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Auto AccidentAuto RepairsPersonal Injury5 Most Common Causes of Car Accidents

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Personal injury attorneys handle a wide variety of car accident cases. However, the most common causes of car accidents typically unfold because of driver negligence. Poor road conditions and defective automobiles fall way behind driver negligence as the most common cause of vehicle crashes.

Of the dozens of reasons that trigger vehicle accidents, five causes stand out as the most common.

Speeding

In 2018, speeding killed nearly 10,000 people on and along American roads and highways. Nearly one-third of all car accidents occur because at least one vehicle exceeded the posted speed limit. Speeding not only places other people in danger, but it also increases the likelihood of a driver losing control of a vehicle.

Speeding gives other drivers less time to react when they need to avoid making contact with another car. Even if a driver has full control of a speeding vehicle, poor road conditions or a defective part can cause a crash the exceeds the force of a crash between two cars traveling at or below the speed limit. The additional force leads to more serious injuries that can require emergency care.

If you suffer one or more injuries because your car made an impact with a speeding vehicle, a personal injury attorney can help you gather and organize the police documents associated with the formal accident report.

Distractions

You might have watched another driver apply makeup or try to eat a Big Mac while operating a motor vehicle. That is called old school distractions, which in large cities like St. Louis is the third leading cause of vehicle accidents. Distracted driving has added a few new definitions as we head into the third decade of the millennium.

Distracted driving is now mostly about texting and talking on the phone while driving.

Forty-eight states have banned texting while driving and a majority of states make it illegal to talk on the phone while operating a motor vehicle. Witness accounts of an accident are the most effective way to prove someone was texting while driving at the time of an auto accident. Public surveillance cameras can also help prove a driver was texting and driving at the time of a car crash.

Tailgating

We are not talking about the type of tailgating that brings a stadium parking lot to life. No, the type of tailgating we are talking about occurs when one vehicle follows too closely to another vehicle. Both speeding and driver distraction increases the carnage that develops after a tailgating accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a study that shows rear-end collisions comprise 23 percent of all auto accidents.

Think about our reaction times while we operate a motor vehicle. The amount of time it takes an alert driver to respond to an emergency is around 1.5 seconds. This means that at 60 miles per hour, an alert driver travels around 90 feet before responding to an emergency such as braking to prevent a rear-end crash.

Law enforcement investigators can detect an act of tailgating by examining the tire marks made at the scene of an accident. The formal police report should present compelling evidence of tailgating in a rear-end collision.

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs and/or

Alcohol

Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is about as reckless as it gets. In fact, a car accident involving an intoxicated driver is much more than a personal injury case.

It is also a criminal case.

Deciding to drive while intoxicated is an act of conscious disregard for the safety of others. Driving while intoxicated is a serious criminal offense that can lead a prosecutor to charge an intoxicated driver with one or more crimes. If an intoxicated driver hit your car and the accident caused you one or more injuries, hiring a personal injury lawyer who has worked with prosecutors in similar cases can lead to a negligence charge and possibly just compensation awarded by a civil court judge.

Reckless Driving

Some drivers are simply overly aggressive when operating a motor vehicle. It might be an event that happened earlier in the day that produced aggressive behavior. Then we have drivers who do not care about their welfare, much less the welfare of other people. Whatever the reason, reckless driving remains one of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents.

Reckless driving has many faces:

  • Crossing double lines
  • Changing lanes while not using a signal
  • Speeding through red lights
  • Weaving through traffic
  • Running cars off the road

You can also add speeding, tailgating, and distracted driving to the list of reckless driving actions.

If you were involved in a car accident, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer to schedule a free initial consultation.

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