It is true that no two car accidents are exactly alike, but there are certain common elements that show up time and again in the accidents that we review at the Holton Law Firm. We hope that you will take note of the following list of common causes of car accidents.
- Distracted Driving- In today's modern age of technology, the likelihood of driving while distracted has increased dramatically. In fact, each year, more and more accidents occur because someone was texting, checking facebook, or taking a selfie with their phone. Often these accidents involve rear end collisions where the driver's focus shifts from the road to a phone or other device and doesn't see traffic slowing or stopping.
- Drunk Driving- Even With the increasing availability of affordable ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, drunk driving continues to be one of the most deadly causes of car accidents. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (even prescription drugs) has consistently been shown to decrease reaction times, coordination, and focus, and makes car wrecks more likely.
- Excessive Speed- It may seem like a victimless crime to exceed the posted speed limit, but speeding is often a cause of accidents. Having an accident at more than 55 mph significantly increases the chances of your vehicle rolling over in the crash. Speeding also makes defensive driving more difficult because the faster your vehicle is traveling the less time you will have to react to sudden stops or improper lane changes from other drivers.
- Hazardous Weather Conditions- Whether it is rain, fog, sleet, snow, or ice, hazardous weather conditions cause or contribute to many wrecks every year. Safely driving in these weather conditions often involves driving at lower speeds with your windshield wipers and lights on. In extreme conditions where visibility is exceedingly low, you can use the hazard lights to help alert other drivers to your presence.
- Reckless Driving- Reckless driving can include improper lane changes, failing to use turn signals, following too closely, or swerving within the lane. Reckless drivers are often focused on getting somewhere, on "beating" others in traffic, or on a distraction such as music, phone, or other electronic device.
- Roadway Defects or Obstructions- Defects and obstructions to the road can include potholes, debris from another accident, wildlife such as deer, or construction cones or barrels that are improperly placed without adequate warning. These defects and obstructions can cause sudden stops or swerving in drivers who are caught off guard.
There are many causes of accidents, but paying attention to these six will help you become a safer driver.