The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 52% of personal injury cases can be attributed to car accidents. But because there can be all kinds of reasons for car crashes, no two claims are the same. Understanding some of the most common factors in these accidents can help you to avoid them — or to know that you’ll definitely need a qualified car accident attorney if you’re injured in a crash. Below, you’ll find some of the most prevalent contributing factors in motor vehicle accidents all across the United States.
Distracted DrivingIt might surprise you to learn that distracted driving is actually a bigger threat to your safety than pretty much anything else on the road. That’s because it’s something that almost every driver does at some point. From reading a simple text message to navigating directions via an electronic device, our use of technology can cause a lot of harm. But it’s not only our phones that can be a threat! Eating, listening to music, or even carrying on a conversation while driving can be just as dangerous. Make it a point to put away all distractions and focus on the most important task-at-hand –driving! — to avoid car accidents.
Reckless DrivingDistracted driving can be a big threat due to just how common and underplayed it is. It’s very easy to justify it or miss it in your own behaviors. Reckless driving is typically more purposeful and negligible. In other words, it’s more of a blatant disregard for traffic laws and for the safety of others in the area. For instance, speeding, tailgating, unsafe turns or lane changes, and running red lights would all fall under this category. This isn’t to say that distracted driving is somehow better, of course (in many ways, it can be worse!), but reckless driving may involve a more obvious lack of concern for safety.
Drunk DrivingOf course, we have to mention drunk driving on this list. Driving while intoxicated with alcohol or drugs is one of the easiest acts to avoid, yet it’s all too prevalent on U.S. roads. Unfortunately for innocent drivers, it can be incredibly difficult to anticipate a drunk motorist’s behavior because it’s so erratic. Make it a point never to get behind the wheel while intoxicated and always stay aware of your surroundings to avoid being involved in alcohol-related car accidents.
Bad WeatherRain, snow, ice, and fog can all lead to poor road conditions and subsequent car accidents. While the treacherous conditions may not be the fault of the driver, the driver must take extra precautions when traveling to avoid being in a crash. Always reduce your speed in times of bad weather and obey all weather-related travel advisories. If the visibility is especially bad or the roads are very slick, you should stay home or pull over in a safe spot until conditions improve.
Night DrivingYou may think that driving at night is no big deal, but it’s actually significantly more dangerous to drive at night than during the day. Poor visibility can be a huge problem, especially in dimly lit areas. Operating a vehicle at night can also lead to drowsy driving, which can easily result in a crash. If you can’t avoid driving at night, make sure your headlights allow you to see clearly, that your windshield is free of smudges, and that your eyesight has been recently checked by your doctor.By learning to stay aware of your surroundings and catching these behaviors in yourself in others, you may be able to avoid being hurt in a car accident. However, that’s not always possible. If you do sustain an injury as a result of an accident, be sure to contact a personal injury lawyer right away.