Common Causes of Car Accidents
May 17, 2019
Car Crash Statistics
According to the National Safety Council, the number of car accident-related deaths that occurred in the United States totaled 40,100 in 2017. While this statistic denotes a 1% decrease in the total number of car accident fatalities that occurred across the country in the year prior, it still is an alarmingly high number. Moreover, of those 40,100 deaths, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 1,137 of them occurred in Pennsylvania.
Given the shockingly high number of car accident fatalities that occur annually throughout the country and the state, and coupled with the fact that many more people suffer physical and mental injuries in non-fatal car accidents each year, it is important that people take every measure possible to try to prevent accidents from occurring. An important measure to take to prevent car accidents is to understand what the most common causes of car accidents are and to, thereafter, engage in behavior that inhibits that cause from manifesting. Accordingly, below, we discuss some of the most common causes of car accidents.
By far, the most common cause of car accidents is driver error. Driver error often arises when the driver is distracted by another activity while driving.
These common distracted driving activities include:
- using cell phones to call or text message others
- changing the radio or song on a music streaming application
- adjusting the GPS
- talking with passengers in the car, eating, drinking
- looking out the window to view an accident or road work
When engaged in driving and another activity at the same time, research shows that the driver’s reaction time becomes markedly slower and the driver’s powers of observation are lessened. This is because, contrary to popular belief, human brains cannot actually multitask. Accordingly, when the driver attempts to “multitask” while driving, there is a larger chance that the driver will crash as his or her attention will be diverted from the act of driving.
While driving distractedly is a form of driver error that causes accidents, deciding to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is also a form a driver error that causes many accidents. According to the NHTSA, 41% of all fatal auto accidents in 2017 involved alcohol use.
Still, other actions such as speeding, engaging in road rage, or failing to perform regular maintenance checks of the car itself are forms of driver error that have proven to commonly cause car accidents.
Poor Weather Conditions
Besides driver error, there are other reasons car accidents commonly occur. One of those reasons is poor weather. If it is raining, snowing, or foggy, a driver’s visibility may become obstructed and this may result in a car accident even if the driver is taking extra precautions. Similarly, if it is raining or snowing, the precipitation may cause the roads to become slippery and wet. When roads are slippery and wet, there is a greater chance that cars will lose traction and crash into other cars or inanimate objects near the road.
Poor Road Maintenance
Another common cause of car accidents is poor road maintenance. On state and federal roads, the state government is generally responsible for performing maintenance on the roads to ensure that they are safe. Sometimes, however, the government fails to ensure that roads are properly taken care of. When this occurs and the roads are, for example, filled with potholes or are not treated during a winter storm, car accidents will almost inevitably result.
Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in Pennsylvania
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. represent clients injured because of car accidents in Pittsburgh, and throughout Western Pennsylvania counties. Call (412) 766-1455 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3634 California Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.