Auto accidents remain the worst types of accidents in the U.S. in terms of fatalities and serious injuries. Sadly, the accident rate appears to be getting worse after a few years of decline.
In 2021, there were 42,915 Americans killed as a result of auto accidents according to statistics compiled by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The number includes pedestrians, cyclists and passengers in vehicles, not just drivers. This was a 16 year high.
Most auto accidents are avoidable as long as drivers focus on safe driving. There are several key reasons for auto accidents. Three of the most common are described briefly below.
Speeding and Reckless Driving
Both of these two factors are avoidable. Speeding doesn’t just mean driving faster than the speed limit, it also includes driving faster than a driver can safely control.
This could be due to the road surface conditions or weather. If the road is likely to be icy or slippery due to heavy rain, or the visibility is poor because of fog, rain or darkness, then drivers should drive more slowly, even if the official speed limit allows them to drive faster. Driving faster than is safe is an act of negligence.
Reckless driving is a term that may have slightly different meanings across state borders, but typically means the driver is knowingly driving in a manner that could potentially harm others.
Driving over the speed limit or when road conditions are poor is not necessary, so is a clear example of reckless driving.
Running a red light, not stopping at a controlled intersection, tailgating and weaving in and out of lanes on a highway are all other examples of reckless driving.
Distractions Outside and Inside the Car
Distracted driving has always been a reason why auto car accidents happen. Distracted driving before cell phones and mobile devices became almost universal included eating or drinking while driving, turning round to talk to a passenger in the back seat, trying to swat a fly or bee or gazing out the side window unnecessarily.
More commonly today, the use of cell phones and other mobile devices has become a prime reason for distracted driving auto accidents.
There are restrictions on cell phone use in most U.S. states these days, but this is hard to enforce, making distracted driving one of the most common reason for serious auto accidents.
Driving While Fatigued
Fatigue is a common reason for auto accidents, particularly when there are long stretches of road between points of departure and destination.
This affects not just long distance truck drivers, but many car drivers, too. Even a moment’s lack of attention, caused by brain fog, or a micro sleep, can cause the driver to lose control. It always makes sense to get enough rest before driving long distances, and if feeling sleepy, pull over in a safe place and get some sleep.
If Injured in an Auto Accident Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer
You may have good grounds to pursue a personal injury claim if injured in an auto accident caused by someone’s negligent driving. You will need the help of a personal injury lawyer to help you with a claim. Fill out a free case evaluation today.