There are millions of auto accidents in the United States each year. According to Driver Knowledge, more than 3 million individuals suffer injuries from these crashes, and more than 30,000 individuals are killed as a result. This averages out to more than 90 car accident-related deaths every single day.
There are a number of reasons why auto accidents occur, and just under 95% are due to some form of human error. Most of these errors would fall into the category of driver negligence, although the actions of outside parties sometimes contribute to these accidents as well.
Of those accidents that are caused by driver negligence, here are some of the most common risk factors:
Everyone has exceeded the speed limit at one time or another, but for some drivers, this is a regular habit. Speed kills, and when a vehicle is traveling faster, the driver has far less time to react adequately to adverse situations that may arise. Someone who speeds runs a greater risk of getting involved in a collision, and because there is a greater force upon impact with high-speed collisions, the chances of serious injuries and fatalities increase as well.
Those who speed also tend to drive more aggressively, and in some cases, they cross the line into reckless driving. Excessive speeding is one form of reckless driving, others include weaving wildly back and forth between lanes, straddling the center line of the road, running stop lights and stop signs, making sharp and unsafe turns, making illegal or dangerous passing maneuvers, following too closely/tailgating, and street racing.
Even after several decades of high-profile public awareness campaigns, driving while intoxicated continues to be one of the most common causes of car accidents, and particularly those that occur at night and on weekends. Drunk driving claims the lives of more than 10,000 individuals each year, averaging out to approximately 29 DUI-related deaths each day. Chemically impaired driving is very dangerous, because it slows reaction times and inhibits a driver’s ability to stay focused on the road. A chemically altered state of mind can also cause a motorist to drive aggressively or recklessly without care for the rules of the road or the safety of others.
Driver distractions are quickly becoming one of the leading causes of auto accidents. In our electronic age, drivers have a hard time staying off of their cell phones, and this is particularly true among teen drivers who are less experienced as it is. Texting while driving and similar activities are especially dangerous, because they distract drivers in three ways; visually, manually, and cognitively. The end result is that a driver’s total focus is taken away from the road, making them more likely to miss something important, such as a pedestrian crossing or a motorcycle that enters their blind spot. Distracted driving is responsible for an estimated 3,000 deaths each year.
Drowsy or fatigued driving is identified as the cause of approximately 9% to 10% of all motor vehicle crashes each year. These are most likely conservative estimates, however, because many drivers do not admit to the police that they were sleepy just before getting into an accident. Drowsy driving is especially common among commercial vehicle drivers, those who work long shifts that run into the evening and overnight hours, those who travel frequently between time zones, those with untreated sleep disorders, and those who regularly get less than six hours of sleep each night.
As mentioned previously, there are some motor vehicle accidents that are caused (at least in part) by outside parties. Common outside risk factors include:
- Faulty/Defective Products: A motor vehicle or vehicle part that is defective could malfunction at the wrong time and cause an accident. Common examples include brake line failures, tire blowouts, and computer dashboard malfunctions.
- Inadequately Maintained Vehicles: Sometimes, an accident happens because of negligent maintenance, such as the brake pads or tires not being changed or other types of servicing that was not performed. When this happens with a commercial vehicle, the party responsible for maintaining the vehicle may be to blame for an accident.
- Poorly Maintained Roads/Driving Areas: Some roads and parking areas are not properly maintained. They have potholes, large cracks in the pavement, and other hazards. If any of these hazards contributes to an accident, the party responsible for maintaining the roads could be responsible.
Injured in a Car Accident in Connecticut? Contact an Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer
If you or someone close to you suffered injury in an auto accident that was someone else’s fault, you deserve to be fully compensated. If the accident happened in Connecticut, contact the APEX Law Firm for assistance. We will meet with you to thoroughly assess your case and advise you of your legal rights and options. To schedule a free, no obligation consultation with a member of our legal team, message us online or call our office today at 860-900-0900.