Unfortunately, the chance that you or a family member will be seriously injured or killed in a car accident is increasing, not decreasing. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 37,461 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2016—a six percent increase over 2015 and the highest number of fatalities since 2007. Washington State accounted for 537 of these tragic deaths. Here, we explain common causes of these tragic wrecks.
Top Causes of Car Accidents
Despite all the new safety technology on automobiles to help prevent accidents, driver error is the major underlying reason that car collisions happen. Here are some of the common causes of these crashes:
Distracted driving. Distracted driving is one of the top reasons that drivers cause car accidents. Texting, talking on a cellphone, eating and drinking, and looking at a GPS are just a few distracted driving practices that take a driver’s mind, eyes, and hands off their driving.
Drunk driving. When a driver is intoxicated due to alcohol or drug use, his reaction times, vision, ability to judge distances, and judgment are impaired. Many catastrophic wrecks are caused by drunk drivers who drive the wrong way on a highway entrance or exit ramp, tailgate other vehicles, fall asleep at the wheel, and engage in other reckless behaviors.
Speeding. According to the IIHS, speeding was the cause of 27 percent of all car accident fatalities in 2016. When drivers speed, they do not have enough time to stop or maneuver to avoid hazards when they need to or can cause a wreck if they lose control of their vehicle.
Drowsy driving. Many drivers do not get enough sleep and drive when fatigued. Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as driving when drunk.
Aggressive driving. Aggressive driving can involve many unsafe practices, such as tailgating, driving at an excessive speed, and making unsafe lane changes. These dangerous actions can lead to road rage, where a motorist uses his vehicle as a weapon or otherwise threatens another driver.
Weather. When drivers do not reduce their speed in snow, ice, rain, and other dangerous weather conditions, they can lose control of their vehicles and cause a devastating collision.
Road defects. In some cases, road defects, lack of clear signs, or defective stop lights can be the cause of a collision and not a negligent driver. In this situation, a municipality or other government agency could be the negligent party. Because of special notice and other laws governing these claims, it is best to contact an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident.
If you were hurt in a car accident caused by another driver in the Seattle area, our skilled car accident attorneys are here to fight for the compensation you deserve. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your situation and your possible avenues of compensation. Call our office today to schedule your free consultation.