Being in a car accident may be a terrifying and stressful experience. While some collisions are unavoidable, the majority of car crashes occur due to negligent driver behavior.
By understanding the most common causes of car accidents, drivers can be more aware and hopefully avoid these dangerous actions. If you are hit by a reckless driver, don’t hesitate to contact a car accident attorney in your area.
This article explores the top 5 reasons car accidents happen.
- Distracted driving
Looking away from the road, even briefly, can have devastating consequences. Distracted driving is the leading cause of car accidents across the country. Despite laws in many states banning texting and cell phone use when behind the wheel, distracted driving remains rampant.
Over 425,000 people are injured annually in distracted driving crashes. If you see a car swerving, delayed braking, or other erratic driving, chances are distraction is to blame.
- Speeding and aggressive driving
While we all occasionally go above the speed limit unintentionally, some motorists make speeding and aggressive maneuvers like unsafe passing, tailgating, and weaving in and out of traffic a habit. Speed reduces reaction time, extends stopping distance, and increases crash severity. Aggressive driving also often involves multiple traffic violations that endanger others.
- Drunk driving
Despite strict laws and severe penalties against driving under the influence, drunk drivers still account for around a third of all traffic fatalities. Alcohol impairs motor skills, reaction time, coordination, focus, and judgment, causing drunk drivers to swerve out of lanes, ignore traffic signals, and lose control of their vehicles.
An attorney can pursue damages from the driver and often any establishment that continues to serve alcohol to an obviously impaired individual under liquor liability laws.
- Rain and slick roads
Inclement weather like rain, snow, and fog can create slippery road surfaces that reduce traction and visibility for drivers. Although driving in these conditions calls for slower speeds and greater stopping distances, some motorists still drive too fast.
Single-vehicle skidding accidents commonly occur when drivers misjudge their ability to control their car on wet or icy roads.
5. Driver fatigue
As per NHTSA estimates, drowsy driving causes over 100,000 crashes every year. Fatigued drivers have slow reaction times, may nod off behind the wheel, and often have difficulty maintaining their lane.
Shift workers, commercial drivers, and motorists pushed to drive long distances without proper rest contribute to many drowsy driving accidents.
While certain hazards like drunk and distracted driving are in other motorists’ control, some proactive steps we can all take to avoid crashes include:
- Properly maintaining vehicles
- Planning rest stops on long drives
- Postponing trips in dangerous weather conditions
- Stay alert and undistracted
However, if another driver’s negligence leaves you injured, never hesitate to enlist the services of an experienced car accident attorney. They have the knowledge and resources to build a strong claim for maximum compensation as you recover from the trauma of a crash.
With sound legal guidance, you can gain peace of mind knowing that you are protected after a car accident that was no fault of your own.