I am a Little Rock personal injury lawyer and almost all of the cases that we handle in my law firm deal with people who have been hurt in motor vehicle accidents. Most automobile accidents are avoidable. Being a thoughtful, attentive and defensive driver could prevent the majority of accidents.
I thought I’d put together a list of the five most common causes of accidents. Perhaps this information might be helpful to you or your loved ones.
The five most common causes of car accidents
There are certainly more than just five causes of car accidents, but this list represents those that are most common.
- Distracting Driving: According to the American Automobile Association, research shows that 25-50 percent of all motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. are caused by driver distraction.
There are many forms of distraction, but high among them are texting, rubbernecking, cell phone use, eating, other passengers, including children, checking out the scenery, adjusting the radio or CD player, reaching for an object, and, unbelievably, reading (books, magazines, maps, and other materials).
- Driver Fatigue: Over 100,000 accidents occur each year due to a drowsy driver or one who actually falls asleep at the wheel. The times when most accidents from driver fatigue happen are between the hours of 11 p.m. and 8 a.m., and again from noon to 2 p.m.
Here are some ways to prevent accidents due to driver fatigue:
Get a good night’s sleep the night before a long trip
- Take a driving break every 2 hours
- Try to get a fresh start in the morning and not leave for a long drive after work
- Don’t drive if you take medication that makes you drowsy
- Share driving responsibilities when possible.
Drunk Driving: Drunk drivers killed over 10,000 people in 2013 (statistics aren’t out for 2014). The National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) states this averages out to approximately one death per half-hour.
The way to prevent drunk driving is easy. Don’t drink and drive, don’t get into a car with an intoxicated driver, and choose a designated driver if you are going to be drinking.
Speeding: Speeding is so dangerous. It increases the risk of an accident, increases the damage of an accident, and makes it harder to avoid an accident. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) states that when a driver increases his or her speed from 40 to 60 mph, the energy in a crash more than doubles.
Speed kills, so slow down, take your time, and you’ll get to your destination safely.
Aggressive Driving and Road Rage: Like speed, aggressive driving can cause accidents and can kill. Reckless driving includes tailgating, physical and verbal assaults, obscene gesturing, frequent and unsafe lane changes, disregarding traffic laws, flashing lights out of irritation, and sudden, deliberate and dangerous breaking.
To avoid a possible accident, get away from the aggressive driver when it is safe to do so. Change lanes, keep your distance, don’t pass unless necessary, don’t lose your cool, and maintain safe driving behaviors.
By being aware of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents and driving defensively, the odds increase that you can avoid a tragic accident.
Stay safe out there.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate to call me.
The Law Offices of Peter Miller
1601 S. Broadway
Little Rock, AR 72206
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