Lever & Ecker, PLLC December 4, 2015 Car Accidents
Millions of Americans will be engaging in holiday travel this year to see their loved ones. For some, that journey will be more stressful than originally anticipated. AAA has estimated that nearly 28,000 people will be seriously injured in auto accidents.
While there is no way to prevent every single accident from happening, being aware of what causes the majority of accidents, and how you can prepare, may help keep you and your family safe.
There are many factors to take into account while behind the wheel of a car. Knowledge is power, and being aware of how to deal with hazardous conditions may help prevent an accident. Common causes of accidents include:
Rain and snow can create a slick or icy roadway. This impacts the driver’s visibility distance, the friction between the tires and the pavement, and the distance required to come to a complete stop.
Potholes are a leading cause of tire damage. While it may seem easy to just avoid a pothole, the reality is that when it is dark, raining, or snowing, you simply may not see it. When traveling at high speeds, or during winter weather, a tire blowout can cause the driver to lose control.
Wind may seem like a minor issue when you are protected inside of an automobile, but the wind can cause visibility issues if it blows leaves, snow, or dust across the roadway.
Winter days are always “shorter” – at least in terms of the amount of daylight that is available. As it gets darker, depth perception, color recognition, and the driver’s peripheral vision are all compromised. Poorly aimed headlights can also result in a glare that temporarily blinds the person behind the wheel.
As much as we hate to admit it, humans are not perfect and many accidents are caused by mistakes that the driver makes. Everyone behind the wheel of a car is responsible for making decisions that ensure they have done everything in their power to keep other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians in their vicinity safe from harm. Unfortunately, there are several ways in which drivers commonly fail to act responsibly.
There are any number of things that can distract a driver – cell phones, other passengers, navigation systems, food, drinks, and pets. Most people don’t do the safe thing – which is either ignore the distraction entirely or pull over to deal with the situation. While trying to handle a distraction and drive at the same time, the driver’s eyes are taken off of the road, and movement can cause the driver to unknowingly turn the wheel causing the car to drift outside of the lane.
Raising a glass in celebration is something that most people do during the holidays. While there isn’t anything wrong with enjoying eggnog, wine, beer, or other cocktails during the holidays, there is something wrong with getting behind the wheel when several drinks have been consumed. Drunk driving is a leading cause of fatal accidents during the holidays.
In all the excitement of wrapping presents, traveling, and spending time with loved ones, many don’t make time to get enough sleep. Some researchers have suggested that driving without enough rest is comparable to driving while intoxicated.
Everyone is in a rush to get to their destination and get the festivities started. But speeding means that drivers don’t have enough time to react to an unexpected obstacle like a stopped car, or hazard in the road. Additionally, the greater the speed, the greater the impact. The force from a powerful impact can cause serious injuries to everyone inside of the car.
At Lever & Ecker, PLLC, we hope that you and your family will travel safely during this holiday season. Below are some travel safety tips that everyone should be aware of before they go on their way.
Enjoy the time with your loved ones and Happy Holidays!