Distractions, Alcohol, Fatigue Impact Driver Response
Distracted driving is at the top of the list. According to NHTSA, approximately one of every ten fatal crashes in the US involves distraction, resulting in more than 3,000 deaths per year. One of the most common distractions while driving is using your cell phone to text, email and talk. Of course, anything that takes a driver’s eyes, hands or attention away from driving increases the risk of an accident occurring.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, both legal and illegal, impair one’s ability to drive. These substances impair one’s vision and hearing, decrease muscle coordination and result in slower reaction times, making that driver a danger to others on the road. Unfortunately, car accidents caused by driving under the influence occur way too frequently.
Drowsy driving refers to people who drive when they are tired, sleepy or fatigued. Driver fatigue often leads to reduced attention to the road and a slower reaction time. Just a few seconds of nodding off is enough to cause a car accident. When a driver is drowsy, he or she may have:
- Difficulty concentrating
- An inability to remember directions
- Be restless or bored
Long hours behind the wheel of a heavy truck makes truck drivers prone to driver fatigue.
Night driving is another risk factor. It actually doubles the risk of car accidents occurring despite the fact that there is typically less traffic on the roads. Unfortunately, the nighttime makes it more difficult to see any roadway hazards and it is when you are more likely to find drunk or drowsy drivers.
Aggressive driving and road rage have also become a serious problem on our roadways. According to NHTSA and the Auto Vantage auto club show, 66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving. When aggressive driving escalates to road rage, drivers sometimes let their emotions take over – tailgating the offending driver, speeding to get around him or her then quickly pulling in front and braking.
Teenagers and inexperienced drivers are a driving hazard. They are more likely to underestimate a dangerous situation and are more likely to drive with distractions (such as texting and driving). According to the CDC, teen drivers are more likely to speed than adult drivers. Their lack of experience often leads to car accidents.
Reckless Driving and Traffic Violations Cause Car Accidents
Reckless driving is a moving violation where the driver displays a disregard for the rules of the road and it typically involves more than one traffic violation. For instance, a reckless driver may speed, tailgate and change lanes too quickly to get in front of the slower vehicle. The driver’s reckless behavior puts not only his or her own life at risk, but others as well. Reckless driving includes behavior such as:
- Distracted driving
- Driving without headlights
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Sudden braking
Speeding is an easy way to cause a car accident. The faster one drives, the less time you have to react and high-speed collisions typically result in devastating injuries and fatalities. Even minor or moderate speeding in the wrong area can lead to disastrous results, such as hitting and killing a pedestrian.
Tailgating means impatient and reckless drivers following too close to the vehicle in front of them. This reckless behavior decreases the amount of time a tailgater has to react. Often, the driver in front of a tailgater decides to tap their brakes in order to get the tailgater to back off. This can create a dangerous situation such as the tailgate driver losing control or slamming into someone’s rear bumper.
Running red lights may be considered reckless driving. Often running a red light leads to side-impact collisions at high speeds or cause rollover accidents, which can have deadly results.
Weather, Road and Car Conditions
Weather, such as rain, snow, ice and fog, can make for treacherous road conditions. Bad weather impairs one’s ability to see. Moisture can make the road slippery. Water can pool on the roadway and create dangerous surfaces causing vehicles to hydroplane, spin out of control or skid while braking. Unfortunately, many drivers (especially younger, less experienced ones) do not know how to drive in bad weather conditions.
The physical condition of the road can lead to car accidents. Roadways that are improperly maintained can make it difficult to maintain traction or stop abruptly. Potholes, caused by the wear-and-tear and weathering of the roads, can cause a tire to blow out or a driver to lose control of his or her car.
Car accidents on dangerous roadway curves often involve fatalities and serious injuries. Drivers, not realizing the severity of the curve, can lose control of their cars, leave the road and slam into a tree or other obstacle.
The car itself can cause car accidents if not maintained properly. For instance, failing to maintain the brakes or worn tires can mean a car won’t stop in time. Under-inflated tires can cause tire blowouts. And, while manufacturers are required by law to design cars that meet a minimum safety standard, design failures occur.
Establishing Negligence in a Car Accident
Negligence is a common cause of car accidents. However, when you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident, you may not know how to prove negligence. The attorneys at Nash & Franciskato take that burden off your shoulders. We know what documentation is needed and what experts to consult. We are experienced car accident attorneys.
- $400,000 Settlement: Rear-ended at red light while driving employer vehicle
- $100,000 Policy limits settlement, intoxicated driver
Receive a Free Evaluation from Experienced Car Accident Attorneys
In the Kansas City area and across Missouri, when you have been seriously injured in an automobile accident you need a trusted resource who will fight for your rights. Contact the experienced car accident attorneys at Nash & Franciskato for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case.