Car accidents are stressful and frustrating, especially when your accident was probably avoidable. Someone else slammed into your vehicle because they weren’t paying attention, were violating some law, or driving unsafely. Their actions directly caused an accident where you or a loved one suffered serious injuries.
Many car accidents leave victims like you struggling to get better. Sometimes the injuries are so severe that a person needs lifelong medical care. Even when that’s not the case, victims can face a mountain of medical expenses. But that should not be their concern—it should be the sole responsibility of the negligent driver. That is something a trusted lawyer can help you prove.
Top Causes of Accidents
What follows is more than just a list of the most common reasons people cause car accidents. It’s intended to give you an idea of what caused your specific accident. That’s important to know because it can lead you to file a personal injury claim against the negligent party and pursue maximum compensation from them for your injuries and your suffering.
Over 30,000 people die in car accidents every year. While not every accident will result in death, it shows the frequency and severity of poor decisions made by other drivers.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
People too often decide that they’re fine to drive after having a few too many drinks. That can have deadly consequences. About 28 people die every day because of drunk drivers. And the worst part is, it’s entirely preventable. When a drunk driver gets behind the wheel, their ability to react to certain situations is limited and reduced, increasing the likelihood of an accident.
Texting while driving, eating food, fiddling with the radio—all of these distractions can take a driver’s eyes off the road. The number one cause of car accidents, distracted driving takes your eyes off the road for a long time. Traveling at 55 miles per hour, every five seconds you look at your phone, you travel an entire football field essentially blind. The only job a driver has is to drive and when they let themselves get distracted, accidents can happen.
Young drivers and new drivers alike are also more likely to cause accidents. They simply lack the skills and the experience many other drivers have developed. They don’t know how to properly handle a car or avoid certain situations. When inexperienced drivers encounter difficult situations, they’re more likely to make a mistake that results in a crash.
Everyone speeds at some point. Some drivers make it a habit. The faster a vehicle travels, the less time they have to react to a situation. For example, if a driver travels at 80 miles per hour and another car cuts in front of them, they have less time to slow down before hitting the other car.
Weather plays a crucial role in accidents. Especially in West Virginia, we see all four seasons’ worth of weather. Rain and snow create slick roads and can cause drivers to lose control without warning. Sliding down a road makes it nearly impossible to prevent an accident. That’s why the best prevention is to slow down when the weather turns bad.
Failure to Yield
Running red lights and stop signs are another great way to get into accidents. These traffic control devices are in place for a reason, but not everyone takes them seriously. Some drivers think they are more important or that they can speed up and avoid a crash. Sadly, they’re often wrong.
Tailgating, cutting in front of other drivers, changing lanes without signaling, speeding, and countless other forms of aggressive driving behavior commonly cause accidents. When you encounter drivers like this on the road, and it’s not hard to spot them, let them pass. Don’t try to be a cop and police their poor behavior. The more you engage with them, the angrier they’re likely to become, and the more likely an accident will happen. Protect yourself and your passengers by letting the aggressive driver go on their way.
Poor Road Conditions
Roads themselves can play a part in accidents, too. We’ve all been on rough roads, roads that needed repaving years ago, or roads that have sprung new potholes. These hazards make accidents more likely as drivers attempt to avoid the dangers.
While not extremely common, wrong-way drivers can cause serious accidents. These crashes are usually head-on, resulting in tragic injuries to people in all vehicles involved. Paying attention to one-way road signs, those large red signs you see frequently entering an interstate, let you know which direction you need to travel and if you’re doing something wrong. At night especially, if you see headlights coming at you, something is dangerously wrong, and you need to take immediate action.
Contact a Trusted Legal Advisor to Get the Help You Need
No matter the cause, seek legal help as soon as possible after a collision. Accidents leave many victims in pain and facing large amounts of medical debt, but you don’t have to face it alone. An experienced lawyer can make all the difference in recovering the damages you deserve.