As travel by automobile is one of the most routine and basic aspects of many of our lives, it is easy to lose perspective on the fact that motor vehicle accidents account for more accidental injuries and fatalities than any other cause in the country. In 2010, there were a total of 5,419,000 car accidents reported to the police, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that about 10 million more wrecks went unreported. Of these, 1,542,000 resulted in injuries and 32,885 tragically resulted in death, which is equivalent to 4,225 injuries and 90 deaths every single day of the year.
These statistics highlight the serious risk that a person takes every time he or she gets into a car, and the likelihood that at some point a person may find him or herself in a situation where he or she has sustained an injury in a car wreck due to the negligence of another driver. Fortunately there are extensive legal remedies available for such situations, and with the assistance of an attorney you may be able to file a lawsuit with the purpose of recovering full compensation for your injuries, property damage, and any other losses.
Causes of Car Accidents
Car accidents are caused by a number of factors, many of which are attributable to negligence. A properly functioning vehicle operated by an alert and responsive driver in a responsible fashion is much less likely to cause an accident that a negligent driver. The following are some of the most common types of negligent driver:
Driver Distraction – distracted driving is cited as a significant contributing factor in almost 80% of all car accidents, making it far and away the most dangerous type of driver negligence. Examples include cell phone use, rubbernecking, reading, and focusing on objects outside of the cars directional path.
Driver Fatigue – over 100,000 accidents each year are attributed to driver fatigue, with most of these accidents taking place between 11 pm and 8 am.
Drunk Driving – the most vilified form of driver negligence, drunk driving results in almost 17,000 deaths each year and attributes to more fatal crashes than any other type of negligence.
Speeding – excessive speed is often one of many causes for an accident, but can directly lead to a crash by dramatically reducing the available reaction time to avoid obstacles.
Aggressive Driving – road rage is a serious problem that leads to a high number of accidents, as an aggressive driver deliberately disregards the safety of those around them.
Any of these types of behavior can lead to an accident which causes serious injury to an innocent party, and personal injury law exists to provide financial relief and protection to these victims as they struggle to recover from the harm brought upon them by another party’s negligence.