Many things can happen on the road, but some mistakes are more common than others. Some are more deadly than others too. An accident is never planned to happen, and every driver must be aware at all times of their surroundings and other drivers. Several factors and items cause accidents, but when you are in an accident, it is vital to get with an experienced injury law firm to find out your rights, especially if the accident could have been avoided and it was not your fault. Here are some of the more prevalent causes of car accidents:
- Drunk driving
- Texting while driving
- Speeding combined with drunk driving
- Faulty roads or streets
- The Weather
- Mechanical Failures
There’s no question that drunk driving is one of the most dangerous behaviors behind the wheel. According to statistics, 10,228 people were killed in crashes that involved at least one driver who had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08 percent, which is over 1/3 of all traffic fatalities for that year. Even worse, 39 percent of those deaths occurred in crashes involving a driver with a BAC level of 0.15 or higher, which is more than twice the legal limit.
Excessive speed is another major cause of car accidents. The NHTSA estimates that speeding drivers cause 32 percent of all traffic fatalities. Furthermore, there were 9,944 people killed in speeding-related crashes alone within a year, which was more than 27 percent of all fatal accidents.
Texting While Driving
Texting while driving has become one of the most common causes of accidents today. According to research, texting while driving has caused more than 3,000 deaths and 400,000 accidents since it was first measured in 2001.
Distracted drivers are one of the most common causes of car accidents today. At any given moment during daylight hours in America, nearly 660,000 motorists were using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving. Even worse, driver distraction contributed to at least 421,000 police-reported crashes, resulting in 387,000 injuries and 2,331 deaths. In fact, five percent of all fatal crashes involve a distracted driver. However, this number is likely higher because many crashes involving distracted drivers are not always reported.
Speeding and Drunk Driving Combined
A deadly combination of speeding and drunk driving is the cause of many car accidents today. Ten thousand two hundred twenty-eight people were killed in crashes that involved at least one driver who had a BAC at or above 0.08 percent, which is over 1/3 of all traffic fatalities for that year. In fact, 39 percent of those deaths occurred in crashes involving a driver with a BAC level of 0.15 or higher, which is more than twice the legal limit. Furthermore, it’s estimated that there were 1,210 drunk driving fatalities that involved a driver with a BAC level of 0.08 or higher and 791 deaths involving a driver with BAC at or above 0.15 percent. With this many deadly accidents involved in speeding and drunk driving, it’s no wonder why it is considered one of the most common causes of car accidents today.
Faulty Roads or Streets
Roads and streets are often improperly constructed, making them more prone to accidents. This is especially common in cities where roads are built relatively quickly. However, even rural roadways may contain defects that make them dangerous. Some of the most common issues include:
- Missing guardrails, barriers, or signs
- Debris in the roadway (e.g., rocks)
- Uneven pavement (e.g., bumps or grooves)
- Reflections on wet roads
- Brightly lit areas at night
- Changing weather conditions
- Blind turns
- Hidden driveways
- Poor visibility
Many drivers make the mistake of thinking that bad weather is no reason to cancel driving plans. According to the CDC, however, certain types of weather conditions can contribute to vehicle accidents. The CDC even has a “Wet Roads” category on their Interactive Maps because it is one of the leading causes of fatal car accidents. Some common weather conditions that cause poor visibility include:
- Raining or snowing
- Strong wind
Tire blowouts cause over 200 fatalities on American roads every year. In fact, 29 percent of all tire-related accidents occur when a vehicle is traveling at 60 miles per hour or more. If you’ve ever experienced a tire blowout while driving, then you know how dangerous it can be. Not only does it affect the steering and control of your car, but it can flip or roll your car if you drive off the road. Sometimes, cars will even catch on fire because of tire blowouts, which leaves people in grave danger. Other notorious reasons for accidents involving mechanical failures are due to brake failure and steering system malfunction.
What Can an Injury Attorney Do for You If You Were In an Accident?
First of all, it’s good to remember that not every person who represents themselves is doing so because they want to handle their case on their own. People often feel like they don’t have options or that they cannot afford representation. This isn’t always the case; sometimes, plenty of options are available, even if your financial situation makes you think otherwise. The first thing an injury attorney does is review your case and determine whether or not you will benefit from hiring someone to represent your interests. If the answer is yes, the legal representative begins by gathering all of the information needed for a claim against the party at fault and the insurance company.