Every year, thousands of people in California are seriously injured or killed in motor vehicle crashes. The vast majority of these collisions are preventable tragedies caused by the negligence of one or more drivers.
What’s the Leading Cause of Car Accidents?
At Demas Law Group, P.C., we have more than 25 years of experience handling all types of Sacramento car accidents. We have seen enough accidents to know that while every scenario is different, most crashes share a handful of common causes.
To learn more about the common causes of car accidents in Sacramento, continue reading or contact our dedicated team now. We offer free consultations, and our Sacramento car accident attorneys will work with you to aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve.
Drunk Driving or Drug-Impaired Driving
Alcohol was a factor in 30 percent of all traffic deaths in one recent year, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). That same year, 42 percent of all drivers who were killed in car accidents and then tested for drugs tested positive for legal or illegal drugs.
Drivers who are impaired by the influence of drugs or alcohol are a serious threat to public safety. Drunk or drugged drivers have compromised brain function, reasoning ability, and muscle coordination, which make it impossible to operate vehicles safely.
Driving under the influence increases the risk of crashes because impaired drivers are often less alert, slower to respond, and less coordinated on the road.
Distracted driving involves anything that takes your attention away from the task of driving safely. This can include talking to passengers, adjusting radio controls, or eating or drinking behind the wheel.
One of the most common and dangerous forms of distracted driving is texting while driving. In a recent study, 7.6 percent of all observed drivers in California were distracted by the use of electronic devices.
Texting while driving is an especially dangerous activity since text messages require visual, cognitive, and manual attention from drivers. The average text message takes drivers’ eyes off of the road for five seconds, which is enough time to travel the length of a football field while traveling at just 55 mph.
Speeding or Driving Too Fast for Conditions
More than 29 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities in California were speeding-related during a recent sample year. California also had the second-greatest number of speeding-related accident fatalities in the U.S. that year.
When drivers race, exceed posted speed limits, or simply drive too fast for conditions, they may lose control of their vehicle or leave themselves without enough time to stop safely.
Speeding drivers have a much harder time steering safely around curves or obstacles and have less time to react in hazardous situations. If other vehicles stop suddenly in traffic, speeding drivers who require longer distances to stop sometimes cause rear-end collisions.
Many different types of reckless driving can contribute to car accidents. Drivers behave recklessly when they ignore stop signs or traffic lights, weave between lanes of traffic, tailgate other vehicles, or make unsafe passing maneuvers.
In short, drivers are considered reckless when they are willfully indifferent to the safety of others on the road. Reckless drivers frequently cause accidents because they prioritize their own convenience and schedule over everyone else’s welfare.
In many cases, reckless driving accidents involve other contributing factors, such as intoxication or distraction. Drivers who are drunk or texting behind the wheel are more likely to make reckless maneuvers and crash as a result.
Driving while drowsy is similar to driving while drunk, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). If a driver is awake for more than 18 hours, they are about as impaired as a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05 percent. Being awake for more than 24 hours is similar to having a BAC of 0.10 percent, which is more than the legal limit in California.
Drowsy drivers suffer from impaired focus and delayed reaction times, which are incredibly dangerous on the road. OTS reports that 2 percent of all traffic fatalities involved drowsy drivers. Commercial drivers, night shift workers, and younger drivers are especially at-risk for drowsy driving accidents.
Failure to Yield Right-of-Way
Drivers have to make fast decisions on the road to stay safe. Right-of-way rules exist to reduce uncertainty and decrease the risk of traffic accidents. When drivers fail to yield the proper right-of-way, devastating accidents can occur.
Many failure-to-yield accidents happen at intersections. Drivers who turn left usually must yield the right-of-way to oncoming vehicles, bicycles, or pedestrians traveling straight through intersections. When drivers fail to account for others around them or recognize their duty to yield, they can crash into others exercising the proper right-of-way.
Compensation for a Car Accident Claim
The amount of compensation you could recover in a car accident claim may vary depending on the nature of the accident and the severity of the injuries you suffered, among other factors. A knowledgeable attorney can help you pursue compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses for the treatment of your injuries
- Lost wages, if you are forced to miss work as your recover from your injuries
- Lost future earning potential, if you suffer from long-term disabilities
- Physical pain and psychological suffering
- Losses in your overall quality or enjoyment of life
- Incidental costs, such as transportation to and from doctor’s appointments
- Repair or replacement costs, if your vehicle was damaged in the accident
- Punitive damages, to punish especially reckless or intentionally malicious drivers
Contact a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer Today
No matter what caused your Sacramento car accident, it’s important to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney as soon as possible. At Demas Law Group, P.C., our goal is to handle every aspect of your car accident claim and give you the best chance at recovery.
Contact us today to discuss the details of your claim in a free consultation and find out more about how we can help you.