A car accident attorney knows that every time someone gets into a vehicle, they are at risk of being killed or injured in a car crash. There are more than 465,000 people killed in car accidents in the United State each year. Hundreds of thousands more are left seriously injured, often with permanent disabilities. Studies have shown that there are certain driving behaviors and activities that significantly increase a driver’s risk of being involved in a car accident.
Distracted driving accidents increase each year, despite the education and warnings about how dangerous engaging in distracting behaviors can be. National statistics reveal that one out of every four car crashes is the result of a driver doing something that takes his or her focus off the road. Using a smartphone is one of the most frequent causes of these types of crashes, where the driver is engaged in texting, checking emails, or posting on social media while they should be paying attention to the road around them. Studies have also proven that talking on a cell phone, even with a hands-free device, can still increase the risk. Other causes include setting GPS, eating and drinking, and fiddling with the radio or CD player.
Although drunk driving crashes have decreased over the past few years – thanks in part to it becoming socially unacceptable to drink and drive – these types of crashes still play a significant role in the number of victims killed and injured in car accidents. In fact, data from the federal government show that a person is killed every 51 minutes in crashes caused by drunk drivers.
Disobeying Traffic Laws
Municipalities and states set traffic laws for a reason – to protect commuters. Although you may think the posted speed limit on a certain street is too low, that limit was determined based on studies and other research. Going over that limit increases the risk that someone is going to be injured or killed. Speeding is one of the most frequent traffic laws broken that results in vehicle accidents. Other illegal actions include:
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Failure to signal while turning
- Improper lane changes
- Aggressive driving
- Passing in no-passing zones
- Improper turns (i.e. turning right on red where it is not allowed)
Drowsy or fatigued driving is quickly becoming a significant safety issue on the road, killing approximately 1,000 victims each year. A good reason for this is the lack of sleep that many of us get due to the pressures that society places on us. The most common times of day drowsy crashes occur in are late afternoon and between 12 and 6 a.m. Researchers say this is because the internal body clock we all have – technically referred to as circadian rhythm – suffers a dip during these times and this causes us to feel tired. Doctors recommend getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night in order to avoid your risk of getting into a drowsy driving crash.