Car accidents are everywhere and seemingly unavoidable. In fact, there are an estimated 6 million car accidents in the United States every single year. For some, this results in backed up traffic on the highway. For others, car crashes result in serious injuries – even death. We’ve highlighted some of the common causes of car accidents below; most of which are entirely avoidable.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents in the United States. There are tons of different scenarios that fall into this category, but cell phone use is high on the list.
Using a cell phone while driving is extremely dangerous. From texting to browsing social media or even just updating your map directions, all lead to one thing: distracted driving. Even just taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds can affect reaction time. Therefore, in Illinois and other states, it is now the law to use a hands-free device to control the GPS, answer texts and calls, and change music.
Other causes of distracted driving include doing makeup, rubbernecking when passing an accident, and looking off to the sides of your vehicle at the scenery.
Another completely avoidable cause of car accidents is drunk driving. Not only is it illegal, resulting in a DUI, hefty fine or even potential jail time, but when people get behind the wheel while above the legal limit, they’re putting others’ lives at risk. The CDC reports that someone is killed every 29 minutes in the United States by someone driving under the influence of alcohol.Every 29 minutes, someone is killed by a drunk driver.While it doesn’t take much to be over the legal limit, the effect of alcohol on reaction times cannot be understated. Even UNDER the legal limit of 0.08, drivers lose the ability to rapidly focus vision, and their alertness and coordination are decreased to the point that steering becomes difficult and response times are dulled. Rideshares and taxis are available almost everywhere at this point, so there is no excuse.
Speeding and Reckless Driving
It can often be frustrating when the speed limit forces you to drive slower than you think, but these limits are in place for a reason. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration works to ensure that our roads are safe and setting speed limits and enforcing them is a part of that goal.
Besides simply speeding, reckless driving causes thousands of accidents every year. With driving behaviors that include running stop sign and red lights, driving at high speeds, changing lanes often and without looking, and tailgating other drivers, aggressive driving can quickly turn to road rage. While it’s hard to control other drivers’ behaviors, it’s important to drive defensively and keep your distance from reckless and dangerous drivers.Rule of thumb: keep a four-second distance between carsThe rule of thumb is to keep a four-second distance between cars. This ensures that if the car in front stops abruptly, the one behind doesn’t rear-end them. Unfortunately, not everyone follows this rule, resulting in preventable car crashes.
When tired, drivers can’t react as quickly, and this can lead to hazardous results. From working long hours to waking up early with little sleep, there are a variety of factors that lead to fatigue. Drowsy driving most often affects truck drivers driving long distances at a time, which is why it’s mandated that truckers have set rest breaks. It can also affect ordinary people due to untreated sleep disorders, medications, drinking alcohol, or shift work.
From potholes to poor grading, it’s on the driver to ensure that they have a “feel” for the road and adjust their driving accordingly. If the road is bumpy, drivers need to slow down. If a curve is sharp, drivers are again responsible for navigating it safely. Similarly, poor weather conditions can make roadways unsafe and difficult to navigate. Common poor weather conditions include snow, rain, ice, and hail, but wind can also play a factor. Know your limits and don’t drive in weather conditions that are unsafe just to avoid delays.
When to Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
Regardless of the cause, if you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact Palermo Law Group at (630) 684-2332 for a free consultation with nationally recognized personal injury lawyer, Mario Palermo, regarding the best approach to obtaining compensation for you or your loved one’s injuries.