The causes of car accidents in California vary widely, from driver distraction to dangerous or reckless driving. Read on to learn more about the most common causes of car accidents in California:
Reckless or dangerous driving: Many people use the speed limit as a minimum, not a maximum. Traveling at an unsafe speed was the primary factor in 48,000 injury accidents in 2013, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP). Reckless driving includes other dangerous behaviors too, such as failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, trying to “beat the light”, unsafe lane changes, and failing to slow down in work or school zones. Inexperience can also lead to dangerous driving.
Distracted driving: What kinds of distractions cause car accidents? Well, certainly the one most prominent in the news these days is the use of your cell phone while driving. In 2013, 404 drivers in injury collisions had a cell phone in their hand and 79 were using hands-free phones, according to the CHP. Over 360 were changing the radio or CD. Other common distractions were eating and using other electronic equipment. But for over 2,300 drivers in injury crashes related to inattention, the source of distraction was unknown, so these numbers are most likely higher.
Impaired driving: Impairment refers to the effects of legal or illegal drugs, alcohol, prescription medications, or any substance that can alter the brain’s function. Many people know and understand that alcohol can affect both judgment and reaction time when they are sober, but the problem is that alcohol impairs judgment, making someone believe they are fine to drive. Impaired driving (drugs or alcohol) was the primary collision factor in 11,861 injury accidents in 2013, reports the CHP. Always appoint a designated driver, and consider the effects of prescription medications before someone gets behind the wheel.
Sleep deprived driving: Believe it or not, overtiredness can be just as dangerous to driving as drug or alcohol use. Being sleep deprived can lead to falling asleep at the wheel, decreased response time, ineffective judgment, and failure to recognize danger in time to respond. Make sure drivers are well rested.
Other: There are other factors, such as road conditions, weather, animals, and mechanical failures that can cause accidents too. The CHP lists lights, brakes, and other equipment as the primary factor in 128 accidents in 2013. Some of these factors are beyond the control of the driver (although they can be a sign that the driver needs to exercise extra caution). Drivers are, of course, responsible for maintaining their car properly, keeping a safe distance from other vehicles during poor weather conditions, and keeping an eye out for animals.
What can I do if I suffered injuries in an accident?
No one gets behind the wheel intending to have an accident or cause any harm.
Identifying the cause of an accident is vital to filing an insurance claim and getting compensation. Once you establish negligence and causation, you may recover damages like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Right after an accident may not be the time when many people are thinking of hiring an attorney to look after their interests. However, it is critical to have someone objective who can contribute a professional understanding of the facts and circumstances of the accident and investigate what really happened.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a car accident, it can be difficult to get all the evidence you need to prove negligence. This is why you need a legal team on your side. Contact the Drake Law Firm at 844 51-DRAKE as soon as possible for a consultation.