawyer Can Investigate the Cause of Your Accident
Have you been in a car accident? Experienced car accident attorneys are trained, skilled, and ready to investigate the cause of your accident. Correctly determining the cause of the accident can either help you get the compensation that you deserve or prevent you from receiving a fair amount.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s important to remember that the insurance companies don’t have your best interests in mind and may try to pay you less compensation than you deserve. Having a personal injury attorney who specializes in car accidents can help you collect damages to the full extent of the law for your injuries and suffering.