Even the best of drivers can make mistakes now and then. Whether you’re going a little too fast for weather conditions or texting a friend while trying to steer, there are actions that can seriously increase your risk of having a life-altering or even fatal collision.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 36,750 people died in motor vehicle crashes last year. And while New York saw a slight decrease in road fatalities, accidents causing serious injuries, lost income and economic hardships abound.
What can you do to avoid becoming a tragic statistic in your hometown? Educate yourself on the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents, drive cautiously, obey traffic laws, and be prepared.
Distracted driving remains the leading cause of all traffic accidents in the United States. According to some reports, distracted drivers account for up to half of all car crashes today. Any activity that takes your attention and focus away from the wheel is inherently dangerous. Talking on the phone, texting, surfing the web, adjusting music, eating, brushing your hair, or interacting with passengers can compromise your safety and that of others on the road.
Driving while drunk or impaired
DUI accidents are on a downward trend in New York, and across the nation, but the threat of being hit by a drunk driver is still very real. Even two drinks can impair your concentration and reaction times significantly. If you plan on enjoying a cocktail or two, it’s always best to designate a sober driver or arrange a taxi for your trip home.
Cruising 10 or 20 miles above the posted speed limit is a recipe for disaster, particularly if road and weather conditions are already treacherous. Speeding is a major cause of thousands of accidents every year, and not surprisingly, the damage and injuries are considerably worse when excess speed is involved. Going over the speed limit not only slows your reaction time, it magnifies the severity and consequences of the impact.
You can’t control if it rains, sleets or snows, but you can take steps to be safer on the road, or avoid driving altogether when weather conditions are too risky. Heavy downpours restrict visibility and increase the likelihood of hydroplaning after braking. If the weather is bad, give yourself extra time and take it slowly to avoid getting into an accident.
Aggressive driving has the potential to kill. Previous studies by the AAA found that 50 percent of deadly car accidents involved at least one driver who performed a hostile action – be it tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, or cutting in front of other drivers and then slowing down. Motorists who are rushed, angry, frustrated, or upset may be more prone to committing such inconsiderate and illegal behavior when behind the wheel. If you’re on the road and feel threatened by the hostile actions of another driver, call 9-1-1.
Explore your legal options after a car accident
In the event that you are involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, it’s a good idea to seek legal representation from a qualified New York car accident lawyer at Friedman Levy Goldfarb & Green.
We represent clients throughout the greater NY metropolitan area and know how to maximize your compensation. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and explore your legal options with a law firm that is dedicated to your success.
- NHTSA, Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2018 file:///C:/Users/alilo/Desktop/Early%20Estimate%20of%20Motor%20Vehicle%20Traffic%20Fatalities%20in%202018.pdf
- Huffington Post, Top 15 Causes Of Car Accidents https://www.huffpost.com/entry/top-15-causes-of-car-accidents_b_11722196