Car accidents happen for a wide variety of reasons, many of which involve driver error. Some of the top causes in Westchester County include the following.
Essentially, any activity that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off driving is dangerous. Distractions while driving can be broken down into these three categories:
- Visual distractions: Cause you to look away from the road.
- Manual distractions: Requires you to take a hand off the steering wheel.
- Cognitive distractions: Anything that causes you to lose focus on the task of driving.
Common types of distractions include the use of cell phones, eating, daydreaming, children in the backseat, talking to passengers, using GPS, changing the music, etc. Getting distracted, even if it’s only for a split second, can result in a catastrophic accident.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, even prescription medications, can dramatically impair a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. Drivers with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of over 0.10 are seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than sober drivers. Being impaired often leads to increased risk-taking, such as speeding, failing to wear a seat belt, and recklessness.
Driving while tired is very risky, as drowsy drivers are three times more likely to be involved in an accident, according to the National Safety Council. While there is no statute that specifically prohibits or defines drowsy driving, a driver who is overly tired and causes an accident may be subject to criminal or civil liability. Driving tired can look similar to driving while impaired since drivers may exhibit similar conduct, such as weaving, running stop signs, or red lights and crossing into other lanes of traffic.
Speeding is a leading cause of fatal car accidents, and in 2019 contributed to close to 9,500 fatalities. A driver is considered speeding if they travel above the posted speed limit or at a speed that makes operating a vehicle unsafe for the road conditions. At higher speeds, drivers can quickly lose control of their vehicles, and their reaction time is drastically reduced. As speed increases, so does the force of impact and the risk of deadly injury for all involved.
Aggressive drivers often show little to no regard for the safety of others or even themselves. It can involve a combination of reckless driving behaviors, such as speeding, erratic lane changes, weaving, failure to yield the right-of-way, disobeying traffic signs and signals. All of which can easily cause an accident.
Some road conditions can quickly turn from annoying to dangerous. Especially when combined with inclement weather, such as rain, snow, or heavy winds. For example, potholes, missing or confusing road signs, construction zones, debris, missing barriers/guardrails, faded lines, poor roadside lighting, badly worn surfaces, road design issues, etc. When unsafe road conditions are responsible for a crash, a government agency may be liable.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, contact our Westchester County car accident lawyers.