More than 6 million traffic accidents were reported throughout the U.S. in 2021, according to the NHTSA. In Rhode Island alone, 63 motorists were killed in car accidents that same year. Although fortunately not every car crash is fatal, a significant number of wrecks result in some sort of damage, injury, and potential litigation. The vehicle insurance industry estimates that the average motorist will be involved in at least four car accidents throughout their life. Moreover, younger or novice drivers are more likely to be involved in crashes compared to those who are more experienced behind the wheel. The circumstances surrounding every collision vary widely of course, but a large majority of auto accidents can be contributed to a select number of similar causes. The Rhode Island car accident lawyers at Tapalian Law explain some of the top causes of auto accidents to be aware of to help you stay safer on the road.
Top Reasons Car Accidents Happen
While there are many different reasons auto accidents happen, it’s essential to know how and why the most common ones happen so that you are able to optimize your safety while navigating the road.
- Distractions: It goes without saying, drivers are distracted! Phones are frequently to blame but distracted driving can include anything from fiddling with the GPS, eating, applying makeup, to texting or talking with passengers. No matter what, it’s essential as a motorist to keep your eyes on the road and be aware of your surroundings whenever you’re behind the wheel. Many drivers think they are able to multitask while driving but it’s been shown time and again that our brains do not successfully perform multiple functions at the same time at the same level, hence the high number of crashes caused by distracted drivers in Rhode Island and throughout the country.
- Driving while intoxicated: Of the 63 car accident fatalities in the Ocean State in 2021, approximately 1/3 were a result of drunk driving. Tragically, too many fatal accidents are caused by a totally preventable cause- impaired drivers. Alcohol is a big culprit, but drugs, whether illegal or prescription, contribute to impaired driving accidents as well. If you’re going to be drinking alcohol or taking any other substance, including prescription drugs, that may impair your fine motor skills and ability to drive, it’s imperative to plan ahead. Use a ride share service like Uber or a cab for safe transportation, or have a trusted designated driver so that you don’t get behind the wheel and put yourself, your passengers, and others on the road in danger. If you or a loved one have been hurt in an accident caused by a drunk driver, an experienced Rhode Island car accident attorney can help you file a personal injury claim to seek money for your injuries and damages.
- Speeding: Another top reason for crashes is fairly obvious- speeding. Due to the high impact of a speeding collision, fatalities are more common in these types of accidents. At a high speed, a driver has much less time to react to a hazard and a vehicle cannot stop as quickly as one operating at a slower speed. Even when in a rush, it’s critical for motor vehicle operators to put safety first and maintain a safe driving speed and remain in control of their vehicle.
- Road rage: Another easily preventable cause of car accidents, conflict and confrontation between angry drivers contributes to fender benders. If you are confronted by one of these irate drivers, remain calm and in control and don’t engage with an aggressive driver. A minor road mishap can easily escalate into dangerous actions by an aggressive motorist like cutting off other drivers, tailgating, and speeding.
- Road conditions and weather: If you must commute during adverse weather conditions, like heavy rain, snow, or sleet, plan accordingly by allotting extra time and adjust your driving speed slower to account for poor visibility and slippery road conditions. Construction, road work, potholes, and road defects, are some of the everyday conditions to be aware of while driving as well and its critical for drivers to adjust their speed for everyone’s safety.
Contact A Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyer After a Collision
If you’ve been hurt in a car crash caused by a negligent driver, seek medical attention immediately and then contact an experienced attorney in Rhode Island or Massachusetts to determine your legal rights. Attorney David Tapalian has over two decades of personal injury practice in RI, MA, and FL, and has helped hundreds of clients successfully win compensation for their injuries caused in a car accident, motorcycle crash, truck collision, or other type of collision. Contact Attorney David Tapalian today at 401-552-5000 to review the details of your accident and discuss your legal options or book your free consultation online.