In 2014, both national and state investigations reported over 200,000 car wrecks in Indiana. Many of these wrecks happened within the city limits of Indianapolis, and a percentage of these accidents were fatal. These numbers are startling. What is more concerning is the reality that every single car accident dramatically and negatively affects the lives of everyone involved. Each accident represents individuals and families whose lives were likely changed forever.
Understanding some of the common causes of car accidents in Indianapolis can help drivers to avoid risky behaviors and hopefully create a safer driving environment for everyone.
If you have experienced a car accident, it is important that you connect with a dependable law firm to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive a just and equitable outcome if you were injured because of someone else.
To help you better understand the causes of your accident, this list has been compiled using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Driving While Distracted
Distracted driving is a fairly new phenomenon that has started to affect the safety of drivers just in the last couple of decades. The advent of smartphones and other types of mobile technology has exponentially increased the risk of wrecks caused by distracted driving.
It was recorded in 2020 that 3,142 people were killed nationwide due to distracted driving. In Indiana alone, there were eight people killed in 2014 due to distracted driving and over 5,000 crashes caused by this completely preventable issue.
Let’s look at some examples of distractions that can lead to wrecks.
- Using any mobile technology
- Adjusting the radio
- Talking/fighting in the vehicle
- Pet distractions
- Child distractions
- Navigation systems
The type of distraction is not the issue so much as the distraction itself. Distracted driving decreases reaction time. This means that if someone is braking in front of you, and you are distracted even for a moment, you lose precious reaction time that can lead to a dangerous collision.
If you were involved in a car crash in which distraction could have played a part, a reliable attorney can help you uncover the truth.
Driving under the Influence/Impaired Driving
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can have devastating consequences for all involved. Even completely innocent people can lose their lives or have their lives permanently and negatively altered because of this crime.
It is estimated that driving while under the influence can be blamed for almost a third of all motor vehicle deaths. Of the thousands of intoxicated drivers identified each year in the state of Indiana during a crash, 100% of those incidents could have been prevented.
Although other types of impaired driving are not discussed as much as intoxication, it should be noted that driving while sleepy is also a huge factor in many accidents. Another type of impaired driving can include driving while sick or injured.
Poor driving practices or education can also be to blame for collisions. In fact, poor driving is more often the reason wrecks happen. When drivers choose to diverge from the accepted, legal rules of the road or fail to follow established traffic laws, the consequences can be deadly.
Although there are many types of poor driving that can contribute to a wreck, the two most common continue to be following too closely behind other drivers and failing to yield the right of way to another driver.
Tailgating, or following too closely to the car in front of you, contributes to the most crashes in Indiana and other states as well. This is an entirely avoidable risk. Tailgating does not benefit the driver at all and puts everyone at risk.
Other types of poor driving can include:
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Unsafe lane changes
- Improper passing
If you believe that you were injured in a car accident because of the other driver’s poor driving techniques or lack of adherence to traffic laws, you should have an attorney look at the details of your accident.
Big trucks present a special kind of risk on the roads to pedestrians and drivers. Big trucks can include tractor-trailers, tankers, flatbeds, and semis. Any type of large commercial truck can cause devastating accidents when traffic laws are not followed carefully, or there is impaired or distracted driving at play.
Accidents involving commercial trucks and regular passenger vehicles are especially devastating because of the level of destruction usually caused. These types of accidents often produce serious injuries.
Other Contributing Factors
Not all accidents can be contributed to the mistakes of a single driver. In many cases, an accident is the result of other conditions that are beyond the driver’s control.
Weather- Poor weather conditions can often contribute to unsafe driving conditions. In these situations, the only way to avoid risk would be to stay off the roads. When local authorities issue warnings to stay off of roads due to inclement weather, it is essential that drivers listen to this advice to avoid injury or death.
Environment- Another contributing factor can be the environment. This can include bad road conditions and debris on the road. If environmental conditions caused your accident, you should know that the local state government is held responsible for keeping roadways safe and free of such risks. This could play an important part in your case if you were injured. Car accident attorney Mike Stephenson can help you better understand these types of details.