Car accidents are unexpected and can happen to anyone. Getting in a car accident often causes physical and emotional trauma that will gradually take time to recover from. One quick event can ultimately cause lifelong effects that can shift your perspective and the world around you. It is important to understand the severity of a car accident as well as common causes of them so that you can be aware of dangerous road conditions or risky driving behaviors that could increase your odds of getting in a car accident.
The Most Common Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents
Though vehicle collisions are often unexpected, especially for the not-at-fault driver, there are some common factors in many accidents. Here are a few.
- Driving while distracted. Distractions while driving can be numerous and are not only correlated to cell phone use. Any activity that takes away your full attention from the road can be considered a distraction. This can be anything from trying to eat a sandwich or drink a coffee before work, talking to your passengers or dealing with fussy children, doing your hair or makeup, finagling with the radio, and an infinite number of other factors. It only takes a moment of distraction for you to lose control over your vehicle and be put in a dangerous situation. It is important to always stay alert on the road and minimize distractions. If you do need to send a text or handle a child, it is best to pull over somewhere to resolve the issue before continuing to drive.
- Driving under the influence. Everyone deserves a night out once in a while, but don’t let a night of fun turn into a potentially deadly situation. Car accidents that are caused by someone operating under the influence are the deadliest in the United States. If you are heading out for a night of fun, secure safe and reliable transportation home before leaving the house.
- Driving recklessly or speeding. Being in a hurry can often cause you to drive recklessly or speed. Reckless driving can constitute any behavior, such as weaving in and out of traffic, driving too close to another vehicle, cutting other vehicles off, or going way over the speed limit. It is not uncommon to speed, but it is important to understand that when you do speed, your reaction time decreases. Therefore, if you need to stop suddenly, you may not be able to. Speeding or driving recklessly can throw other drivers off guard, making them anxious and more likely to make a mistake as well. Even in a hurry, it is important to remember the dangers of reckless driving. Your life and the lives of those around you are more important than being on time for work.
- Bad weather. Anyone that has driven in a severe thunderstorm or through blustery, icy roads knows that driving becomes much harder in severe weather conditions. To remain in control of your vehicle during these risky weather conditions, it is important to drive slowly, keep both hands on the wheel, stay alert and avoid distractions, ensure that your vehicle is equipped with proper tires, windshield wipers, and equipment such as a snow shovel and a bag of sand, and working breaks before seasons of snow or rain, and check the weather conditions before getting in your car.
- Inexperienced drivers. Teenagers and other new drivers are often the most dangerous drivers on the road. Their inexperience makes them susceptible to making more mistakes, getting distracted, or driving recklessly. When you encounter a young driver, it is best not to rush them or make them feel more uncomfortable. Instead, give them space and try to stay as far away as possible to avoid a potential accident.
- Driving at night. When you decide to go for a nighttime drive, you are putting yourself at an increased risk. Nighttime driving can increase motor vehicle accidents because drivers are often less alert while driving. Daylight can wake you up, but nighttime can put you to sleep, so before you decide to jump in your car at night, remember to check to make sure all your lights are properly working and never drive when you are feeling sleepy.
- Neglecting traffic lights/stop signs. A very common but preventable accident is the failure to stop/yield at an intersection. By neglecting to stop or yield, you not only put yourself in danger but also other drivers, bikers, and pedestrians. If you fly through an intersection, you cannot expect someone else will see you and stay out of the way. If you do not have the right of way, then stop until you do.
How Does the State of Arizona Determine Liability
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident in Arizona, the court must determine who is at fault. The person that is determined to be at fault is now responsible for having their insurance pay for the cost of damage to the vehicle and any medical bills that the injured party has accumulated due to the accident. Arizona insurance does not automatically cover the guilty party’s medical expenses.
When trying to determine who is at fault, the injured person must try to prove the negligence of the other driver. For example, if the accident was caused by a distracted driver, then the injured person would have to prove that they were not at fault for the actions of the other driver.
Trust in the Law Firm of Luis P. Guerra, L.L.C.
For almost 30 years, Luis P. Guerra, L.L.C., and his firm has been representing clients in cases of personal injury and wrongful death. We understand the stress and overwhelming emotions of fear and anxiety that can come with any motor vehicle accident. This can be a difficult time for you, and that is why we go the extra mile to treat you the way we would treat any close family member — with care and respect. We value honesty and will always keep you up to date on the progression of your case so that you feel knowledgeable and involved throughout the entire process. If you are a victim of a motor vehicle accident, contact us today.