Motor vehicle accidents are some of the most common causes of personal injury lawsuits, with more than 300 people killed every year across New York State due to motor vehicle accidents. Sadly, many of these accidents are preventable, and are caused by people failing to do what they need to in order to drive safely. Here are seven common causes of motor vehicle accidents:
- Reckless driving
- Many people see traffic laws as inconvenient at the best of times, a view that only seems to be more common since the coronavirus pandemic hit. With emptier roads, people have felt more free to ignore speed limits and stop signs, to switch lanes without signalling, or to make illegal turns. This reckless disregard for traffic safety invariably leads to more accidents, and more accident-related fatalities.
- Distracted driving
- While the term “distracted driving” is often seen as synonymous with texting while driving, the fact is that anything that takes your mind off the road can make an accident more likely. For example, a shocking number of people will shave or apply makeup while driving, while others see no problem eating while on the road. While this can be a timesaver, these activities take your eyes off the road and split your attention, increasing the likelihood of an accident.
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- Driving while under the influence of any intoxicating substance is illegal, obviously, but it is also incredibly unsafe. Alcohol and other intoxicants can slow reaction time, impair judgment, and otherwise cause problems that make it harder to drive safely. Even prescription medications can potentially cause effects that can make driving dangerous, so if you take a medication with intoxicating effects, consult with your doctor to see if it is safe for you to drive.
- Bad road conditions
- Sometimes, it is not the fault of the driver that an accident happens, at least not directly. Instead, it is the road that is at fault, with slippery or icy roads making it harder to stop and increasing the chance of losing control of your vehicle. When possible, you should avoid driving when road conditions are poor, and if you must drive, take it slowly to prevent skidding out.
- Poorly maintained vehicles
- Maintaining a car can be expensive, but not nearly as expensive as needing to repair or replace it after a major accident. Doing proper maintenance can help avoid some of the other dangers on the road, and decreases the likelihood of a catastrophic mechanical failure while you are driving. When people put off maintaining their vehicles, on the other hand, it increases the chance of a motor vehicle accident.
- Sleep deprivation
- Many Americans simply do not get the sleep they should to be healthy, and a lack of sleep can cause major problems behind the wheel. People who are exhausted have slower reaction times, and are at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. If you begin to feel sleepy while driving, pull off to the side of the road, unless you want to wake up by being pulled out of a wrecked vehicle.
- Alleviating stress is always easier said than done, and yet keeping stress under control can be essential for staying out of an accident. Not only are stressed out people more distractible and, thus, more accident prone, but they also may take out their anxieties in the form of more aggressive driving. If you can, try to relax while you are driving, or else place yourself at a greater risk of an accident.
If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important that you contact an attorney to understand your legal rights. The personal injury attorneys at Zlotolow & Associates can bring more than two decades of experience to your case. We have helped thousands of clients recover through settlements and courtroom verdicts. To schedule a consultation, you can call us toll-free at (886)800-0092, or you can visit our contact page.