Auto collisions are unfortunately all too common in the United States. While many are relatively minor, a significant portion of car accidents result in personal injury or in some cases, death.
According to estimates from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 32,000 individuals are killed, and another two million injured, each year from motor vehicle collisions. Unfortunately, many of these accidents come as a result of driver error. That’s why it is so important for all drivers to understand and obey all traffic laws.
However, taking the necessary precautions on the roadway can’t eliminate the risk of an auto collision entirely. There is no way to be sure that all drivers are following the same safety standards, or operating safe vehicles.
When an auto accident occurs, either human error or mechanical failure is the likely cause. Depending on the situation, weather may even play a role. Below are some of the most common contributing factors to car collisions in the United States.
The world is a far busier place than it used to be. Everyone wants to be able to multitask and move at a fast pace. The one place we should not be multitasking is behind the wheel. To make matters worse, innovations in technology have raised new concerns in recent years over distracted driving. From mobile devices to technology inside the vehicle, it’s becoming easier and easier for people to lose focus while driving.
Some other common distractions that can cause accidents include:
- Children in the vehicle
- Eating while driving
- Applying makeup while driving
- Noise from DVD players or other entertainment devices
To combat this, states are cracking down on distractions behind the wheel. Many states have enforced laws that prohibit texting while driving or operating a mobile device without hands-free technology. Some states have even developed restrictions around eating or drinking while behind the wheel.
Driving Under the Influence
Regardless of the state you reside in, it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In most cases, anyone found driving with a blood alcohol content at or exceeding .08 would be considered too drunk to lawfully operate a vehicle.
Unfortunately, many Americans still get behind the wheel each year despite being under the influence. This is extremely unsafe and puts all other drivers on the roadway at risk for injury, or even death, as it hinders a driver’s ability to make smart, safe decisions.
It’s incredibly important that any driver taking to the roadway is physically fit to do so. However, it’s not always easy to tell whether or not someone is well enough to operate a vehicle. The fact is that medical conditions are, more often than not, uncontrollable and nearly impossible to predict.
Some medical conditions that can cause car accidents to include:
- Heart attacks
Driver fatigue can also be a key contributor in auto accident scenarios. That’s why it’s critical that you carefully consider your risk factors before deciding to operate a vehicle and, if necessary, seek the help of another to drive.
Improper Vehicle Maintenance
Mechanical failure is also a leading cause of auto accidents. Although it’s not always in the driver’s control, there are safety precautions that drivers can take to keep their cars safe to operate on the roadway. One such precaution is conducting the necessary preventative maintenance
Failing to maintain your vehicle – i.e., not practicing normal upkeep – has the risk to cause injury-causing accidents. Everything from bald tires and bad brakes to a broken tie rod can cause significant issues if not attended to. For example, if you know your brakes need work but continue to operate the car for an extended period, those brakes could easily fail when you need them the most.
What drivers can’t help, however, is if the car has suffered some type of unknown mechanical malfunction. Although this is not as common as human error, accidents can occur if the car was not constructed or repaired properly. That’s why automakers will generally issue a recall when they have identified a mechanical issue.
However, recalls only happen after several incidents have occurred that demonstrate a safety concern. If you know that your vehicle has been recalled for some reason, it is critical that you seek the necessary repairs at the earliest possible opportunity.
Car Accident Injury Attorneys in Houston
Have you or someone you love been injured in an auto collision? If so, it is in your best interest to seek the counsel of a Houston personal injury attorney, as you may be entitled to compensation or other damages through a personal injury claim.
That’s where the legal team at the law office of Charles J. Argento comes in. In Houston and the surrounding areas of southeast Texas, our firm serves as a premier legal resource for personal injury victims, including people who have suffered an injury in an automobile accident. We have the skills and expertise you need to build a strong, convincing case that yields a favorable end result.
To schedule a complimentary initial consultation to assess your personal injury claim, call the legal team at Charles J. Argento at 713-225-5050.