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In this blog post, we focus on motor vehicle accidents, discussing some of the leading causes, what actions you should take following a crash, and how an experienced car accident attorney can help. Although many of these tips and explanations may seem obvious, the following information aims to educate motorists of all different levels to recognize what can cause these significant and deadly accidents and how to best avoid them.
Motor vehicle accidents are a widespread occurrence in the United States, resulting in 2 million injuries and 32,000 deaths every year. Even though many of these crashes are minor, the majority are preventable.
Even though these motor vehicle accidents can happen for many reasons, the leading causes of these accidents include:
Driving under the influence is one of the top causes of car accidents. Every day, 29 people die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an impaired driver due to alcohol. Even more worrisome is that not only can a small amount of alcohol impact a person’s driving ability, but also many people do not even realize that they are impaired when getting behind the wheel.
What you can do. To make sure you are operating your vehicle safely, you need to make sound judgments, concentrate, and react quickly to dangerous situations. Unfortunately, alcohol and drugs can impede this ability. If you are heading out for a night of fun, have a designated driver ready to go and never get behind the wheel when under the influence.
Doing multiple things at once saves time for many people; however, when it comes to driving, multi-tasking should be avoided at all costs. Distracted driving has been significantly on the rise in recent years, resulting in nine deaths per day and over a thousand injuries due to crashes that involve distracted drivers.
Driving a motor vehicle requires your full attention, and taking your focus away from the road for even a few seconds can lead to a deadly accident. Texting and driving is one of the primary causes of motor vehicle accidents, as it slows down your reaction time by 37 percent. Beyond phone use, many other common distractions can affect an individual’s driving ability.
What you can do. Put down the phone, and do not participate in any activities other than driving while you are in the car. It seems like a small task, but driving carefully can have serious lifesaving repercussions when you make sure to focus on the road.
When you are behind the wheel, emotions can become a deadly combination resulting in 66 percent of traffic fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), aggressive driving is a moment that happens when a person commits a moving traffic offense to endanger other property or people.
To put simply, aggressive/ reckless driving comes in many forms, including:
What you can do. The faster someone drives, the slower the driver’s reaction time is, which makes it harder to react to dangerous conditions. If you are experiencing feelings of road rage, remember to try to take some breaths, calm down, and take your time when driving.
Weather conditions play a significant factor in many car accidents. Driving in snow, rain, dense fog, high winds, and on icy roads can result in deadly crashes, especially if you are not prepared for these road conditions. Driving too fast can result in your car hydroplaning on wet pavement or failing to stop on slick roads.
What you can do. Every year, about 15 percent of fatal crashes result from adverse weather conditions. Motorists need to make sure that they take proper precautions before heading out in these weather elements, including getting their tires checked and slowing down when these harmful conditions are present.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving results in over 6,000 deaths every year. Most people underestimate the risk of drowsy driving, which is actually quite common. In fact, during a 30-day period, an estimated one in 25 drivers reported falling asleep behind the wheel, and even though it’s a common occurrence, it can result in fatal consequences. Tired driving can affect your reaction time, impair your concentration level, and reduce your vigilance, all of which are critical when you are behind the wheel.
What you can do. If you notice that you are having a hard time staying away, yawning, or blinking excessively, or if you are drifting in your lane, it is time to pull over. To prevent this issue in the first place, make sure you get enough sleep and avoid any medications that can make you drowsy before hitting the road.
It may seem like common sense that red means stop, but many motorists fail to abide by this simple rule, often having a variety of excuses for not stopping: for example, in a hurry for a meeting or trying to get to work on time.
Unfortunately, these excuses will mean nothing if you are seriously injured in a car accident as a result. Running a red light often causes T-bone accidents, which occur when one car strikes another vehicle’s side. These accidents lead to devastating injuries and can even prove fatal, whether taking the driver’s life or the passenger’s life, or leaving both with permanent damages.
What you can do. This should be obvious, but if you see a red light or a stop sign, you need to hit the brakes and come to a full stop, regardless of whether you think another car is coming.
Driving at night reduces the surrounding visibility and can make it harder for you to avoid hazards and obstacles on the road. This can cause deadly car accidents.
What you can do. When driving at night, stay alert, stay focused, and use high beams on empty roads.
Potholes are nothing new in California, and many motorists are already aware of the dangers that potholes pose to cars. However, many people fail to realize that potholes are also a substantial factor in many fatal motor vehicle accidents. Driving over a pothole can cause you to lose control of your car, blow out a tire, or collide with another vehicle or pedestrian if you try to adjust at the last minute.
What you can do. The best way to avoid a pothole accident is to slow down, steer clear of braking if you are approaching a pothole, give the cars in front of you some space, keep your tires full, and watch out for puddles.
Motorists usually have the best intention when they see an animal pop into the street. Their first instinct tells them to slam on their breaks or swerve. However, these actions can result in significant crashes and poor outcomes.
What you can do. If you are driving in woody or rural areas or see an animal crossing sign, take extra caution, slow down, and stay vigilant.
Automobile manufacturers are required to make, design, and market motor vehicles that meet rigorous safety standards. When the manufacturers fail to uphold this duty, motor vehicle accidents occur due to defective automobile equipment, including faulty steering mechanisms, seat belts, airbags, suspension systems, braking systems, and tires.
What you can do. In these situations, not every accident can be prevented, as defective car parts can show up at any time and unexpectedly. However, getting regular car tune-ups can help minimize some of these faulty parts and keep you and your family safe. In addition, if you are aware of any car recalls on your vehicle, make sure you take the proper steps to fix the problem.
Nobody wants to be involved in a car accident, but according to the statistics, there is a high likelihood that we will all be involved in one at some point in our lives. That is why it’s important to know what steps you need to take following a car accident. These actions will not only keep you safe, but also ensure that you protect your legal rights.
Regardless of how your car accident occurred, you need to contact the local police immediately and seek medical help. Even if you do not think your injuries are significant, you still want to get checked out by a medical professional. A doctor can verify that you do not have any hidden injuries that may not have presented yet, and he or she can also get your medical injuries on record. This is especially crucial if you end up deciding to pursue legal action.
If possible, you need to collect as much evidence from the accident scene as you can. Take videos and photos of everything from the crash, including the motor vehicles involved, your visible injuries, any road hazards, any visible traffic signs, and the weather conditions. You also want to make sure that you take down all other involved drivers’ information, including their names, addresses, contact information, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information.
Witness statements can play a significant role in a legal claim when you are trying to prove fault. If there are any witnesses present at the time of your accident who saw what happened, take down their names and contact information.
Many people assume that the insurance company will want to help them out after a motor vehicle accident, but this is not often the case. Insurance companies are businesses that want to make money, and by paying out less than they should, they accomplish this goal.
When speaking with insurance adjusters, make sure to avoid any statements that may inadvertently help the adjusters devalue or deny your claim, such as indicating that the accident was in any way your fault, posting accident details on social media, or making any definitive statements to the other driver after the accident.
Seeking legal representation quickly after a motor vehicle accident will help ensure that you have the best chance of succeeding in your claim. These car accident lawyers can provide you with the legal options that you need and take care of the whole legal process from start to finish.
Staying safe on the road requires taking specific yet simple preventative measures, such as obeying speed limits, not drinking and driving, and putting your phone down. Unfortunately, many people just refuse to accept these straightforward actions, and deadly accidents occur.
When these crashes happen, you need an experienced car accident fighting to maximize your compensation.
If you or a family member was injured in a motor vehicle accident, it is time to contact a knowledgeable and experienced car accident lawyer. Let an attorney provide you with the legal representation that you need and go after the results that you want.
John Gomez founded the firm alone in 2005. Today, John acts as President and Lead Trial Attorney. He has been voted by his peers as a top ten San Diego litigator in three separate fields: Personal Injury, Insurance and Corporate Litigation. Since 2000, he has recovered over $800 million in settlements and verdicts for his clients with more than 160 separate recoveries of one million dollars or more. A prolific trial lawyer, John has tried to jury verdict more than 60 separate cases.
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