Your weekday commute is just another part of your routine, a seemingly mundane task that gets you where you need to go. Red lights and traffic slowdowns can be a pain, but for the most part, you probably give little attention to the drive you make each day.
But one irresponsible driver or one wrong move can not only disrupt your day’s schedule, but have long-lasting effects on your future. According to the Center for Disease Control, road traffic accidents are the leading cause of death in Americans aged 1 to 54. Statistics also show that car crashes were responsible for more than 42,000 fatalities in 2020, an astounding 8% boost over 2019 – despite the decrease in miles driven during the pandemic.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, West Law Firm can help. When the rubber meets the road, our team of car accident attorneys will advocate for you, working to secure the compensation you are entitled to.
Here we have listed the top 5 causes of car accidents:
- Distracted driving
Advanced technology is now standard in most vehicles, and while connectivity features (navigation, infotainment, etc) are great, they often tempt drivers’ attention away from the road. Talking to passengers, eating/drinking and doing makeup are other common distractions.Texting, however, is the most common form of distracted driving – and possibly the most dangerous. Categorized as a manual, visual AND cognitive distraction, texting and driving requires drivers to shift their eyes, hands and minds from the road to their device’s screen. One 2019 study found that about 25% of all car accidents were caused by texting and driving.
- Speeding/reckless driving
Driving over the speed limit increases your chances of getting into an accident. Keep in mind that the faster you drive, the less time you have to react. Plus, reckless or aggressive driving puts everyone on the road at risk. Whether you are changing lanes abruptly or braking suddenly, a short-lived case of road rage could have long-lasting effects.
- Intoxicated driving
Everyone knows that driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a major no-no, yet nearly one in three fatal car accidents in South Carolina are related to drunk driving. Getting behind the wheel while impaired affects reaction time, coordination, concentration, vision – and of course, decision making.
- Fatigued driving
Studies show that younger drivers are more likely to drive while fatigued, but about half of adult drivers admit to driving while drowsy on a consistent basis. This not only increases reaction times but reduces focus and awareness of surroundings.
- Inclement weather
Bad weather can reduce both visibility and tire traction, making it dangerous to venture out onto the roadways. Here in the Lowcountry, sleet and snow are uncommon – but we certainly get our fair share of thunderstorms and flooding! If a strong storm is expected, postpone your drive or give yourself extra time to reach your destination. Also, plan a route that avoids areas that flood frequently.
Take a peek at one of our past blog posts for tips on avoiding traffic accidents. And if you are injured in an auto accident, contact West Law Firm today! To schedule your free consultation, give us a call at 843-761-5626 or click here.