Driving Behavior Linked to Car Accidents
I’m Ed Smith, an Arden-Arcade car accident lawyer. Motor vehicle accidents cause many injuries and deaths every year. Overall, car accidents are one of the top reasons people die in the United States each year. One way a driver can increase their safety profile while on the road is by learning what behaviors cause accidents and serious injuries.
Incidence of Accidents
Approximately 500,000 accidents happen annually in California. Of these, about 40 percent involve serious injuries to drivers, vehicle occupants or pedestrians. About 5,000 deaths occur. Overall, one individual suffers injuries every 120 seconds, and one person dies every 150 minutes. Teenagers are involved in accidents four times more than their adult counterparts, and accidents are a common cause of death in this group.
Reasons Motor Vehicle Accidents Happen
Most accidents on the road are caused by driver error. Some common types of behavior are:
- Drunk driving: 29 percent of motor vehicle accidents in 2015 involved drunk drivers with over 10,000 fatalities
- Wrong-way drivers: Between 300 and 400 people each year are killed in accidents caused by wrong-way drivers, which represents about 1 percent of the annual traffic accident fatalities.
- Speeding: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that in 27 percent of traffic fatalities in 2016, excess speed was a factor in the crash. Speeding also included street racing and driving too fast for weather conditions as well as exceeding the speed limit.
- Distracted Driving: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,477 deaths in 2015 were caused by distracted driving. Behaviors that are considered distracting are texting or talking on a cell phone, visiting with other people in the vehicle, eating, accessing the navigation system in the vehicle or changing stations on the radio.
- Drowsy driving: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about one out of every 25 drivers has fallen asleep while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle each month. In addition to falling asleep, fatigue can cause drowsiness or daydreaming, which can result in drifting into another lane or run-off road accidents. One percent of all collisions leading to injury and death are caused by falling asleep at the wheel. Prescription and over-the-counter meds can also cause drowsiness. Most accidents due to fatigue happen at night. Aside from falling asleep, fatigue can lessen a driver’s reaction time.
- Disobeying traffic laws: This is a common cause of traffic accidents and can include running red lights or stop signs, tailgating, making improper turns and changing lanes unsafely.
- Aggressive driving or road rage: Anger or other emotional problems when driving can cause a driver to take risks that endanger others. Cutting off other vehicles, tailgating, making threatening gestures and forcing other vehicles off the road increases the likelihood of an accident.
- Poor decision making: This involves not judging the distance of other vehicles and the speed with which they are traveling. This behavior is often seen in intersection accidents.
- Disobeying right-of-way rules: Not yielding to other vehicles when they have the right-of-way accounts for 20 percent of fatal accidents and those with injuries. Never assume when driving that the other driver is going to stop.
Accidents Outside of Driver Error
- Road defects and other maintenance issues come under the jurisdiction of city, county, state or federal governments. When potholes, cracks in road surfacing or other problems arise, they can lead to motor vehicle accidents. For example, overhanging branches that obscure a stop sign can lead to an accident.
- Product liability issues arise when a defect in a vehicle leads to an accident. This may be a defect in the vehicle itself due to manufacturing or production or a defective part manufactured by a supplier.
- Weather conditions: Rain, sleet, snow and fog can cause vehicles to skid, causing them to crash, frequently into other vehicles on the road.
- Roadway construction: Road work, including the congestion that often results, is responsible for accidents. It is important to obey the speed limits around such areas, and be alert for problems.
Arden-Arcade Car Accident Lawyer, Ed Smith:
I’m Ed Smith, an Arden-Arcade car accident lawyer. Car accidents happen suddenly and can change your life forever. If you or someone you love was hurt in a car accident, you need the help of an experienced injury lawyer. Call me at (916) 921-6400 in the area or (800) 404-5400 nationwide. I’ll be here with friendly advice that is free. You can contact me online too if that is more convenient for you.
I have won verdicts and negotiated settlements for $1 million for clients. Because of this, I am proud to say that I was offered membership in a nationwide group called the Million Dollar Advocates.
If you want to see some of my cases and how I resolved them, go to my settlements and verdicts page.
Stay here on AutoAccidents.com, the website I own and founded. You’ll find many articles on topics in personal injury law.
Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/life-beauty-scene-road-sign-curves-863007/
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