Evaluating Causes of Car
Accidents to Determine Fault
If you are involved in an auto accident, the lawyers at Chanfrau & Chanfrau can help determine if the accident resulted from another party’s negligence. We are familiar with the most common causes of car accidents and work with clients in the Daytona, FL, area to help them better understand their rights and pursue financial compensation. To learn how the cause of your auto accident can affect your case, schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.
Auto Accidents Attorney
The Most Common Causes of Car Crashes
In cases involving auto accidents, it is important to establish fault by showing that an involved party acted negligently. Fault can usually be determined in accidents involving some common factors:
Year after year, speeding continues to be one of the most common causes of car accidents. As speed increases, so do the distances needed to brake effectively. A speeding motorist also has less time to react to an incident in front of him or her.
Operating a motor vehicle is inherently risky. The momentum of a two-ton car traveling at high speeds is tremendous, and can easily cause injury or death when it impacts another vehicle. For this reason, drivers have an obligation to be attentive, alert, and aware at all times.
Use of Controlled Substance
Every day in America, almost 30 people die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. There are strict laws in place regarding the use of drugs and alcohol while driving because intoxication due to alcohol or drugs can severely impair a person's motor skills and cognitive functions.
Failure to Yield
All drivers must do everything possible to avoid a crash. Florida law does not specify when a driver has the right-of-way. Instead, the law describes who must yield the right-of-way in various situations. For example, after a complete stop at a stop sign, you must yield ￼￼￼the right-of-way to all other traffic and pedestrians.
Failure to Signal
Just as it is important to yield the right of way to fellow motorists, it is also important to alert fellow motorists of your intended actions by using turn signals. Doing so allows other drivers to react in a safe manner.
Texting or Using a Cell Phone
Texting while driving poses a grave risk to other motorists, as well as pedestrians and bicyclists. In fact, distracted driving can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3,300 deaths could be attributed to distracted driving in 2012 alone.
Road rage refers to aggressive driving behaviors where an angry motorist attempts to intentionally injure another driver because of a traffic dispute. An aggressive driver will often react negatively and use his or her vehicle to retaliate by making sudden, threatening maneuvers. Consequently, road rage can seriously endanger everyone on the road.
When a driver behind you paces his vehicle too close to yours, they are engaging in the risky behavior known as tailgating. This may be because:
- the driver is impatient and wants to go faster
- the driver has road rage
- the driver overestimates their driving ability
- the driver is trying to draft or slipstream behind your car
Regardless of the reason, tailgating is a form of aggressive driving that can cause accidents for which the tailgating driver would be responsible.
Rubbernecking is when a driver looks at an accident or another event along the side of the road, or in another lane of traffic. The driver removes their sight from the road in front of them, making rubbernecking a form of distracted driving. Most of us have been in traffic due to rubbernecking as drivers slow down to gaze at a wrecked car or emergency responders on the side of the road. Unfortunately, rubbernecking is more than an annoyance that causes a delay in getting to our destination. Distracted drivers can cause accidents, including rear ending or losing control of a vehicle.
Driving when fatigued or sleepy increases the chances of an auto accident for a few reasons:
- It reduces the driver's attention and focus on the road
- It reduces the driver's reaction times
- It compromises the driver's ability to make good decisions
Any of us can fall victim to drowsy driving if we have had insufficient sleep. That said, commercial truck drivers who must record log hours behind the wheel and shift workers are at higher risk of crashing their cars due to driver fatigue.
Night driving can be hazardous in part because fatigue undermines our ability to focus. Additionally, though, night vision can play a factor, whereby the driver cannot see as well in low-lighting conditions. Drivers should get regular eye exams to detect night vision problems, which typically arise and worsen with age.
Drivers have an obligation to be attentive, alert, and aware at all times.
Vehicular accidents are the number one cause of death among teens nationwide, according to Center of Disease Control statistics. Teens are more likely to speed and not recognize hazards or respond to them properly due to their minimal driving experience. Texting while driving and driving while impaired are also risky behaviors that teens engage in, putting them at greater risk for a car crash.
Poor Car Maintenance
Car owners have a duty to keep their cars in good working condition. When they fail to do so, their vehicle may break down and cause a crash. Vehicles should be inspected regularly, including brake pads and tires. Any repairs you need should also be done by a professional, rather than by an amateur who may not recognize or accurately correct mechanical issues.
Wind, rain, snow, and other types of precipitation make for hazardous road conditions. Drivers need to take care to reduce their speed, give themselves plenty of room between cars, drive defensively, and allow extra time to get to their destination in bad weather. Not taking these precautions can mean an accident for which you may be at fault.
Contact Chanfrau & Chanfrau
If you have been involved in an accident in Deland, Port Orange, New Smyrna Beach, or another part of Central Florida, do not fight your legal battles alone. Our attorneys can help determine the cause of your collision and establish liability. Contact our law office online today or call our Daytona Beach office at (386) 258-7313 or our Palm Coast office at (386) 439-7760 to schedule a consultation.