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What Are the Top Causes of Car Accidents?

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 6 million car accidents happen annually. 

From distractions to lack of safety measures, drivers are at risk to some extent every time they get behind the wheel. Unfortunately, the majority of car accidents are caused by driver error. 

The importance of driver safety and strict adherence to traffic laws can prevent accidents from occurring. However, just because you are driving safely doesn’t mean that everyone else on the road is following suit. Protecting yourself and your passengers comes first. 

Some accidents can be minor while others can be serious. Damages, injuries, and, in serious cases, fatalities can occur from car accidents involving driver error and other causes. 

Accidents can happen in a split second, but can change the course of your life, the lives of your passengers, or the lives of the passengers/driver of another vehicle forever. Knowing some of the top causes of car accidents can help you to take precautionary action and possibly prevent them from happening in the first place. 

Top Causes of Car Accidents in the United States

Distracted Driving

As one of the leading causes of car accidents for decades, distracted driving has become a driver’s worst enemy, especially in the age of technology. 

Texting and social media have drivers glued to a screen while behind the wheel more often than you might think. Bluetooth technology built into vehicles has sought to limit distractions but has become a distraction in-and-of-itself in many cases. Billboards, makeup application, personal grooming, food, messing with items in your car while at a stoplight, and even talking with your hands to the passenger next to you while driving have all contributed to car accidents over the years. 

How do you keep distracted driving out of the picture? Keep your eyes on the road. Be attentive to what is going on around you, pay attention to traffic signals and other drivers, and always be on guard while driving. 

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving causes more than 10,000 deaths annually and is one of the most dangerous causes of car accidents in the U.S. today. While impaired driving laws have long been in effect, that doesn’t always stop people from having a drink or two and getting behind the wheel. 

Given that drunk driving is a criminal offense, keep your keys at home or give them to a friend if you plan on heading out for a drink. Line up a designated driver or make use of modern-day ride-sharing companies like Lyft or Uber. 

Speeding

It’s Monday morning, and you’re running late for work. Flooring it isn’t the answer. 

As the second most common cause of traffic accidents, speeding causes some of the most serious traffic accidents, many of which lead to fatalities (as traveling at high levels of speed means a most severe impact for the vehicle, driver, and passengers). 

Speed limits are designed to give you enough time to brake and keep a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles. Take your time and follow the posted speed limits whether you’re in a neighborhood or on the highway. 

Weather

Weather plays a major role in the flow of traffic and how drivers react to situations on the road. 

Slippery roads caused by rain, ice, and snow can result in treacherous road conditions for even the most attentive and safe drivers. Rain can cause hydroplaning while ice and snow can cause wheels to spin out or cars to slide off of the road or into other vehicles. 

Precipitation on the road, however, isn’t the only concern here. Visibility issues also result in a significant number of car crashes. Dense fog, snow bursts, heavy rain, and even full sun in your eyes can cause blind spots while driving, possibly leading to traffic accidents. 

While the conditions may seem outside of a driver’s control, an accident involving a driver rear-ending another vehicle because of weather-related issues is still the driver’s fault. Taking precautionary measures like slowing down or waiting for the bad weather to pass can help in preventing weather-related traffic accidents. 

Running Red Lights

A cardinal rule of driving, red means stop. You might be at an empty intersection, but traffic can change in an instant. 

Driving distracted, speeding to get through a light while it is yellow, or simply ignoring traffic regulations can result in cars going through a red light and potentially hitting a car coming from the opposite direction. 

You might think you can get through a yellow light in enough time, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Yellow lights are designed to give you enough time to stop before it turns red and opposing traffic starts moving through the intersection. Otherwise, you could find yourself in the middle of the intersection and hit by a car coming the other way too. 

Get In Touch With A California Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured in an accident in California and would like to learn more about your legal rights, Hann Law Firm is here to help. 

We provide a thoughtful approach to personal injury cases and help you get the compensation you need while you focus on your recovery. We are seasoned California personal injury attorneys who know how to win – Contact us today to find out how we can help you get the justice you deserve.

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