Understanding the Leading Causes of Auto Accidents
Did you know that driver negligence is a leading cause of traffic fatalities in the United States? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), speeding is a contributing factor in about 30% of fatal traffic accidents each year. About 30% of traffic accident fatalities involve a driver who was driving under the influence of alcohol, with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater (above the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle). 10% of injury crashes in 2011 were reported as involving a distracted driver. With these numbers, it is easy to see what a tremendous impact driving behavior has on collisions.
Driver negligence can be described as any act or inaction that constitutes a failure to provide proper care in the circumstances. While driving, “proper care” may include obeying traffic laws, paying attention to the road and being mindful of the safety of oneself and others. It may also include driving in accordance with current road, traffic and weather conditions to maximize safety. Some examples of negligence may include:
- Failing to signal before making a turn;
- Composing or reading a text message while driving;
- Applying make-up or using an electric razor while driving;
- Running a red light or stop sign;
- Driving above the posted speed limit;
- Following too closely behind a vehicle;
- Failing to yield to an emergency vehicle that has its sirens on;
- Speeding through a school zone;
- Eating or drinking while driving;
- Failing to properly maintain one’s vehicle, such as driving on worn brakes;
- Driving with broken taillights;
- Using a handheld phone while driving;
- Taking one’s attention off the road to talk to a passenger;
- Drinking and driving;
- Weaving in and out of traffic;
- Driving under the influence of prescription drugs; or
- Falling asleep at the wheel.
The possibilities are endless, and all are potentially deadly. It takes only the smallest act of negligence to cause a serious accident that leaves one or more victims injured – or worse. In 2010, there were more than 50,000 injury auto accidents in Los Angeles County alone. 4,359 of these were deemed “alcohol involved,” and if you consider the national averages for speeding and distraction-related accidents as well, it is easy to see how most of these likely involved some form of driver negligence or wrongdoing.
Fortunately, California law provides relief for car accident victims with an at-fault policy when it comes to traffic accidents. Drivers who cause traffic accidents can be held legally responsible for economic and non-economic damages, which may include medical expenses, future medical care, lost earnings, loss of future earnings, emotional trauma, pain and suffering. A Los Angeles car accident lawyer at Pacific Attorney Group can help you seek these damages so you can begin focus on moving on with your life.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer Van Nuys
When driver negligence is the cause of a car accident, it is important to seek legal counsel from an attorney who can advise you of your options and rights in this difficult time. The driver who caused the accident can be held accountable, with monetary damages typically paid through his or her auto insurance policy. To get the process started and to find out more about your unique case, schedule a free consultation with a lawyer at our firm. From 2008-2010 alone, we recovered more than $5 million for our clients and are prepared to see how we can help you. Contact a car accident lawyer Van Nuys today – you pay no legal fees unless we win your case!
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