Drivers make mistakes. That’s unavoidable and natural, no matter how good, attentive, or cautious they are on the road. But what makes certain drivers put their lives and the lives of other people at risk?
There are many reasons why motor vehicle accidents happen, and depending on the type of accident, particular factors might make it more likely to occur again in the future. In contrast, others are one-time events with no precedence for reoccurrence. A car accident might also be caused by a mechanical failure, human error, or weather conditions.
Fortunately, most drivers understand the importance of safety when on the road. So instead of focusing on the losses that occur after serious car accidents, we’ll look at how they come about so we can better avoid them in the future.
That said, it’s essential to know the different causes of accidents so you can be more alert behind the wheel. Below is information about some common car accident causes so that you can remain alert while driving. We will also provide detailed insight into how a Pittsburgh car accident attorney can help in car accident cases.
1. Distracted Driving
Driving is a high-risk activity by itself, and adding distractions only increases the risk of car accident injuries or death.
Cell phones are a significant cause of car accidents due to distracted driving. It is estimated that 660,000 car accidents a year are caused by cellphone use, with 2,400 deaths and $40 billion in damage yearly. Drivers who talk on the phone, text, or are otherwise distracted by their phones have a much higher risk of causing an accident.
While car accidents due to cellphone use can be hard to avoid, there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk.
First, make sure you put your phone away while driving. Putting your phone in a hands-free location, such as a mount clipped to your car’s dashboard, can reduce your risk of being distracted by it. It would help if you also tried to ignore picking up phone calls or checking your text messages while driving.
2. Poor Road Conditions
Poor road conditions can cause serious accidents, especially if other drivers don’t recognize the hazards or you fail to adjust your driving to compensate.
Impaired vision from heavy rain or fog, reduced traction from snow or ice, and extreme temperatures that may affect your car’s functionality can all cause car accidents related to weather.
These things can impair your ability to drive safely, especially if you are unprepared for them. Taking extra care, such as driving slowly or using winter tires, can help you avoid accidents caused by poor road conditions. If a significant storm, hurricane, or other dangerous weather event is expected, you may want to delay your travel until the weather improves.
A debilitated road can also cause a car accident if the driver doesn’t recognize the hazard. Road construction signs are often absent or unclear, so you should always be alert for construction zones. If you notice construction ahead, take extra care and reduce your speed if necessary.
3. Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence is a major cause of accidents. Drugs & alcohol can impair your driving ability, putting you and others at risk of serious injuries or death. Alcohol is a common culprit in car accidents due to driving under the influence, but drugs such as marijuana can also impair your ability to drive safely.
If you are driving with friends, you should be aware of their alcohol consumption. If you know someone is under the influence, you should not allow them to drive. If you are the one driving, you can avoid trouble by simply not drinking alcohol before taking the wheel.
The level of impairment caused by these substances varies depending on the individual. However, it’s important to note that even one drink may be too many while driving.
4. Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is another cause of car accidents. While there is no exact definition of “reckless driving,” it generally means driving in a way that is extremely dangerous or risks the safety of others.
Examples of reckless driving include going too fast, tailgating, failing to signal, or otherwise driving in a way that is likely to cause an accident.
If you are driving, you should try to avoid any dangerous behaviors that could result in an accident. Make sure you are going the speed limit and you are not tailgating. Always signal when you make a turn or change lanes, and be sure you are watching for pedestrians & cyclists.
5. Car Malfunction
A car malfunction can cause a car accident if you are not careful. Malfunctions can be mechanical, such as your engine overheating or your tire blowing out, or they can be related to your car’s safety features, such as your brakes failing.
You can help avoid car malfunctions by monitoring your car’s health. You can have your car’s oil changed & tires rotated regularly to prevent mechanical problems. A mechanic should also inspect your brakes periodically to maintain them properly.
Been in a Car Crash? A Pittsburgh Car Accident Lawyer from J.P. Ward & Associates Can Help
No matter how careful you are, car accidents can happen. Knowing the different causes of car accidents can help you understand how accidents happen & can help you be more alert while driving.
But if you find yourself in a legal quagmire after a car accident, having an experienced car accident lawyer from J.P. Ward & Associates can go a long way.
J.P. Ward & Associates is a personal injury law firm based in Pittsburgh, PA. Our team of Pittsburgh car accident attorneys can guide you through the process of filing a car accident claim, which can help you & any other car accident victims receive compensation for your injuries.
Our experienced car accident lawyers will help you understand your rights and decide what your next steps should be. We will help you sort through the details of your accident and find the cause so you can seek compensation or file a lawsuit against another party.
Call J.P. Ward & Associates today at (412) 426-4878 & speak to one of our Pittsburgh car accident lawyers.