There are numerous reasons why a car accident may occur. Driver negligence, bad weather, poor road conditions, and the negligence of third parties could all be contributors, and sometimes, they are caused by a combination of several different factors.
Most of the time, auto accidents are preventable. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that somewhere between 94% and 96% of all motor vehicle accidents are caused by some type of human error. Other studies show slightly lower percentages, but the general consensus among experts is that human error contributes to at least 90% of the auto accidents that occur on the roadways.
Most Common Causes of Auto Accidents
The NHTSA identifies several different reasons why car accidents occur, and the majority of them would fall under the category of driver negligence or carelessness. Among these include:
- Speeding: More than 9,000 individuals are killed each year because of speeding. We have all done it at one time or another, and for many motorists, speeding is common practice. But no matter how “normal” it seems, speeding endangers the lives of everyone on the road. When a driver is traveling too fast, they have less time to slow down and react to adverse conditions on the road. In addition, collisions at higher speeds tend to result in more severe and catastrophic injuries.
- Aggressive/Reckless Driving: In our modern era, a lot of people are trying to juggle a busy schedule. And in a rush to get from one place to another, it is tempting to cut corners by driving aggressively or in some cases, recklessly. Excessive speeding is one example of aggressive or reckless driving, others include tailgating, illegal or dangerous passing maneuvers, and running red lights or stop signs. All such behaviors heighten the chances of a vehicle accident.
- Distracted Driving: Motorists have more distractions these days than ever before. Among the worst of these is the temptation to send and receive text messages on a cell phone. Texting while driving is especially dangerous, because it distracts drivers in three ways; visually, manually, and cognitively. This pulls the driver’s entire focus away from the road, causing them to miss important details such as a vehicle slowing down in front of them.
- Drunk Driving: A 15-year study that was published in S. News & World Report found that 37% of all motor vehicle deaths involved at least one intoxicated driver. 29 Americans die every day because of drunk driving and countless more become seriously injured. In addition, alcohol-related crashes cost our society more than $44 billion each year.
- Drowsy Driving: According to the National Sleep Foundation, 41% of drivers surveyed admitted that they have fallen asleep at the wheel at some point in their lives, and 10% reported that they have done it in the past year. This is obviously extremely dangerous, but even if a tired or fatigued driver does not fall asleep, they still have slower reaction times, and their peripheral vision is limited as all of their facilities must be used to try to stay awake.
Third-Party Liability for Car Accidents
Liability for some auto accidents might fall with a party other than the drivers involved. If this is the case, it may be possible to file a personal injury claim directly against the responsible party. Examples of third parties that could be at fault for a motor vehicle accident include:
- Vehicle passengers who grab the steering wheel or otherwise distract the driver.
- Vehicle owners or lessors who negligently entrust the car to someone who is known to be an unfit driver.
- Employers whose employees cause accidents because they were improperly vetted or poorly trained.
- Establishments who serve alcohol to a driver who is clearly intoxicated.
- Mechanics and auto shops who perform negligent maintenance or repairs which contribute to the accident.
- The manufacturer, supplier, or distributor of a defective or dangerous vehicle or vehicle part.
Auto accident cases that involve outside parties are inherently more complicated than a standard vehicle collision case. An extensive investigation is necessary to identify any factors that could have contributed to the accident so all parties can be held fully responsible. This is why it is very important to work with attorneys who have in-depth experience with these types of cases and the proven ability to recover maximum compensation on behalf of injury victims.
Injured in an Auto Accident in West Virginia? Contact Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C. for Assistance
If you or a loved one got hurt in a car accident, Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C. is here to help. We can meet with you to thoroughly assess your case and advise you of all your legal rights and options. For a free consultation with one of our attorneys, message us online or call our office today at (800) 497-0234 or (800) 296-6979. We look forward to serving you!