Car Accidents Often Have Simple Causes

July 30, 2009

Automobile accidents are one of the leading causes of death in the United States, just behind smoking and obesity. The latest government statistics show that there are more than 6 million auto accidents in the nation every year. That translates to an auto accident with injuries, every 14 seconds across the country! With odds like that, the chances are that you will be involved in a traffic accident at some point in your life.

About 25 percent of traffic accidents are due to driver distraction and that number is increasing every day. Because cell phones are so prevalent now, many people either drive while talking on their phones or, worse yet, drive while texting on their phones. The National Saftey Council estimates that cell phone use causes about 12,000 serious injuries and over 2,600 deaths annually. In addition, driver attention can be compromised by eating while driving, applying make up or shaving, or reading things like road maps (although we have all seen the driver who passes us while reading the morning newspaper in heavy traffic).

For the other 75 percent of accidents, simple things like sun glare can cause problems for drivers in South Florida and elsewhere, resulting in car accidents. Tailgating and trying to beat the traffic lights can cause accidents, too. And researchers have found that sleep-deprived drivers act almost the same as drunk drivers – with slower reaction times and increased errors in judgement regarding driving skills (meaning a tendency to think you have more room to change lanes or to stop than you do and a tendency to take more risks than you normally would). Sleep deprivation is common in trucking accidents because the drivers are trying to make deadlines and are often trying to catch up on their travel times.

Be extra cautious in weather conditions, too, when you are driving. Many South Florida car accidents have been caused when a driver did not take into account the heat of the day and the tiny oil slick that develops on the road as the heat bakes the asphalt. If just a little bit of rain lands on top of that oil and you are driving too fast for conditions, you may find yourself spinning and hydro-planing if you suddenly apply your brakes.

Defective vehicles are another cause of car accidents in South Florida and elsewhere in the country. Auto manufacturers recall cars with defective parts, but they won’t do that until a sufficient amount of accidents happen to warrant the cost of recalling a part. An example of this occurred recently on I-75 in Central Florida and happened when the driver of the car lost control. The car rolled seven times, killing the driver. At first, the accident appeared to be caused by a random tire blowout, but was later found to have been caused by a faulty tire valve that was cracked almost the length of the valve stem. A lawsuit has been filed against the distributor of the valve stem, which is made in China.

So, enjoy those picturesque drives along the beach, but be diligent when you are cruising along the highway. Keep in mind that driving while distracted adds about 20 percent longer stopping time if you need to brake quickly. For a car traveling 40 mph, that means about 120 feet of distance needed to stop in time to avoid car accidents. South Florida drivers are notorious for leaving much less distance than that between their car and the one in front of them. Put that cell phone down, watch out for the weather, and wait until you stop somewhere before eating or reading (even a map!).

If you have been involved in any car accidents in South Florida, contact car accident lawyer Joseph M. Maus, P.A.at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at http://www.jmmlawyers.com, or email him today. Attorney Joseph M. Maus handles car accident claims on a contingent basis.  This means that unless you recover money for your car accident, you do not owe any fees or costs.


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