Car accidents can range from the relatively minor to the tragically severe. Lives are frequently lost, or else severely altered, as a result. The lives affected are not only those involved in the accident but family members or loved ones as well. The most common causes of car accidents involve human error. However, more specific causes include the following.
Any condition that makes the roads wet and slippery, such as rain, snow, ice, or sleet, can potentially lead to a car accident. Human error can compound these poor conditions and increase the risk of an accident. For example, driving too fast on wet roads can cause the car to hydroplane. Instead of making contact with the road, the tires float on a thin layer of water, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. Overcorrecting from a skid can cause the car to spin out and potentially cause an accident.
Weather conditions that decrease visibility, such as fog, can also be dangerous. The driver may not see an obstacle in the road until it is too late and run into it. Though not technically a weather condition, driving after dark is also a major cause of accidents, for the same reason.
Driving too fast reduces the time a driver has to react to a hazard on the road. For this reason, speeding is one of the top causes of motor vehicle accidents. Many drivers may be surprised to learn that speed limits are in force even when they are not posted. These are statutory speed limits established by state lawmakers. There are different statutory limits for different types of roads, and they apply wherever they are not superseded by those posted by the city or county government.
Alcohol and other substances can impair one’s driving ability in many dangerous ways. It is not only illicit drugs that cause impairment. Many prescription drugs can cause side effects such as drowsiness that can increase the likelihood of a collision if one attempts to drive while taking them. Always read the instructions carefully and follow them closely when taking medications. If you plan to drink, make alternate transportation arrangements beforehand so you do not have to drive home.
A driving distraction is anything that removes the driver’s mind from the task of driving. It may also remove the hands from the wheel or the eyes from the road. The distraction may be momentary, but a lot can happen in those few seconds, especially when the car is traveling at a high velocity.
Drivers injured in an accident caused by someone else’s error may wish to pursue legal damages.