Traffic accidents are an extremely widespread and common occurrence, so much so that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) takes an active role in tracking its data and addressing vehicle safety as a top priority.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation. The specific methods you use in your case and what you will need to prove will vary depending on the cause of the accident.
With this in mind, here’s a quick look at some of the most common causes of car accidents.
Distracted driving is a major issue on American roadways. Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and other mobile devices, it has become easier than ever for drivers to be distracted behind the wheel, whether it’s through phone calls, text messages, social media or other apps.
But phones aren’t the only source of driver distraction. In-car noise, auditory distractions, looking at something inside or outside the vehicle, eating, checking hair or makeup or reaching for items on the floor are all common sources of distraction that can lead to accidents.
Too many people believe themselves to be capable of multitasking while behind the wheel, but the fact is humans must stay aware and alert while on the road. This means keeping their attention focused on their driving.
Drivers often speed because it’s a habit, not necessarily because they’re trying to get somewhere faster. But elevated speed significantly increases the chance of serious injuries or death resulting from an accident. Greater speed means greater force of impact, as well as an increased stopping distance and a greater risk of losing control during severe weather conditions.
Another common cause of accidents is driver fatigue or drowsiness. This is particularly problematic among truck drivers, who are under pressure to meet tight deadlines which can result in them spending more time on the road than is healthy, even when regulations expressly forbid doing so.
Beyond truck drivers, Americans in general tend to suffer from sleep deprivation. One study estimates approximately a third of adults do not get the recommended seven or eight hours of sleep per night. When you consider that driving drowsy is often just as dangerous as driving drunk (or even more so), this is very problematic, especially late at night.
Impairment from drugs or alcohol is another common cause of motor vehicle accidents. Studies indicate anywhere from a quarter to a third of motor vehicle accidents are a result of substance abuse.
Drivers often believe that if they keep their blood alcohol content below the legal limit they are safe to drive, but this is not the case. Our bodies need time to fully metabolize any alcohol. Even a small amount of alcohol can result in impaired judgment and motor coordination, which increases the risk of an accident. Remember, “Buzzed driving is drunk driving.”
To learn more about the steps you can take to hold negligent drivers accountable for the injuries you sustained in an accident, contact Mark G. Artall, APLC today.