Causes of Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), auto accidents claim an average of 35,000 lives each year across the United States. In addition to fatalities, hundreds of thousands of people are injured each year in accidents involving motor vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, buses, trucks, and pedestrians.
The Media, Pennsylvania car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello are dedicated to helping people injured in car accidents claim the maximum amount of compensation available under the law. The team of highly skilled and experienced car accident lawyers is committed to ensuring their clients’ legal rights are protected and their best interests served.
Common Causes of Accidents in Pennsylvania
Accidents happen unexpectedly, but in many cases, drivers can change risky behaviors to prevent accidents. Technology and innovative safety features on new cars and trucks reduce the risks of accidents, but it is still the primary responsibility of all drivers to avoid risky behaviors that put everyone on the road in danger.
Distracted driving is now responsible for more serious and fatal car accidents than drunk driving. Distracted driving caused 4.5 million auto accidents between 2010 and 2014, which accounted for nearly 16 percent of all accidents in that time period. Cell phone use and texting are the most dangerous behaviors for drivers to engage in while behind the wheel. Eating, drinking, using onboard navigation systems, adjusting music and entertainment systems, and talking to passengers or tending to young children in the car can distract a driver’s attention from the road for just enough time to cause an accident.
Most people driving home from work or school after a long day feel a little tired, but drivers who get behind the wheel when they are drowsy significantly raise their risk of a crash. The NHTSA reported more than 44,000 people were injured and another 800 died in 2013 due to drowsy drivers. Driving while fatigued can be equivalent to drunk driving. Reaction times are slower, decision making skills are weakened, and driver attention are impaired with drowsy driving. Falling asleep behind the wheel can result in catastrophic injuries for drivers and for others on the road.
Close to 2,000 people suffer serious injury or death each year in accidents caused by aggressive drivers. Slamming on the brakes unnecessarily, purposely hitting another car, and running a vehicle off the road are all forms of aggressive driving. In a few cases over the past decade, incidents of road rage have escalated to include shootings or physical altercations. Steering clear of an angry or aggressive driver is the best defense to staying safe.
Speeding is the most preventable cause of car accidents. Drivers that choose to travel above the posted speed limits endanger everyone on the road. Cars, trucks, busses, and motorcycles traveling at high speed dramatically increase their risk of becoming involved in an accident. High speed crashes typically have devastating consequences. Unfortunately, speeding accidents often involve other motorists as well as pedestrians and bicyclists.
Drunk and Impaired Driving
While incidents of drunk driving fatalities and injuries have declined over the years, drunk driving still claims lives. Many people have recognized the legal and personal risks involved with drunk driving and now use designated drivers and ride sharing services to get them home after a celebration. While the majority of adults drink responsibly, many do not heed the warnings. Educational campaigns, legal consequences, and even jail time have not been enough to eliminate these preventable accidents.
People with sleep apnea, heart patients, those who have suffered cognitive deficits from stroke, and those who take prescription medications for chronic illness have an increased risk of car accidents. The elderly are another high risk group for auto accidents due to diminishing eye sight and slowed reaction times.
Even the safest drivers can make mistakes that lead to automobile accidents. Driver error results from poor decision making skills, inexperience, slow reaction time, distraction, and inattention. The best way to avoid driver error is to avoid those behaviors that lead to mistakes. Keep off of cell phones, get plenty of rest, avoid having too many passengers in the car, and be responsible when drinking alcohol or taking prescription and over the counter medications.
Delaware County Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello Help Victims of Negligence Claim Compensation
If you or someone you love has been involved in an auto accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the experienced Media car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello at 610-892-4940, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our Media, Pennsylvania offices serve clients throughout Delaware County, Media, and West Chester.
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