The National Safety Council claims an estimated 40,000 people lost their lives and another 4.5 million people were injured in car wrecks in the United States in 2018. These figures translate to an average of 100 people dying in car accidents each day. For those who survive, serious injuries leave many victims in lifelong pain and with permanent disability.
The number of serious and fatal motor vehicle accidents continues to rise in the U.S. despite new technological safety features and enhancements on new cars. What makes the statistics even more grim is the fact that a large majority of these accidents can be prevented. Driver error, distracted driving, and poor vehicle maintenance are some of the most preventable causes of serious and deadly car accidents.
What are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents?
The most common causes of serious and fatal car accidents include:
- Distracted Driving: Distracted driving is the number one cause of serious and fatal car accidents. Cell phone usage, texting, passenger distraction, pets in the car, eating and drinking while driving, and reaching for objects in the back seat or passenger seat are all forms of distracted driving. A driver who takes their eyes off of the road for even a moment puts everyone on the road in danger.
- Drowsy Driving: Driving while drowsy is very similar to driving drunk. When drivers are operating their cars with little or no sleep, their judgment, reaction times, and focus are all impaired. The risk of falling asleep at the wheel is high, which can result in head-on collisions and rear-end accidents.
- Drunk and Drugged Driving: Drunk driving laws have reduced the number of alcohol-impaired drivers on the roads, but increased use of marijuana and the recent opioid crisis sweeping our nation have resulted in a rise in drugged driving accidents. Drivers who drink or use drugs before getting behind the wheel put everyone in danger for serious injury and death.
- Inclement Weather: Driving in torrential downpours, thick fog, hail storms, and in windy conditions are at higher risk of getting into a wreck. Slick roads and poor visibility can lead to head-on collisions, rear-end accidents, and running off the road.
- Driver Error: To err is human, but when it comes to operating a vehicle, human error can be deadly. Avoiding risky behavior is essential to road safety. Avoiding aggressive driving, tailgating, speeding, and distractions can significantly reduce the number of car accidents caused by negligence.
- Poor Vehicle Maintenance: All drivers have a legal responsibility to operate a safe vehicle. Regular inspection and maintenance of tires, headlights and taillights, windshield wipers, mechanical fluids and parts, and routine state inspections can ensure that a motor vehicle is safe to operate.
- Road Hazards: Potholes, faded traffic lines, broken traffic lights or signs, poor lighting, and disrepair on roads can lead to wrecks. It is imperative for drivers to be aware of these situations and to obey all speed limits to ensure they are prepared when encountering these types of hazards.
Huntsville Car Wreck Lawyers at Hodges Trial Lawyers, P.C. Represent Victims of Driver Negligence
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a car accident, call the Huntsville car wreck lawyers at Hodges Trial Lawyers, P.C. at 256-539-3110 or 888-539-3110, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our Huntsville, Alabama offices serve clients throughout North Alabama, including the areas of Madison County, Limestone County, Marshall County, Jackson County, Morgan County, and Lauderdale County.