An automobile accident can be a life-altering event. The physical and emotional recovery process, the onslaught of medical bills, dealing with insurance companies, and missing work can be overwhelming. In the very worst of situations, car accidents can even lead to permanent injury and even death.
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32,719 people died in auto accidents last year, and approximately 90 people died each day in car crashes, resulting in more than 6,000 injuries. And according to data dating back to 2010, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 5 and 34.
The most common type of auto accidents are rear-end collisions. According to the National Safety Council, more than 2.5 million rear-end collisions happen every year.Other Types of Auto Accidents
- Side-impact collision.
- Speeding: According to the NHTSA, each year more than 9,000 lives are lost due to speed-related accidents. Speeding was a contributing factor in 29 percent of all fatal crashes. The NHTSA reports that speed-related crashes cost Americans $40.4 billion each year.
- Rolling over (larger vehicles, such as SUVs or trucks, are more likely to tip than smaller cars).
- Head-on collisions.
- Equipment Failure.
- Roadway Conditions.
- Falling asleep at the wheel (sleep-deprived drivers are just as dangerous as drunk drivers).
- Running a red light.
- Driving while under the influence: According to the NHTSA, nearly 3 in every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lifetime. Last year more than 10,000 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 31 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States.
- Cell phone use: Using hand-held cellphones while driving is a hazardous distraction. A survey conducted by Consumer Reports found that laws prohibiting the use of hand-held cellphones or texting while driving help reduce driver distraction.
As of January 1, 2009, a law against driving while reading, writing, or sending a text message went into effect. This includes all forms of text-based communication, including email. Drivers are required by law to use hands-free equipment while talking on their cell phone and driving.
The best way to keep you and others safe while on the road is to prevent auto accidents from happening.Tips to Prevent Auto Accidents
- Avoid drinking and driving. Also, do not get in the car with a driver who has had too much to drink.
- Never drive while tired. A tired driver has slowed reactions and impaired judgment, similar to drunk drivers.
- Do not read or talk on the phone while driving.
- Stay away from aggressive or reckless drivers.
- Keep your vehicle properly maintained, including regular oil changes and other routine maintenance checkups. Also, inspect your tires monthly.
- Do not tailgate, and maintain a consistent speed.
- Proceed with caution through intersections – which is where most accidents happen.
- Be aware of and prepared for risky road conditions.
- Keep your headlights on at dusk and dawn, and during the rain. If you have an automatic setting for your headlights enable it so you don’t have to worry about having the right setting for weather conditions.
- Understand the basic dynamics of your vehicle – i.e. how to recover if your car skids off the road.
If you have been the victim of an auto accident that was not your fault, it is important that you seek medical attention immediately. Then, contact an experienced car accident attorney to learn your legal rights before speaking with the insurance company for the person who caused the accident. Understanding your legal rights is critical.
If you decide to engage the services of an attorney following a collision, your attorney will deal with insurance companies so you can focus on your physical and emotional recovery. In the event you need a referral to a healthcare provider, an experienced lawyer can also connect you with an appropriate specialist.
Victims of car accidents may be entitled to compensation for property damage, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and for permanent injury or disfigurement. There are rights afforded to you in an effort to make you whole again. Please be aware that insurance adjusters may try to take advantage of victims who are not represented by a knowledgeable attorney.
For a free and confidential consultation with an experienced attorney, please call us directly at (866) 338-7079, or click here to submit your inquiry online.