The first auto accident ever formally recorded occurred in 1891 in Ohio; James Lambert’s car hit a tree root in the road, sending it careening into a nearby hitching post. Lambert’s injuries were minor—a good thing for the rest of us as he went on to patent over six hundred inventions, primarily related to the auto industry. Although major vehicle safety improvements have taken place since 1891, the number of vehicles on the highways has also risen dramatically. There are currently 250 million registered passenger cars in the United States. Today’s statistics say that most of us will be involved in at least one serious car collision during our lifetime, in addition to minor fender-benders.
Is Your Car Accident-Prone?
Recent studies show that certain makes and models of vehicles are more likely to be involved in a collision than others. When we think of an accident-prone car, most of us think of a high-end sports car with a powerful engine and fast acceleration. Today’s list of accident-prone vehicles is topped by the Toyota Scion TC, a sporty vehicle manufactured by Toyota. Other cars which made the list include the Chevy Cobalt, Mitsubishi Galant, Hyundai Tiburon, Honda Civic and Subaru Impreza. These cars are not engaged in more than their fair share of collisions because they are unsafe, but rather because they offer an affordable, yet high-performance vehicle which is generally purchased by younger drivers. An Australian survey found that black vehicles are 12 percent more likely to be involved in a car collision, while hybrids are 25 percent less likely to be involved in a crash.
What are the Causes of Auto Accidents?
Driver error is considered to be the primary cause of auto accidents. Driver errors include such things as passing unsafely, exceeding the speed limit, failure to yield, running stop signs or stop lights, and tailgating other drivers. Most drivers know better than to engage in such behavior, but may do so anyway. Distracted driving is quickly moving up the list, coming in as the second most common reason for auto collisions. We live in a crazy-busy world, and therefore may engage in multi-tasking while behind the wheel. We eat, change radio stations, set our GPS devices, scold the children, turn around to see what’s happening in the back seat, visit with other passengers, talk on our cell phones and daydream, all when we should be concentrating on one thing—driving. Anything which takes our attention away from driving can lead to an accident with potentially serious consequences.
Although the statistics vary, between 15 and 30 percent of all auto accidents may be caused by an impaired driver, despite the fact that most states have cracked down on drunk driving with enhanced penalties. Weather conditions are also a significant factor in auto accidents; drivers may have their vision inhibited through rain, fog or snow, or the roadways may be icy or slick. Strong cross-winds can also be a cause of auto accidents. When driving in inclement weather, slow down and leave more room between yourself and other drivers to avoid a weather-related accident. Make sure your tires have sufficient tread depth, to give you proper traction on a wet roadway. Design flaws in roads or intersections can cause accidents as can trees or bushes which have been allowed to grow into the road, obscuring drivers’ vision. Depending on where you live, animals in the road may also be a factor in auto accidents. Finally, driver fatigue is a cause of auto accidents, accounting for over 100,000 accidents per year.
If you are the victim of an automobile accident we want to help you. We at Koederitz Law Firm understand the anxiety and stress a car crash brings and we want to alleviate as much of that stress as possible. We have been helping those injured in car accidents for thirty years, and we have the necessary skills to ensure that your legal rights are fully protected. Don’t wait—call (225) 295-9494 today to speak with a Louisiana attorney who is experienced in representing injured clients, and who will assess your individual situation and clearly explain all of your options.