A car accident an happen to anyone at any time and lead to some serious complications. Property damage, loss of wages, and permanent injuries are just a few of the unwanted consequences. The car insurance industry estimates the average American driver will be in a serious accident up to 4 times in their lifetime or almost once every 18 years. Most accidents, however, are avoidable with the right driving techniques. The following common causes of car accidents can help even the most experienced driver improve their driving habits and avoid needing to contact a Michigan auto accident lawyer in the near future.
Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents today. It involves three types of distraction: cognitive, manual, and visual. Removing your mind from the task of driving, removing your hands from the wheel, or removing your eyes from the road can be a fatal mistake. In fact, approximately 9 fatalities occur nationwide daily due to a distracted driver while over a thousand injuries are reported.
Driving Under the Influence
Alcohol-impaired drivers are responsible for 29 road-related fatalities daily. According to the latest decade-long study by the CDC, Michigan’s drunk driving statistic is equal to the national average with approximately 2% of drivers over the ten-year period admitting or being reported as driving after drinking more than the legal limit at any given time. While the legal BAC is still .08 in most states, any amount of alcohol, marijuana, street drugs or prescription medication can be a recipe for disaster when mixed with driving. And the legal ramifications can be severe.
The national speed limit varies between 65 and 75 miles per hour on the highway depending on which part of the state or country you’re traveling. In unmarked residential or business zones, it plummets to 25 mph. That’s a huge difference and yet, regardless of where you drive, you’ll see people challenge those rules. But speeding isn’t just rude or dumb, it also kills. The faster you drive, the slower driver reactions become and stopping quickly can be almost impossible. Pad your schedule, leave early, and stick to the speed limit. It’s always a lot better to get somewhere a few minutes late than not at all.
Weather is known to impair driving, whether due to the sun’s glare, slick conditions, road construction or damage demands, or traffic speed. The Midwest is known for its extreme winter weather, so it comes as no surprise that snow and ice are often considered the most dangerous weather elements by winter drivers. But national research has shown that while over 20% of crashes are weather-related wet conditions, rain, and fog cause more driving fatalities than winter weather conditions in 39 states nationwide.
Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers nationwide. In fact, the 16-19-year-old age group is three times more likely to be in a fatal accident compared to drivers in their twenties. Distracted driving, speeding, driving under the influence, and inexperience all work against novice drivers in this case. Fortunately, defensive driving techniques, responsible roadside behavior, and the right Michigan auto accident lawyer can help you or your loved ones get back on the road again.