There are times that driving in Oregon and across America can be an eye-opening experience. Cars weave through interstate traffic like it’s a video game. Semi-trucks pass by at speeds that almost blow us into another lane. We watch drivers ignore road signs, traffic signals, and a whole variety of rules of the road. And, unfortunately, we witness traffic accidents.
Some are minor, but some leave us frightened for those involved. More than 90 people die on American roads every day. According to Driver Knowledge, 6 million car accidents occur yearly, on average, and 3 million people are injured. Two million of these people unfortunately suffer permanent injury.
In this article, we will look at some of the traffic violations and conditions that lead to the most crashes and personal injuries.
In past articles, we’ve discussed how the trucking industry recognizes the need to address distracted driving. But it’s not just truckers causing a problem. In fact, some researchers estimate that distracted driving is at the root of 25 to 50 percent of all motor vehicle crashes.
That’s an astounding number, but maybe shouldn’t be so surprising. After all, think of all the poor driving you’ve witnessed while others concentrate more on their smartphones or the kids in the back seat than on the road and driving.
Studies suggest that drivers are much more likely to crash while talking on the phone. Another form of distraction which causes many accidents is “rubbernecking,” or turning to look at another accident while passing by. But in the end, any time a motorist is not focused solely on the road and your vehicle, they’re driving while distracted – and the consequences are dangerous.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
This one probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone. We’ve probably all witnessed intoxicated drivers performing poorly behind the wheel – or heard of the tragedies drunk driving can cause.
Over the years, both society and the law have taken steps to reduce the level of intoxicated driving. Numerous advocacy groups, like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), now influence policy. States have also toughened up DUI/DWI laws and stepped up enforcement. However, driving while intoxicated is still a serious problem.
Speeding comes in at number 2 for the most common causes of accidents, and almost everyone does it at times. Maybe we’re late for work or to pick up a child. But speeding can produce a double whammy of negative consequences.
First, speeders are more likely to be involved in an accident. Second, when an accident occurs, damage and injuries are intensified by the excessive speed. So, it’s better to take a deep breath and be a little bit late than risk injury and death.
Obviously, when roads are treacherous due to weather conditions, drivers are more likely to have an accident. Unfortunately, some drivers don’t alter their behaviors sufficiently to take into account the weather.
If rain, snow, fog, ice, or other challenging conditions are present, the law may not consider it reasonable to even drive at the posted speed limit. Reasonable people must adjust to the conditions as they exist.
While not everyone may be able to exactly define aggressive driving, we know it when we see it. For example, an aggressive driver might tailgate at high rates of speed, trying to influence the actions of other drivers. Weaving unnecessarily and unsafely through multiple lanes is another common example. Aggressive drivers may even intentionally ignore and violate traffic signs and signals.
Not only is aggressive driving dangerous in its own right, but it also makes drivers around them nervous. Do not confront these drivers – just do your best to stay away from them.
Call with Questions
Society and the law demand that we drive safely. It’s the only way to keep the entire driving community safe. When people violate traffic laws or drive unsafely and cause accidents, they must be held accountable for their actions so that we all will be safer.
If you have been injured in an automobile accident, you may have questions about the law, your rights, or the other driver’s behavior. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield will be happy to answer your questions. Just give us a call.