Most people who have ever been behind the wheel of a car understand that there is always a chance that a car accident can occur on the road. While some car accidents might be unavoidable, other car accidents are the result of negligence or careless driving and even the smallest of car accidents has the potential to cause serious injury or even death. With this in mind, people should be aware of the leading causes of fatal car accidents in the United States. Many of these causes are avoidable and families who have lost a loved one due to a potentially preventable car accident may have a legal avenue to seek compensation.
1. Distracted Driving
Without a doubt, distracted driving can certainly cause a fatal car accident. This is a broad term used to describe a driving situation where someone does not give the road the attention it deserves. For example, someone could be texting or talking on the phone while driving. Most people would agree that using the hands to text instead of to control the wheel of the car could lead to a fatal car accident. Distracted driving could be grounds for legal compensation.
2. Driving While Fatigued
Many people have heard of the term “highway hypnosis.” While this is common as people pass endless exits and dotted lines, driver fatigue takes this term to a completely new level. Driver fatigue is the term used to describe someone who is too tired to drive. If someone falls asleep behind the wheel of a car, the car is not being controlled by anybody and has the potential to cause serious car accidents that could lead to injury or death.
3. Drunk Driving
Drunk driving has been a major problem on the roads since cars were invented many years ago. When people are intoxicated, their reflexes slow, they don’t think straight, and they should never be behind the wheel of a car. The penalties for drunk driving are severe and could include a loss of driving privileges or even jail time; however, these penalties do not compare to the pain and suffering felt by a family who lost a loved one as a result of a drunk driving accident. If a fatal accident is due to drunk driving, there could be grounds for legal compensation.
4. Defects in the Manufacturing of a Car
Most people have heard about recalls that happen for certain products on the news. If the recalls aren’t issued fast enough, someone operating a defective car could be at the mercy of the car. What happens if the brakes fail to work or the car starts to leak gas from the engine? These could lead to disastrous accidents and people could lose their life. This could be grounds for a lawsuit against the company.
5. Defects in the Road Surface
The car isn’t the only issue that people have to worry about as they’re driving. The conditions on the road could also play a major role. For example, if the road has a major pothole or has a defect on the surface, it could trip up the wheels of the car and cause a fatal car accident. What is an acceptable pothole and what size pothole deserves to be marked with a detour sign? This is a question that the court may have the answer.
6. The Weather Conditions
Without a doubt, poor weather could lead to a fatal car accident. High winds have the ability to blow cars right off the road. Driving rain and standing water could cause cars to hydroplane. A blizzard can cause the tires of the car to lose traction and carry someone off the road. Weather is a leading cause of serious accidents in the United States.
7. Elderly or Inexperienced Drivers
It’s no secret that the skill of the driver also has a major role when it comes to car accidents. Teenagers do not have the experience that middle-aged drivers do and elderly drivers do not have the reflexes of their younger counterparts. The skill of the person behind the wheel could make the difference between arriving safely and a fatal car accident.
Anyone who has lost a loved one in a fatal car accident should contact the car accident attorneys at GOM Law for a free consultation. Not every car accident is the result of mere circumstance and everyone is entitled to strong legal representation. Make sure you know your rights before moving forward.