According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 37,000 auto accident fatalities in 2016, which was a 5.6 percent increase from 2015. One of the major factors in the increasing number of car accident deaths is that the number of vehicle miles traveled in the U.S. continues to rise. More cars on the road mean more opportunities for car accidents, and despite major improvements in mass transit in many big cities, traffic congestion from motor vehicles remains a problem.
What Are the Leading Causes of Vehicle Accidents?
Car accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, but the most common causes include:
- Distracted Driving – This includes driving while texting, driving while speaking on a mobile phone, using a GPS device while driving, applying makeup, chatting with a passenger, eating, reaching down to pick an item off the floor, and reaching into the glove compartment. Any activity that takes a driver’s hands or eyes off the road – even if it’s for only a moment – is categorized as distracted driving.
- Driving Under the Influence – Alcohol remains a significant danger to drivers on the road, because impaired drivers can’t make split-second decisions, and their reaction time is so compromised that they it’s hard for them to avoid collisions.
- Speeding – Driving faster than the speed limit greatly increases the impact of a collision, and it also makes it nearly impossible for a driver to brake in time to avoid a rear-end collision. Speed also causes drivers to lose control of their vehicles.
- Aggressive Driving – This includes any type of driving that is dangerous, such as drag racing, tailgating, and making constant lane changes. Aggressive driving can also lead to road rage if the person who is being aggressive gets upset at the actions of another driver.
- Left-Hand Turn – Drivers who try to make a left turn at an intersection against oncoming traffic can easily cause an accident if they don’t yield to advancing traffic.
- Running a Red Light – Running an occasional red light may seem like a harmless thing to do, but you only have to make a mistake once, and drivers who run red lights increase their chances of colliding with a vehicle that has a green light.
- Weather Conditions – By itself, bad weather can’t cause an accident, but it can create the environment in which an accident is far more likely. For example, a thunderstorm causes slick roads and poor visibility, and if people don’t drive defensively in these conditions, they can easily cause car accidents.
Why You Need A Personal Injury Lawyer
After you suffer injuries in an accident that was caused by another driver, you may think that you can quickly reach a settlement with the driver’s insurance company, but that often isn’t true. The goal of any insurance company is to pay as little as possible in a claim, even if the evidence shows that its client is liable for the accident. It is becoming increasingly difficult to call any vehicle accident case ‘cut and dry,’ because there are so many variables that come into play.
By hiring a lawyer, you enlist an advocate who will communicate with the insurance company, gather the evidence necessary to support your claim, monitor your medical treatment to ensure that you are receiving the proper care, and negotiate a fair settlement.
A good personal injury law firm has the resources to help you obtain justice and compensation from a third party. Please call the Law Offices of Duane O. King to see how we can help you with your vehicle claim.