The most common cause of car accidents is driver error. Careless drivers violate traffic laws meant to prevent collisions, and this directly leads to car accidents and injuries.
Factors that Contribute to Careless Driving Mistakes
There are, of course, factors that contribute to drivers’ mistakes behind the wheel and lead to the millions of traffic accidents that occur in the United States each year. Some of these factors include the following.
Distracted driving is likely underreported, yet it still occurs in epidemic proportions. Although most people think of texting or talking on the phone as the primary distractions drivers experience, almost anything that takes your eyes, attention, or complete focus off the road can cause a distracted driving accident.
Drunk or drugged driving is especially dangerous because it can affect many of the body’s systems that play a role in safe driving. This includes reaction time, clear vision, judgment, and coordination. In addition to alcohol, illegal drugs, narcotics, and even some prescription or over-the-counter medications can have negative effects on driving ability.
Fatigued and drowsy driving can cause an accident if the motorist falls asleep behind the wheel, but it can also be problematic if the driver remains awake but does not have his or her full faculties. Being sleepy can affect reaction time and judgment as much as having had too much to drink can, in some cases.
When a driver is intentionally careless, this may be reckless, aggressive, or road-rage driving. Putting others in danger by taking risks and breaking traffic laws is not only illegal but could lead to serious injuries and massive payouts in civil court.
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Common Traffic Accident Types
Violations of different traffic laws can lead to different types of accidents. Some of the most common types of car accidents include the following.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that a third of all car accidents in the U.S. were rear-end collisions in 2013. This makes them the most common type of car accident. Although they are not always as serious as some other types of accidents, rear-end collisions can cause significant, lasting injuries, and even fatalities.
Rear-end accidents generally occur when one driver is speeding, following too closely, distracted, or otherwise prevented from seeing the vehicle in front of him slowing or stopping and slams into the back of that vehicle.
Side-impact accidents generally occur at intersections. Failure to yield, such as when turning left at a green light, can cause a serious traffic accident where the front of one driver’s vehicle impacts the side of another vehicle. This type of accident can be especially dangerous when a car hits the broadside of another vehicle, often in the driver’s or passenger’s door.
Head-on accidents are not the most common type of collision, but they are one of the most dangerous. When two vehicles collide head-on, especially at high speeds, the forces the occupants endure are incredible. They frequently cause catastrophic and fatal injuries. These accidents generally only occur when a car goes the wrong way on a one-way street, goes the wrong way on an exit or entrance ramp, crosses over a median, or passes improperly.
Rollover accidents usually involve either a collision that tips a vehicle, a top-heavy vehicle that tips during high-speed maneuvers, or a car that runs off the edge of the road and gets “tripped” by the soft shoulder. Rollover accidents create several impacts, one for each roll. This increases the chances of suffering injuries. The risk of ejection in a rollover crash is also high for those not wearing a seatbelt.
Pursuing Damages for Your Georgia Car Accident Losses
If you were hurt in a car accident, Georgia law allows you to hold the at-fault party accountable for their careless actions if you can prove the cause of your accident and show they were responsible. By holding the liable party responsible for your damages, you can collect a payout to cover the expenses you incurred, such as your medical care, car repairs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.
Under Official Code of Georgia Annotated §51-4-2, state law will allow some family members to seek damages based on a loved one’s wrongful death, if that loved one suffered fatal injuries in a car accident.
These cases can often settle without going to court, but if you need to file a personal injury civil suit based on your Georgia car accident, you likely only have a limited time to do so under OCGA §9-3-33. This is generally two years.
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At Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, our team provides complimentary case reviews and consultations to Georgia accident victims. Call (404) 888-8888 today to get started.