Tips for Avoiding the 4 Most Common Car Accident Causes

Posted in Car Accident on January 10, 2018

At Matt Hardin Law, we’ve investigated, analyzed, and built claims for many types of car accidents. Our own research on the most common causes of car accidents aligns with the facts presented by national and state agencies, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Tennessee Highway Safety Office.

Although car accidents can seem unpredictable and chaotic, statistics show that most are linked to just a few catalysts. And in the case of many accidents, two or more of those factors may be involved. Studies show that when drivers don’t put safety first when they get behind the wheel, their chances of being hurt in a crash increase significantly—especially when multiple risk factors are at play.

Our Nashville auto accident attorneys are dedicated to helping people who were recently injured in crashes. If you or someone you love was hurt in a collision that was caused by a negligent driver, we have the resources and experience to maximize your chances of getting full compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. Contact us today to find out how we can help by dialing (615) 200-1111 or filling out a free online contact form.

Remember These 4 Accident Causes Every Time You Get Behind the Wheel

After crashes, victims may be confused and in shock. They may feel like the accident was unavoidable or that it happened with no prior warning. And while that may be true from their perspective, the driver who caused the crash may have made a costly and potentially life-threatening mistake behind the wheel in the moments leading up to the collision.

Four of the most common mistakes that lead to crashes include:

Speeding – Almost every public road in Tennessee has a posted speed limit ranging from around five miles per hour up to 70 miles per hour. Speed limits are carefully chosen by local governments and road engineers due to factors like nearby schools, neighborhoods, pedestrians, curves, dips, and other potential dangers. When drivers exceed the posted speed limit of a given road, their chances of losing control of their vehicles skyrocket. They’re also much more likely to rear-end other vehicles, as they may be unable to slow down or stop in response to slowing traffic in front of them.

Solution – You can reduce your risk of a speed-related accident by always being aware of the speed limit of the road you’re on and traveling at or below it. Using cruise control can help you maintain a safe and steady speed, but only use that feature during dry weather, as it can increase your risk of an accident when roads are slick or icy.

Driving while impaired or intoxicated – When drivers reach or exceed the legal limit for alcohol consumption, they become much more likely to be involved in crashes. That’s because alcohol directly affects every part of the body that’s involved in safe driving. It impairs vision and muscular coordination, making it more difficult to see other vehicles and street signs and maintain a lane without swerving. At high levels of intoxication, it can even put drivers at risk of falling asleep or losing consciousness behind the wheel.

Solution – Do your best to avoid situations where you might end up behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is to appoint a designated driver before going to restaurants, bars, or events where alcohol will be served. Other ways to reduce your risks include using cabs, ride-sharing services, or public transportation to get home safely. If you’re planning on drinking on a holiday, check local transportation services or even local police department websites, as they frequently offer free sober rides home.

Driving while distracted – Distraction has always posed a serious threat to drivers, but the risk has amplified significantly in recent years due to the proliferation and ubiquity of cell phones in Tennessee and throughout the country. For many drivers, the temptation to make phone calls, send text messages, write emails, or browse social media while driving is simply too great to resist. That results in a huge number of crashes annually, despite increased enforcement from police officers and awareness campaigns aimed at teens and other highly at-risk groups.

Solution – Make phone calls and send text messages before you drive. If your vehicle is equipped with a hands-free function and you must communicate with someone while driving, use it and make sure your eyes stay on the road. However, it’s best to pull over, as even hands-free devices can still be distracting. Also, avoid non-electronic distractions, including reading, eating, or putting on makeup behind the wheel. Anything that takes your eyes, ears, or mind off the road can increase your risk of being involved in an accident. Remember that vehicles traveling at 55 mph can travel the length of a football field in the time it takes to send or read a single text message.

Failure to adapt to inclement weather – Bad weather is a significant contributing factor to crashes in the U.S. Rain, snow, ice, fog, sleet, and high winds can all reduce visibility and make roads slick. And when you have difficulty seeing where you’re going, or your tires don’t grip as well as they should, your risk of being involved in an accident are much higher than they are in good weather. In addition, bad weather is a risk factor for pile-up crashes involving multiple vehicles, especially on high-speed highways and interstates where traffic volumes are often heavy and dense.

Solution – Sometimes inclement weather-related accidents are unavoidable. For example, safe drivers may hit unseen patches of black ice or drive through mixtures of oil and water that cause them to unexpectedly lose control of their vehicles. But there are a few preventative measures you can take to reduce your risks, including reducing your speed, never following other vehicles too closely, using your windshield wipers and turning on your headlights, and pulling over when visibility is severely reduced due to rain, snow, or fog.

It’s also important to be aware of other contributing factors to crashes. They include getting behind the wheel while sleepy or fatigued, driving aggressively (road rage), and violating traffic laws, including running red lights and stop signs or passing other vehicles where prohibited.

Hurt in a Crash? You Need Legal Representation

A car accident can change your life forever. In addition to facing expensive medical bills and a long path to recovery, you may have suffered injuries that caused you to become disabled temporarily or even permanently. And when you can’t go back to work, you can’t earn the paycheck that you and your loved ones depend on.

At Matt Hardin Law, we know how to help victims like you get the compensation they deserve. We investigate crashes and determine if the other driver caused the crash because of any of the risk factors listed above, and then we find evidence that proves their negligence led to the accident. Next, we create a comprehensive list of the damages you suffered during the crash, including current and future medical bills and lost wages. Finally, we negotiate with the insurance company to help you maximize your settlement.

Don’t go it alone after a crash that wasn’t your fault. Get in touch with our experienced Nashville auto accident attorneys today, and get the legal representation you deserve.