It is estimated that each year in the United States of America (USA) that some three million auto accidents happen, causing countless injuries and as many as 36,000 deaths amongst those involved – whether they be drivers, passengers, or pedestrians. When someone does not follow the rules of the road, then accidents can happen, sometimes with devastating consequences. If you are unfortunate enough to ever be involved in such an auto accident, then you need the help of a specialist car accident lawyer in Brownsville who can help to handle your case and get any compensation that you may be entitled to.
With there being so many auto accidents happening on the nation’s roads, it is important to know why they happen? What similarities there are between the most common types of accidents? And are there some outliers? All of these things will be discussed below as we look at some of the reasons why auto accidents happen in the USA.
A driver being distracted is one of the most common causes of auto accidents that cause death. Whenever a driver loses their focus, even for just a couple of seconds, their vehicle can potentially travel the length of a football field or even longer.
Some of the main reasons why drivers become distracted while behind the wheel include using their cell phone to answer/make calls or to send/read text messages, eating food or drinking soda/water, looking around at the scenery, and speaking to another person in their vehicle.
It is clear to see then that there are lots of things that can potentially distract a driver whilst on the road. Driving whilst distracted can cause auto accidents, such as a rear collision or a head-on collision, which can potentially be deadly when they occur at even moderate speed.
Over the past twenty years, speeding drivers have been responsible for about one-third of all deadly auto accidents in America. The vast majority of drivers choose to speed in order to avoid getting caught up in heavy traffic, to get to their destination quicker, or because they are impatient.
Occasionally speeding can quickly develop into a habit thus increasing the chances of an auto accident happening. Driving too fast significantly reduces the amount of time that a driver has to react to changes in the road ahead of them. Speeding also makes running into another vehicle at an intersection more likely to happen.
Driving over the speed limit greatly increases the chance of a rear-end collision happening. This is because the time a driver has to stop if a car in front of them, for whatever reason, comes to a sudden stop is greatly reduced.
Speeding whilst driving is something that can be easily prevented and those drivers that choose to drive beyond the speed limit have the potential to cause a serious auto accident and they would be liable for any injuries or deaths caused as a result of their actions.
Thousands of lives are lost on the roads in the USA each year due to drunk people getting behind the wheel and attempting to drive their vehicles. Auto accidents that occur as a result of drunk drivers often result in severe injuries to other road users and even pedestrians.
If a driver is particularly intoxicated through consuming alcohol, they are likely to lack the required cognitive ability and motor skills to be able to operate their vehicle safely, which could potentially result in them directly striking pedestrians with their car. Unfortunately, the number of people in America attempting to drive their vehicle whilst drunk is on the up. Auto accidents that are caused by drunk drivers tend to be very serious as they are unable to make any attempt to correct their actions and avoid a collision. This results in significant injuries or even death in some instances.
Driving a vehicle whilst being drunk is illegal in all fifty states across the country and can even result in criminal charges being placed against the guilty party. That being said, criminal cases are mostly insufficient to losses that have been incurred by the victims, and so they will likely file a civil claim against the intoxicated driver in order to seek further damages.
What exactly constitutes reckless driving is open to interpretation and actually varies from state to state. Typically though, it involves a person who is driving without showing regard for the safety of other road users and pedestrians.
Some examples of reckless driving include driving across two lanes and coming close to other vehicles as a result, driving straight through a red light and being forced to dodge other vehicles or pedestrians as a result, changing lanes without indicating or using their mirrors, driving erratically at different speeds, sudden braking for no apparent reason, driving too closely behind other vehicles, driving in the turning lane to pass other vehicles, weaving in and out of traffic, and driving too slowly on an expressway.
Most drivers will be well aware that heavy rain can make the roads dangerous to drive on. Even with the car wipers on the highest setting, heavy rain makes it really difficult to maintain a clear vision of the road ahead.
Unfortunately, people tend to drive recklessly in the rain by not driving at the correct speed for the road conditions. Regardless of how good the tires on a car are, they will still pivot and slide quite significantly when on a wet road.
Depending on the gradient of the road, a pool of water can develop on some stretches. When a car hits a pool like this at speed, there is the chance that it can spin out of control and collide with either another vehicle or vehicles or even pedestrians. This could cause serious harm or death to anyone involved.
Heavy rain often plays a part in fatal auto accidents, especially when a driver is not driving to meet the weather conditions or is not following the rules of the road.
Inexperienced drivers are those that have only just recently passed their driving test and so are getting used to driving on the roads without the help or advice of a driving instructor. These types of drivers will always be on the road and so there is little that can be done to prevent this from happening. Unfortunately, their actions can result in very serious consequences for those involved.
Not knowing the rules of the road can result in serious auto accidents. For instance, an experienced driver may not know that they need to pass or yield in certain situations, which may result in a collision. Additionally, they may not know that they need to change their speed when driving along winding rural roads or that they need to drive slower when it is raining.
An inexperienced driver is unlikely to know what distance they should give to other road users when driving behind them, or they may not know how to react to certain conditions, such as when their vehicle starts sliding or becomes uncontrollable.
Even if young driver does have some experience, they are more likely to be involved in an auto accident. This is because they are more likely to become distracted whilst driving or to speed. Inexperience on the road is the cause of a wide variety of auto accidents and injuries. Anyone involved in an auto accident that is caused by an inexperienced driver will receive full compensation for any losses they experience, such as medical bills.
There are many drugs, both prescription and recreational, that can impact a driver’s ability to operate their vehicle both effectively and safely. This is because they may cause a loss of both cognitive and motor skills.
When intoxicated, a driver is likely to either pay less attention to or just completely ignore the rules of the road. For instance, a prescribed sleep medication may cause a loss of consciousness, resulting in a collision with another vehicle or a pedestrian. A driver that is high on recreational drugs can see vivid hallucinations, run a red light, and just generally drive unsafely, resulting in an auto accident.
No one should ever attempt to drive a vehicle while intoxicated from any type of drug. With prescription drugs, a doctor or medic will provide guidance on if driving is OK with the use of the medication.
Drivers operating their vehicles while feeling tired actually happens more often than people realize. Lots of people throughout the USA have to commute to and from their place of work early in the morning and late into the evening, and inevitably they may be tired when doing this, even if they have drunk lots of coffee.
When a person drives whilst feeling drowsy, their motor skills are severely impaired, impacting their ability to safely operate their vehicle. Sometimes it can also result in an individual hallucinating or seeing double while behind the wheel. The effects of driving whilst tired are actually very similar to driving whilst drunk or intoxicated by drugs.
It is actually the case that drinking coffee and energy drinks can make drowsy driving even worse. Over time, the effects of these drinks will wear off and when that happens, it causes the body to shut down altogether and fall asleep. Driving whilst tired is commonplace amongst commercial truck drivers, rideshare drivers, and anyone else that drives on the roads for a living.
Fog is always an interesting weather phenomenon to drive in. It can be particularly dangerous as high beam lights are unable to penetrate through it so visibility cannot be improved. Because of this, the chance of having an auto accident is greatly increased and may result in severe injuries or even death. This is especially true when a driver does not slow down or even pull over when their visibility is so poor.
Whilst all drivers may get a little angry while driving their car, some take it to the next level and get involved in road rage incidents. This may take the form of a wide variety of driving behaviors that put themselves, other road users, and even pedestrians at serious risk.
Road rage may take the form of drivers purposely cutting up another driver by performing dangerous lane changes, tailgating or intentionally hitting another vehicle, yelling or making verbal threats/threats with weapons, and closely following or harassing a slower driver.
In some instances, a road rage incident can, unfortunately, turn violent, with a driver physically harming another one or even a pedestrian. If these situations get out of hand, weapons, such as guns, may even be involved.
If it is heavy enough, snow can pile up high so it comes with its own unique dangers. The average car in America does not do well when traveling in the snow. Even some of the bigger pickup trucks that you see on the roads have difficulty driving in thick heavy snowy conditions.
When snow falls onto the ice, it becomes hidden thus creating a whole host of problems for anyone driving on it. For instance, the ice can make a vehicle skid out of control, potentially striking another car or a pedestrian.
Additionally, vehicles may get stuck in the snow and come to a sudden halt in the middle of the road. This may result in rear-end collisions from the drivers behind. Because of this, driving in snowy weather should really be avoided at all costs.
Some of the other things that cause auto accidents include drivers running red lights or stop signs, driving at night time, vehicle defects, drivers making unsafe lane changes, drivers going to wrong way, drivers making improper turns, drivers tailgating other vehicles, icy weather, potholes in the road, tire blowouts, driving on dangerous roads, and animals in the road.