Car accidents happen in just a fraction of a moment, but often result in thousands of dollars in collateral damage, serious injury and even death. From bad weather to driver fatigue, almost anything can cause a car accident. But some reasons are more common than others.
Car Accidents: 10 Possible Causes
The following are some of the most common reasons why car accidents occur. If you remember these risks and do everything you can to prevent them, you may help reduce the likelihood of being involved in a car accident.
- Drowsy drivers – Drowsy drivers are less attentive and have slow reaction times. They may fall asleep at the wheel and drift into another lane. According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowsy drivers cause 2.5% of fatal crashes and 2% of injury crashes in the US annually.
- Drunk drivers – Drunk drivers account for over 300,000 car accidents every day in the US. In Wisconsin, it is illegal for drivers to be on the road with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. Despite the risks, many drunk drivers venture out on the road every day, endangering not only their lives but the lives of others.
- Drivers under the influence of drugs – Alcohol is the substance most often blamed for car accidents, but drugs like marijuana and prescription pills also play a huge role in DUI-related accidents. Like alcohol, drugs impair driver judgment and significantly slow reaction times.
- Texting while driving – Texting while driving is a scary, growing national trend. Texting is an obvious distraction which keeps eyes off the road and at least one hand off the steering wheel.
- Distracted drivers – Common forms of distraction for drivers include eating, drinking, daydreaming, smoking and cell phone use.
- Confusing roadways – Missing signs and malfunctioning traffic lights are common causes for accidents. Additionally, unsavory weather conditions such as rain or sleet often contribute to driver confusion.
- Speeding – Generally, the faster a driver speeds, the less time there is to react. For this reason, speeding is the second most common cause of fatal crashes in the US.
- Elderly drivers – Elderly drivers are not always the cause of accidents. However, elderly drivers do have slowed response times and often have difficulty seeing, both of which can cause car accidents.
- Teen drivers – Teen drivers often lack experience driving in dangerous conditions. This inexperience inevitably causes accidents.
- Road rage – Anger on the road can impair judgment and increase impulsivity. Angry drivers will often disregard basic traffic laws, endangering both themselves and others.
Why You Need to Know What Caused Your Accident
In the US, you must prove that someone is legally responsible for your accident-related injuries in order for you to receive damages. For this reason, it is of utmost importance that you know who or what caused your accident.
Following an accident, injuries may be severe and emotions may be high. But you should begin the investigation immediately by:
- Calling the police for an initial accident investigation.
- Taking pictures of any collateral damage and/or injuries.
- Exchanging information with all passengers, drivers and witnesses involved.
- Contacting your insurance company and informing them of the accident.
Of course, your investigation will not end at the scene of the accident. You may need additional evidence in order to support your case. Protect yourself by reading through our Wisconsin Car Accidents Information Page and learning what damages you are entitled to along with other information that may help you strengthen your case.