The majority of motor vehicle accidents occur as a result of one or more drivers violating traffic laws. These laws are in place for a reason and typically outlaw negligent or dangerous habits. Unfortunately, most accidents only occur due to drivers making careless and avoidable errors.

If you suffered an injury in a car accident, proof that the other driver caused the crash by committing a traffic violation could strengthen your case. If the other driver is convicted of a traffic violation or other crime in relation to your accident, it can be strong evidence of negligence, but it is not necessary to obtain a verdict or pre-trial settlement in your favor in a civil case.

The following guide outlines some of the traffic violations that commonly lead to motor vehicle accidents. A New York car accident lawyer can evaluate your case and advise you on whether you are entitled to compensation due to the other driver’s traffic violation.

Driving while intoxicated

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs carries steeper criminal penalties than most traffic violations for a reason. This is because of the high level of danger associated with an intoxicated person getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs typically have diminished reaction times that make it difficult to avoid collisions. These drivers do not have the decision-making ability necessary to drive safely. If you suffered an injury in a collision with a drunk driver, you could have a strong case for monetary compensation.


State and local governments set speed limits for a reason. Roads and highways are only designed to be safe for vehicles traveling at certain speeds. When drivers travel above that speed, they face an increased risk of a collision.

Speeding is one of the most common causes of motor vehicle collisions. Drivers traveling too fast for conditions could struggle to react to changing road conditions in time. This often involves a speeding driver striking a slower-moving vehicle from behind.

Another important consideration with speeding drivers is the severity of the accident. Not only do speeding drivers increase the odds of a crash, but traveling at high speeds also commonly results in more severe accidents. The impact with a speeding vehicle is usually much greater compared to a slow-moving vehicle.

Following too close

Drivers are required to keep a minimum distance between their car and the vehicle in front of them. This is to ensure that drivers have time to bring their car to a stop when traffic in front of them starts to slow down or come to a sudden stop.

Drivers should keep at least one car length between the vehicle in front of them and their own car. The failure to do so could lead to a rear-end collision. At high speed, these collisions can result in devastating physical injuries.

Failure to yield

There is an important concept in traffic laws known as the right-of-way. When two drivers attempt to enter the same space at the same time, the motorist with the right-of-way is entitled to go first. For example, the right-of-way determines which driver has the right to go first when two motorists approach an intersection at the same time.

Unfortunately, some drivers fail to yield to the motorist with the right-of-way. This often results in a crash. Failure to yield accidents often occur in intersections controlled by stop signs, but they can also occur when a driver merges or turns onto a roadway from a parking lot or side street.

Driving the wrong way

Few traffic violations result in the same devastating consequences as driving the wrong way down a one-way street. While most streets are designed to have traffic travel in two directions, some streets only allow traffic to flow one way.

Some drivers ignore the signs indicating a street is one-way. This can lead them to travel the wrong way and risk a head-on crash with oncoming traffic. Wrong-way driving is dangerous given the dangers of two vehicles colliding head-on. A head-on crash is especially dangerous.

Driving too fast for conditions

Sometimes it is possible to drive too fast for conditions even while not violating the speed limit. This is because certain factors like rain, ice, or flooding could render a roadway more dangerous than normal. Drivers must use their best judgment to avoid traveling at unsafe speeds in these conditions. Otherwise, they risk a collision should their vehicle begin sliding out of control.

Talk to an attorney about your accident

If you sustained a serious injury as the result of another driver committing a traffic violation, or other act of negligence, Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman P.C. are here to help. Contact a personal injury lawyer from our firm today for your free consultation.