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Common Causes of Car Accidents

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Car Accident Statistics in New Jersey

Despite new regulations and advancing technologies that try to make cars safer, auto accidents are still among the leading causes of injury and death for Americans. Tens of thousands of people die in car crashes across the U.S. every single year. In New Jersey, there were over 270,000 car crashes in 2017, resulting in 61,753 cases of injury and 591 fatalities.

Despite the risk of injury or death in car accidents, for most people, vehicles are a necessary form of transportation. Because traveling by car is ultimately unavoidable for most of us, it is important to understand some of the common causes of car accidents to be able to try to begin to reduce the risks of accidents happening in the first place.

Most Common Causes of Car Accidents

Many different types of unsafe driving practices cause car accidents. Most of us are familiar with some of the more serious unsafe driving practices, like driving under the influence. However, many of us are also guilty of having a habit of committing other unsafe driving practices, such as using a cell phone, your vehicle’s radio or infotainment system, eating or drinking, or interacting with passengers (especially turning to face a passenger). Many people feel like they have the experience and skills behind the wheel to multitask while driving. However, almost all of us cannot safely multitask behind the wheel. As a result, any time we divide our attention between the road and another task, we significantly increase the risk of an accident. 

Common causes of car accidents include both unsafe driving practices along with other external factors that may or may not be within the control of the driver. Examples of common causes of car accidents include: 

  • Speeding
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Driving while distracted by a cell phone, passenger, car radio, food or drink, or personal grooming
  • Running red lights and/or stop signs
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Unsafe left turns
  • Road rage
  • Reckless driving
  • Inexperienced driving
  • Nighttime driving
  • Adverse weather conditions
  • Imperfections or defects in the road surface
  • Defects in the vehicle
  • Inadequate or improper maintenance of the vehicle

Safe Driving Tips

Every one of us can help to improve road safety by following safe driving tips and ensuring that we consistently follow the rules of the road. Even though you cannot control the actions and decisions of other drivers on the road, in many cases you may be able to avoid an accident caused by another careless or reckless driver by being alert and having your full attention on the road so that you can make quick decisions. You may only have a second or two of warning to initiate a maneuver that avoids an accident; if your attention is off the road, you may not have enough time to avoid an accident. 

Some safe driving practices that we should all strive to practice behind the wheel include:

  • Keep 100 percent of your attention on the road at all times
  • Do not talk or text on your cell phone
  • Leave enough time to complete your trip so you are not tempted to speed or engage in aggressive driving
  • Obey the speed limit
  • Signal all turns and lane changes
  • Maintain safe distances between yourself and other vehicles
  • Ensure your tires are properly inflated
  • Drive with caution and at a reduced speed when roads are wet or covered in ice or snow
  • Use your headlights at night and in low visibility conditions, such as precipitation or fog
  • Always drive defensively — that is, driving as if every other vehicle on the road may do something dangerous or unexpected at any moment

If you follow safe driving practices, you will reduce your risk of an accident. Although accidents are not completely avoidable, distracted driving and other unsafe driving practices are more likely than not to cause accidents.

Contact a New Brunswick Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in New Jersey

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Hanlon Dunn Robertson Schwartz represent clients injured because of car accidents in Morris Township, Montville, Edison, Woodbridge, and throughout New Jersey. Call (973) 267-8895 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 33 Market St., Morristown, NJ 07960, as well as offices in New Brunswick.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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