Causes of road car accidents.
Road car accidents are quite common in the United States and most of them are caused by human error. Although most of the accidents are minor, tens of thousands of lives are lost each year in fatal car crashes. It is important to drive carefully and follow all the traffic laws, in order to avoid being involved in a car accident.
The causes of road car accidents can seem endless. So many variables factor into accidents on the road. Determining what caused an accident is the responsibility of the police and the insurance company claims adjuster. The cause needs to be determined to determine who is at fault.
For the police, this is important because of legal liability and determining who should be issued a ticket. From an insurance company perspective, determining who is at-fault means determining which party, if any party, should receive a claim payment – and for determining how much that payment should be.
These are some things drivers often do to become distracted and cause car accidents and injuries to others, for which they should be held accountable:
- Using phone
- Eating or drinking
- Smoking; reaching for a cigarette or lighter.
- Changing the radio station
- Programming the GPS
- Quieting the baby or disciplining the kids
- Rubbernecking when driving past an accident
- Reading billboard ads
- Blasting the radio
- Looking for something in the car or in a purse
- Turning to speak to other passengers.
- Allowing unrestrained pets in the car
Car Accidents Unrelated to Driver Error
The physical condition of the roadway can play a significant role in causing a car accident. If a road is improperly maintained, that can reduce wheel traction or make it difficult for the car to stop in time to avoid a hazard.
The same holds true for weather conditions. Ice or moisture, whether from rain or snow, can make a roadway slippery, which again affects driving conditions. Weather can also impair visibility when conditions include fog, heavy rain, or snow.
The mechanical performance of your car can also play a role in the cause of accidents. A failure to properly maintain the brake system or tires can impede your ability to stop in advance or steer clear of a hazard.
Why Does Fault Matter After a Car Accident?
Car accidents can result in extensive vehicle damage and injuries. Everyone involved is likely to turn to their insurance company for help, or to make a claim against the other party. The success of a car accident claim, however, often depends on establishing that the other driver was to blame.
What Do I Do After an Accident?
- Safety First
If the car accident is minor, move vehicles out of traffic to a safe place. Shift into park, turn off your vehicle, and turn on the hazard lights. Use cones, warning triangles, or flares for added safety, if you have them.
- Get Help
Check for injuries; call an ambulance when in doubt. Call the police, even if the accident is minor. A police report can be invaluable to the claim process and help establish who’s at fault.
- Collect Information
Gather information from others involved in the accident.
- Drivers and passengers: names and contact information.
- Vehicle descriptions (make, model, year).
- Driver’s license numbers – License plate numbers.
- Insurance companies and policy numbers.
- Eyewitnesses: names and contact information.
- Accident scene location and/or address.
- Police officer’s name and badge number.
- Take photos of all vehicles involved and the accident scene, if it is safe to do so.
Do not sign any document unless it is for the police or your insurance agent.
Be polite, but do not tell anyone the accident was your fault, even if you think it was.
- File a Claim
You can start the claim process immediately at the scene and add details when things are calmer. Remember to notify your insurance agent as soon as possible.
- Get Roadside Assistance
If your vehicle is not drivable after an accident, call for roadside assistance and request roadside service from your state.