Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents are a common tragedy in the United States. Approximately 39,000 people lost their lives in car accidents in 2019, with an additional 4.5 million people getting injured from car crashes in the same year. Some of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents are preventable, so it’s important to abide by the law and avoid driving dangerously.
- Driving Under the Influence
Drivers who are impaired by alcohol or drugs immediately put themselves and others at risk. Since alcohol and drugs skew a person’s vision, perception, and reaction time, it is incredibly dangerous to drive after using any of these substances. Driving under the influence will likely cause an auto accident that can lead to serious injuries or wrongful death, and result in criminal charges for the intoxicated driver.
- Speeding and Reckless Driving
Almost everyone has been guilty of speeding at some point—whether it’s excited teenagers who are new to the road or experienced drivers who are late to an event, speeding is almost inevitable. However, speeding is dangerous for both the driver and others on the road and has been the cause of over one-third of all motor fatalities in the United States for the past two decades.
There are plenty of other scenarios in addition to speeding that constitutes reckless driving, including the lack of a turn signal when turning, making illegal U-turns, driving in the wrong lanes, and braking abruptly. The rules of the road have been established for a reason, and those who choose to disregard these rules are driving recklessly and will likely be the cause of a car crash.
- Poor Weather Conditions
Though not necessarily a result of human error, car accidents are likely to happen under poor weather conditions such as snow, rain, or fog. Weather-related car accidents make up about 21% of all motor vehicle accidents each year. While the best thing to do during inclement weather is to stay off the road, if you absolutely need to drive under these circumstances you must drive with extra caution. Inclement weather can impair vision and cause roads to be unexpectedly slippery—losing control of a vehicle during these conditions can happen to even the best drivers, so it’s important to avoid driving or pull off the road in the event of dangerous weather.
- Distracted Driving
As technology advances, distracted driving appears to be becoming more of an issue. Cell phones are typically the cause of distracted driving, as drivers will look down to text, change music, or answer a phone call. This is an easy issue to avoid by simply putting your phone on “Do Not Disturb” or placing it in the back seat and out of reach.
- Night Driving
Driving at night can be dangerous in low-lit areas, as it impairs the driver’s vision from things that may be spotted during the day time. In addition to the poor visibility while driving at night, it is more likely to encounter drowsy or drunk drivers during this time as well, thus increasing the risk of a car accident. It has been reported that over 40% of fatal car crashes happen in the evening.
What To Do If You Are In An Accident
If you’re the victim of a car crash and you sustain any serious injuries, you should seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Having legal representation in the event of a car accident can help press criminal charges against the driver who caused the injuries, while also receiving compensation for medical expenses and vehicle repairs. For anyone seeking the assistance of personal injury lawyers in Albuquerque, the Davis Kelin Law Firm will provide the best legal representation for personal injury or wrongful death claims caused by car accidents.
The Future of Car Accidents
With the likelihood of autonomous vehicles being normalized into our society and used daily on our roads, there is a chance that we will see a decrease in auto accidents in the future. Tesla is among the leading vehicle companies in introducing autopilot mode for cars, proving that technology is capable of going in that direction.
Having an automated vision system allows for autonomous cars—and while a person currently still needs to be in the driver’s seat while a car is in autopilot mode, the move toward completely driverless cars is taking great strides in becoming an asset of our everyday lives. Self-driving car accident statistics prove that they are the safer option, as they eliminate human error, so the future looks optimistic in regard to cutting back on a significant number of auto accidents.