There are few deaths that are more violent, sudden and utterly without intent than those which result from car accidents. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that we are getting behind the wheel of a machine that weighs on average thousands of pounds and that can travel at very high speeds. It’s also made of metal for the most part, creating a destructive instrument that can instantly end lives. When a family is told that they have lost someone in a car accident, the shock, grief, sadness and despair can be overwhelming. That’s why there are so many efforts constantly being made to make our roads safer.
One of the ways that we can help create safer roads in California is to learn more about what causes fatal car accidents. The California Highway Patrol, or CHP, is one of the agencies that tracks the statistics regarding all types of crashes that occur across the state, and that data is organized into several different categories. Unfortunately, not enough people are aware of these statistics, so below you’ll find the five most common mistakes made by drivers that lead to fatal car accidents in California.
- Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Other Drugs
Billions of dollars have been spent by concerned groups and citizens in attempts to dissuade people from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after consuming alcohol or some other intoxicant and billions of dollars have been lost because of DUI accidents. A total of 545 crashes in California occurred in 2010 that led to at least one fatality because one of the drivers was intoxicated.
- Improper Turning
Improper turning actually led to the same number of fatal crashes in California in 2010 – 545 – as driving under the influence of an intoxicant. Improper turning encompasses many different types of individual mistakes, but the common aspect to all of them is that drivers who attempt this maneuver do something that other motorists do not expect.
- Unsafe Speed
435 fatal California car accidents occurred in 2010 because someone involved in these crashes was traveling at a speed that was simply too fast for the conditions. This does not necessarily mean that someone was exceeding the posted speed limit, as people can make this mistake by driving faster than other motorists when visibility is low.
- Pedestrian Violation
We tend to be used to looking for other vehicles and avoiding them when we are behind the wheel, and we also tend to miss smaller objects such as motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians. One fatal pedestrian accident occurred in California every day in 2010, although it should be noted that some of these crashes were the fault of the people traveling on foot.
- Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road
Many people would think that driving on the wrong side of the road is such an egregious mistake that few if any drivers would be guilty of it, but 192 fatal crashes occurred for this reason in 2010 in California. This is obviously a mistake that people do not expect to have to avoid, and that’s likely why so many fatalities result from this serious error.
Hopefully more awareness with regards to these mistakes will help people recognize them when others are committing them before it’s too late. If you have lost someone you love because of a negligent driver, contact the Sacramento injury lawyers at the Demas Law Group, P.C., today to schedule a free initial consultation.