Car accidents kill thousands of people every year and leave many more with life-altering injuries. In 2019, nearly 39,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents, and 4.4 million required emergency medical attention for injuries.
The unfortunate fact is – car accidents are among the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States. And while most modern vehicles feature built-in safety systems like lane departure warnings, adaptive headlights, and backup cameras, technology can’t compensate for human error 100 percent of the time.
Every time you get behind the wheel, your very life – and that of your passengers – is at risk. Even the most careful and experienced drivers are not immune to the reckless actions of others.
The attorneys of Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman take our responsibility to advocate for car accident victims in New York and New Jersey seriously. If you were harmed because of another’s negligent actions, our experienced car accident lawyers would seek justice and fair compensation on your behalf.
Why do so many vehicle accidents happen every day in our communities? Here are the top 10 causes:
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3,500 Americans are killed in distracted driving accidents each year. State lawmakers have banned cell phone use and texting while driving, but the vast majority of motorists admit to using some type of mobile device when behind the wheel.
Driving under the influence
Alcohol slows reaction time, decreases processing skills, and is a huge contributor to car accidents. Beyond civil litigation, perpetrators face criminal penalties, license suspension, and other harsh consequences.
It’s one thing to ignore posted speed limits and wreck your own car, but it’s worse when this decision harms innocent people. Research has shown that high-speed crashes are more likely to cause severe or fatal injuries.
Unsafe lane changes
Failing to use your turn signal or check blind spots before making a lane change can result in a serious collision, especially at high speeds. Due to their small profile, motorcycle riders are at increased risk of being hit by drivers who make unsafe lane changes.
You cannot control Mother Nature, but you can take precautions and adjust your driving behavior when weather conditions are treacherous. Heavy rains, sleet, snow, and fog can reduce visibility considerably. Slow down – or get off the road entirely – during downpours. Hitting a flooded patch of road can cause your vehicle to hydroplane.
Defective auto parts/faulty designs
Design and manufacturing defects can impact the functionality of tires, seat belts, airbags, brakes, and other integral parts of a vehicle, increasing the odds of driver/occupant injury.
Basic traffic violations
Stop signs and red light violations can prove fatal for drivers and pedestrians alike. Whether you’re in a rush or simply lost in thought, this behavior poses a danger to everyone on the roads. Thousands of rollover and side-impact accidents are caused by drivers who disregard traffic signals.
Tired and drowsy drivers are three times as likely to be involved in a car accident. A whopping 20 percent of adult drivers admit to falling asleep behind the wheel, and 328,000 drowsy driving auto accidents happen every year.
Driving in unfamiliar territory can be confusing, and anyone can make a mistake. Be alert to one-way street signs and exit ramps, and obey the proper right-of-way when making turns.
The act of tailgaiting, or following the vehicle in front too closely, is responsible for the lion’s share of rear-end collisions. The general rule of thumb is to add one-vehicle-length of distance for every 10 mph of speed. On the freeway, that would mean keeping 6 or 7 car lengths behind the vehicle in front to allow adequate time to brake.
Accident prevention tips
The National Safety Council encourages all motorists to buckle up, exercise proper care, and follow these safety tips when behind the wheel:
- Practice defensive driving
- Always designate a sober driver or arrange alternate transportation after drinking
- Avoid driving when you’re unusually fatigued
- Pay attention and avoid distractions by turning your cell phone off
- Keep an open dialogue with your teen about their driving habits
- Familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s safety technology
- Recognize the dangers of drugged driving
- Verify that your vehicle doesn’t have an open recall for a defective part (brakes, airbag, accelerator, etc.)
Car accident lawyers for Bergen & Rockland County
Being involved in any type of motor vehicle collision can have life-altering ramifications. You should not have to pay for the mistakes and ignorance of others. Our team of personal injury lawyers has been helping car accident victims in New York and New Jersey for 45 years and have the resources and knowledge to protect your rights.
Reach out to schedule a free case evaluation in our Rockland County or Bergen County law office.