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What are the Top 5 Causes of Car Accidents?

11-28-21    


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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s estimates, around 36,680 people died in 2020 due to motor vehicle traffic crashes—the largest number of deaths since 2007. This rise is despite the smaller number of cars on the road last year, while we socially-distanced, stayed and worked from home, and generally got out less during the pandemic.

What’s caused this spike in fatal car accidents in the last year? And why is 2021 projected to be even worse? There are five main reasons that people get into car crashes. If you can, avoid the following so you don’t become a statistic!

1. Distracted Driving

Research from the American Automobile Association’s Traffic Safety Division has found that between a quarter and a half of all motor vehicle accidents are caused by distracted driving. But what is distracted driving?

Distracted driving is any activity that moves your attention from traffic on the road ahead to something else. These activities include the following:

  • Talking—and especially texting—on cell phones
  • Rubbernecking
  • Driver fatigue
  • Looking at scenery on the side of the road
  • Engaging with passengers or children
  • Adjusting the radio, CD player, or other aspect of the car’s infotainment system
  • Reading books, maps newspapers or other documents
  • Eating
  • Self-grooming

2. Drunk Driving

The NHTSA reports that about 32% of all traffic fatalities in America are caused by drunk drivers. Remember—though the legal limit for blood-alcohol level in Ohio is 0.08, it’s safer to establish a sober, designated driver for the night. The only way to prevent being at-fault for a drunk driver accident is to not drink and drive.

3. Speeding

Speed is one of the deadliest factors in any car accident: as you increase your speed, you decrease the time you have to react and avoid a crash, you increase your risk of crashing, and you increase the severity of any crash you’re in. In fact, drivers’ increased speed due to emptier roads was the main driver of the jump in fatal crashes in 2020. Common scenarios that can lead to a speeding accident include:

  • Sharp turns on curves
  • Ignoring speed limit signs
  • Drivers losing control of their vehicle based on the speed at which they were driving, which can result in collision with another vehicle
  • Speeding on major roadways and rear-ending another vehicle as a result

When driving, make sure to follow the posted speed limits and observe common sense regarding your speed. Never drive faster than is safe for current weather conditions—slow down for rain, snow, and fog. Reducing your speed is the easiest, and one of the most effective, things you can do to make the road safer for everyone.

4. Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving is defined as “driving in a manner that presents a threat to other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and/or bicyclists.” Aggressive driving includes a number of behaviors that you’ve likely seen while driving, and possibly have done yourself:

  • Aggressive tailgating
  • Driving without a seatbelt, or improperly securing a child
  • Failure to follow traffic signals
  • Failure to yield
  • Following at an unsafe distance
  • Inattentive driving
  • Texting while driving
  • Unlawful or unsafe speeds
  • Unsafe or illegal lane changes (weaving in and out of traffic)

If you’re in traffic with an aggressive driver, your best course of action is to keep your distance. Don’t attempt to pass or interact with them—this can escalate the situation and possibly lead to a car wreck. If you are concerned for the safety of yourself and others (including the aggressive driver), call 911 and report the aggressive driver as soon as it’s safe to do so.

5. Inclement Weather

Fog, snow, ice, hail, heavy rain, and even high winds can make driving much more difficult. Poor visibility, poor tire tread or brakes, or a poorly functioning engine and exhaust are just a few things that can become extremely unsafe due to inclement weather, increasing the likelihood of an accident. However, there are some actions you can take to decrease the likelihood of a car wreck in bad weather.

Make sure to adhere to the speed limit at all times, and lower your speed if conditions worsen. By slowing down, you provide yourself more time to react to conditions, which is needed in heavy weather. There’s also no shame in pulling over or stopping at a rest stop if conditions get extremely bad. It’s better to be late to your destination than to be in a deadly accident.

What to Do After a Car Accident in Ohio

Though some accidents aren’t completely avoidable, by following the 5 above tips you can make them more rare. If you are involved in an Ohio car accident, however, you’ll need one of our reliable and experienced Columbus car accident lawyers to argue your case in court. The attorneys at Rinehardt Injury Attorneys have years of experience litigating complex injury cases in our state, and are here to help.

If you’re the victim of a car crash, don’t hesitate to contact our car accident attorneys. Call the law offices of Rinehardt Injury Attorneys today.


The Impact of a Car Accident vs Truck Accident

09-02-21    

No one wants to be in an automobile accident, whether it be with another passenger car or with a large truck. Both accidents can involve working with law enforcement, dealing with insurance companies, and potential injuries; however, car accidents and large truck accidents are not the same. There are additional factors when there is a collision between a passenger car and a large truck. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced truck accident attorney to help you navigate the difficulties an accident can bring.

flipped red car crash

Severity of the Accident

Truck accidents tend to be more severe than accidents involving multiple passenger cars. Accidents can involve all types of motorists, but when a motorcycle or car is involved in a large truck accident, the results are often catastrophic. Trucks, 18-wheelers, big rigs, tractor-trailers, and semi-trucks are tall, bulky, and significantly heavier than cars. The impact from these types of vehicles is often brutal, resulting in significant damage to the vehicles involved and major, sometimes life-altering, injuries. These injuries often result in high medical bills and ongoing therapy. It is important to have a truck accident attorney represent you to ensure that any offer you receive is the correct amount for the damages and injuries you’ve experienced. 

Understanding the Cause

Car accidents are usually a result of human error; the driver could be speeding or distracted. Truck accidents tend to be caused by other factors, including: 

Driver Fatigue

While there are federal regulations that mandate driver rest breaks and limit driving time, many drivers violate these regulations to meet strict delivery deadlines. This results in driver fatigue, which can cause a truck driver to fall asleep at the wheel, or have slow reaction times causing an accident.

Improper Maintenance

Equipment failure is another common factor in truck accidents. Truck companies and drivers are responsible for maintaining the trucks on the road. Tire blowouts, faulty brakes, and other mechanical failures could mean that the truck company is responsible for the accident. 

Unbalanced Loads

Considering large trucks by definition carry significant loads, the cargo in these trucks must be properly balanced. If a dock worker or logistics company does not load the truck correctly, it can result in an accident. Trucking companies and drivers have a responsibility to inspect their vehicles to ensure appropriate balance at the beginning of a route.

Navigating the Aftermath of a Wreck

car accident doctor

When you get into an accident with a passenger car, you generally only have to deal with the owner of the car and their insurance company. When you are involved in a large truck accident, the truck company gets involved. You won’t just have to navigate the insurance company, you will also be dealing with their lawyers. That’s why it’s important to have a truck accident attorney representing you. We can help by leveling the playing field, so you don’t have to worry about being taken advantage of by an insurance company or any other party.

Available When You Need Us

rinehardt car accident attorneys

Rinehardt Injury Attorneys is the answer to your truck accident. Our team of attorneys and case managers represents clients in Columbus and throughout central and north Ohio. You can contact us online 24/7 or call our office anytime. We offer free initial consultations, and our personal injury clients owe no attorney fees until we secure compensation for their losses. If you have been in a truck accident and need a truck accident attorney, reach out to Rinehardt Injury Attorneys, and let us help you.

Ready to get Started?

We’re here to help you and your family get back on track after an accident. Reach out to us today for a free case evaluation.

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