Common Causes of Car Accidents

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In recent years, the advent of driving-assistance technology has certainly helped to quell the number of car accidents occurring. Unfortunately, there are still more than 2.3 million people that are injured each year in traffic accidents. Additionally, there are more than 37,000 fatalities every year in the United States due to crashes. Not only are the lives of those involved in car accidents forever changed or ended, they cost U.S. citizens an estimated $230 billion dollars annually. If that is not alarming enough, more than 1.3 million people lose their lives to car accidents globally each year. According to car insurance experts, you can expect to file an accident claim at least once every 17 years or so. In this article, you will learn some of the more common causes of car accidents and how to potentially avoid dangerous situations. Furthermore, you will learn more about what to do if you are involved in a collision. If you have recently been involved in a car accident that has caused injuries, contact a reputable personal injury attorney today to schedule your free consultation.

Distracted Driving

According to the CDC, almost 10 people die and more than 1,000 accident injuries occur every day due to distracted driving. Distracted driving happens when a driver takes their attention off the road for any reason. Some of those reasons include texting, looking at directions, talking, daydreaming, eating, etc. Each of the aforementioned fall into three categories of distraction; visual, manual, cognitive. Drivers under the age of 20 are the most likely to be involved in a car accident due to distracted driving. It is important to remember that taking your eyes off the road for even a second can be fatal.

Hit and Run

Unfortunately, hit and run accident are on the rise. There are more than 680,000 hit and run accidents each year. More than 2,000 of those accidents result in a fatality. What’s even more concerning is that about 20% of pedestrian fatalities are due to hit and run accidents. Though there can be many causes for hit and runs, there is no clear data available that identifies a specific cause of the increase.

Rear-End Collision

While rear-end collisions only accounts for 6% of all accident-related fatalities, they represent almost 30% of accidents according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Recent data suggest that more than 1.7 million accidents are the result of a rear-end collision. Two effective ways to decrease the likelihood of being involved in one of these collisions is to keep a healthy distance between your car and others in front of you. Additionally, many rear-end collisions are due to distracted driving.

Failure To Yield

The most recent car accident data shows that just about 7% of all accident fatalities are due to failure to yield violations. Failure to yield car accidents happen when a driver fails to yield to the other drivers on the road. For example, a driver making a right turn on a protected red light that hits a pedestrian that is using the crosswalk to cross the street. Ensure that you are familiar with road rules and pay attention to signs to avoid potential failure to yield accidents.

Head-On Collision

Though head-on collisions account for less than 3% of all car accidents, they represent more than 10% of accident fatalities. For obvious reasons, head-on collisions are the most dangerous types of accidents. Local and Federal governments have put many measures in place to avoid these types of accidents, however, there is still a possibility of them occurring.

Driving Under the Influence

Car Accident Types DUI

The most recent data suggests that driving under the influence accounts for 28% of all car accident related fatalities. Driving under the influence doesn’t just include alcohol. Other forms of impairment include prescription drugs, opioids, marijuana, etc. Though alcohol-related crashes represent the largest cohort of accidents and fatalities due to driving under the influence. The most effective method to avoid driving under the influence is to use public transportation and/or a transportation service like Uber or Lyft when you are under the influence of any prescription or illicit drugs.

Mechanical Failure

Accidents due to mechanical failure represent a small percentage of all car accidents but can be the scariest and most dangerous. Some of the more common reasons for accidents due to mechanical failure include tire blowouts, faulty brakes, steering and/or suspension issues. Additionally, ineffective headlights, taillights and windshield wipers can cause mechanical failure accidents. A potentially effective way to decrease your chances of being involved in a mechanical failure accident is to have your car serviced regularly and participate in regular “self checks” of your vehicle.

Speeding

Common Causes of Car Accidents Speeding

Slightly more than 25% of all traffic accidents occur due to speeding. Crashes due to speeding account for almost 10,000 fatalities each year. Unfortunately, 49% of all drivers that were involved in fatal speeding crashes were not wearing a seatbelt. Speeding can lead to many other types of accidents and can be easily be avoided by adhering to the posted speed limit. Drivers speed for many reasons such as running late, adrenaline rush and not knowing the posted speed limits. It is important to remember that the place that you are speeding too will still be there if you slow down. However, you increase the likelihood of not making it to your destination safely or inhibiting someone else from doing the same by speeding.

Aggressive Driving

It is estimated that aggressive driving accounts for more than 65% of all traffic accidents. This is an astounding number that can absolutely be decreased. One of the leading causes of aggressive driving is road rage. Aggressive driving can be defined as operating a vehicle in a hostile and unsafe manner with no regard for the safety of others. If you notice a person that is aggressively driving, it is best to get off the road or divert your path until you are a safe distance away. You can also call the police and report potentially dangerous drivers before an accident or fatality occurs. Some of the more common types of aggressive driving include tailgating, purposely disobeying traffic laws, frequently making aggressive lane changes, etc.

Texting And Driving Accident

About 9% of all accident fatalities include one or more drivers texting while operating a motor vehicle. Fortunately, many states have recognized how dangerous texting and driving can be and have implemented some version of a ban. More than 1.5 million car accidents involved the use of a cell phone. Additionally, answering or sending a text can take your eyes off the road for more than 5 secs while driving. If you are traveling more than 55 miles per hour, that would be more than 100 yards that you would travel with your eyes off of the road. The most effective way to avoid an accident is to avoid texting and driving altogether. If the text is that important, pull over and answer when your car is in park. Texting while driving increases your likelihood of an accident by six times more than driving under the influence does. If you see another driver that is texting, it is best to avoid them altogether and pull over or change your course. You can also contact local authorities and report them. People in their 20’s are most likely to be involved in a texting and driving accident.

Running Stop Signs

Running stop signs account for more than 20% of car accident related deaths each year. Blatantly running stop signs or red lights can negatively impact your life and the safety of others. In many cases, drivers are not running stop signs on purpose though. A large number of drivers involved in these types of collisions report that they did not see the traffic sign and an accident occurred. Drivers that are over the age of 55 represent the largest group of people involved in accidents that involved one or more parties running stop signs. Some tips to potentially avoid these types of accidents include wearing glasses and or contacts, keeping your windshield clear, avoiding distracted driving and paying close attention during inclement weather conditions.

What to do if You Get into an Accident

Getting into a car accident can be a scary moment in life. It can negatively affect your health, finances, and relationships. However, if you do get into a collision, there are a few steps that you should take to ensure the safety of yourself and others. It is recommended that you check on yourself, passengers and any others involved in the accident. If you are still in harm’s way after the accident, be sure to move to a safe area. If there has been major property or personal injury, contact the authorities. Exchange insurance information with the other driver if necessary. Even if you believe otherwise, do not admit fault. Seek the appropriate medical attention, even if you do not believe that you need it. Some injuries are recognized only after your adrenaline has subsided. Ensure that you take pictures of the scene. Lastly, contact a reputable personal injury or accident attorney like the professionals at Timothy J. Ryan & Associates as soon as possible to appropriately protect yourself.

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