Top Causes of Car Accidents: What to Watch for While Driving

Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer in Seattle Washington

No matter how defensively you drive, reckless drivers are all around you. In a matter of seconds, your life can change forever due to a distracted, aggressive, or drunk driver. Serious injuries from car accidents often result in expensive medical care and lost wages. When someone doesn’t share the road or fails to drive in a responsible manner, causing injury to you or your loved ones, contact a personal injury lawyer without delay.

Top Causes of Car Accidents

Despite numerous public safety campaigns against drunk driving, the problem continues to exist. Advances in smartphone technology are creating opportunities for distracted driving. And, anger continues to plaque drivers as they lead stressful lives with little to no free time. As long as drivers make poor choices when getting behind the wheel, your life is at risk.

Here are the top causes of car accidents, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety:

Distracted Driving

A survey by the foundation found that 78 percent of drivers believe texting while driving is a significant danger to other drivers. Yet, nearly 35 percent of those surveyed admitted to texting or sending an email from behind the wheel. Fifty-eight percent of survey participants believe talking on a cell phone while driving is dangerous, with 49 percent admitting to the behavior.

Additional research from the AAA Foundation discovered that a person talking on a cell phone while driving is up to four times more likely to crash. Those who text are up to eight times more likely to crash.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that at 55 miles per hour, sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for about five seconds—the length of a football field. The thought that sending a text “only takes a second,” can result in a lifetime of medical care for another driver.

Distracted driving isn’t limited to cell phones. Anything that takes your eyes off the road is a distraction. Applying makeup, changing the music station, or reaching for an object all count as distracted driving. The CDC cites three main categories of distraction:

  • Visual – Taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual – Taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive – Taking your mind off driving

What makes texting and driving so dangerous is that the action involves all three categories of distraction, according to the CDC.

Aggressive Driving

When a driver acts in a negligent way that is deliberate and with no regard for safety, their behavior constitutes aggressive driving. As the demands of our personal and work lives demand more, our stress levels rise. In turn, aggressive driving escalates on our nation’s highways, especially during rush hour. The time pressure involved with getting to work or returning home carries over into our driving behaviors. Examples of aggressive driving include:

  • Tailgating
  • Cutting in front of another driver then slowing down
  • Running red lights
  • Blocking cars that are attempting to pass or change lanes
  • Speeding in heavy traffic

Aggressive driving can quickly escalate to road rage. Signs of road rage include:

  • Running another car off the road
  • Throwing objects at another vehicle
  • Ramming or sideswiping another vehicle

A recent AAA Foundation survey reports that 87 percent of participants admitted to aggressive driving or road rage behavior at least once during the previous year.

Drug Impaired Driving

The nation’s opioid crisis and the legalization of marijuana in several states are causes of concern for driver safety. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) cites both issues as contributing factors to the latest drug-impaired driving numbers. The GHSA reports that, in 2016, the most recent data available, 50.5 percent of drug-positive drivers tested positive for two or more drugs.

More than 100 people die every day in the United States due to opioid addiction or overdose. As standards for establishing legal limits for marijuana vary throughout the nation, marijuana is only legal in Florida for medical use. Driving under the influence of the drug is dangerous, no matter whether the driver has a medical prescription or not. Marijuana for recreational use is legal in Washington state, however, the same rules apply—smoking the drug and driving do not mix.

Drunk Driving

The issue of drinking and driving never goes away. Why do people choose to drink and drive? The answers from a recent survey provide some insight into this dangerous decision:

  • Most people believe they can drive after a few drinks with no problem; the alcohol gives them a false sense of feeling invincible.
  • Their home isn’t far away and they can drive the short distance safely.
  • They think they won’t get caught.

Drunk drivers continue to take risks, placing other drivers in danger of serious injuries. If you or a loved one has experienced serious injuries due to the negligent behavior of another driver, contact the Boohoff Law Firm today.

Call the Boohoff Law Firm if an Auto Accident Injures You

At the Boohoff Law Firm, we believe no one should suffer physically, financially, and emotionally due to the reckless behavior of another driver. While we all take a risk when we get behind the wheel, those who choose to do so after drug or alcohol use are making a dangerous choice. Other dangerous choices include sending and receiving texts and deliberately driving in an aggressive manner.

A driver’s license is a privilege, not a right. When someone crashes into your vehicle, you may face serious injuries that result in extensive medical bills. Let our legal team fight for justice for you. To schedule a free evaluation of your case, call (877) 999-9999 or contact us online.

Our attorneys can come to you. If you are unable to visit one of our offices due to your injuries, we can visit you in the hospital or in your home. Don’t delay—the sooner we review your case, the sooner we can decide upon the best course of action for you.