Top Causes of Alabama Auto Accidents
You may not realize it, but every time you get into a car, whether as a driver or passenger, it is usually the most dangerous thing you will do all day. Unfortunately, car accidents are still a common occurrence, ranging from a fender bender with minor damage and no injuries to having a totaled car and fatal injuries.
Driving safety is especially important in the state of Alabama, where the death rate for motor vehicle occupants is almost twice as high (13.7 per 100,000 people) as the national rate (7.0 per 100,000 people), according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). There are many reasons why the number of fatal accidents is so high in Alabama, but at the top of the list is the fact that many accidents occur on rural roads, which are most likely further away from trauma centers, so the injured may not be able to get life-saving help in time.
The following is a list of the top causes of auto accidents. Generally speaking, most of these reasons come down to human error. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a study which found that 94 percent of crashes were due to human error.
- Distracted Driving The Department of Transportation calls this one of the deadly “D’s”—and for the most part, it’s preventable. But with the advent of cellphones (where dialing a phone is the riskiest thing you can do, increasing your chance for a crash by 12 times), it can be even more tempting to multitask as you drive, but this more than doubles your risk for an auto accident.
- Driving While Intoxicated This is the other deadly “D”—driving while drunk or impaired by drugs (DUI). In 2015, the NHTSAreported that over 10,000 people died and 290,000 people were injured in drunk driving crashes. In Alabama, drunk driving fatalities remain high and the greatest risk lies with younger drivers. In Alabama, there are 10.3 deaths per 100,000 people, compared to the National average of 6.7 deaths per 100,000 people, for drivers ranging in age from 21-34 years old.
- Speeding Driving over the speed limit, racing, or driving too fast for road conditions—all are considered contributing factors to a speeding-related crash. There also seems to be a connection to not wearing safety belts while speeding at the time of a crash, according to the NHTSA. Also, rural roads in Alabama are conducive to driving at a high rate of speed, leading to more fatal crashes.
- Aggressive or Reckless Driving The NHTSA defines aggressive driving as, “The operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property.” This is different from road rage, yelling and making gestures, which is considered a criminal offense. This type of driving involves a variety of behaviors including failing to signal, failing to yield the right of way, failing to obey traffic signs, signals, traffic safety officers, following too closely, improper turns, failing to keep in your proper lane, and improper or prohibited passing. A study using NHTSA data showed that aggressive driving contributed to over half of fatal crashes between 2003 and 2007.
- Road Conditions Whether it’s rain, slick roads, fog, glare, or one’s view being obstructed, the driving environment has an impact on driving. After human error, it’s the next most common factor that contributes to road crashes, according to the NHTSA. Slick roads, glares, and view obstructions were the top three critical reasons for auto accidents for this cluster.
- Vehicle-Related Issues A car can lose control due to a tire blowout failed brakes or some other vehicle failure issue. According to NHTSA, vehicle failure related issues are a very common grouping of car crash factors.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Alabama auto accident, reaching out to an experienced attorney in personal injury law can help you get the compensation that you deserve, so you can move on with your life. At Cobb, Boyd, White & Cobb, our experienced injury attorneys have helped the people of Alabama recover the damages they deserved. To learn more about how Cobb, Boyd, White, & Cobb can help you in your Alabama auto accident case, contact us today for a free consultation at 334-677-1000.