The common but dangerous causes of car crashes

Car crashes are commonly referred to as “accidents.” But most of them are only accidents in the sense that they were not the driver’s intended outcome. When you consider that people often engage in driving behaviors they know to be dangerous, is the resulting crash truly an accident?

Operating a motor vehicle safely requires training, patience, attention and caution. We can’t always drive under these ideal conditions, but we should at least avoid the most serious risk factors. According to a recent study, the majority of car crashes can be attributed to four driver factors: fatigue, error, impairment and distraction.

A multi-year study from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute involved installing cameras and other data-gathering instruments in the cars of volunteers. Over time, drivers began to ignore these devices, meaning that they drove as though they weren’t being observed.

In all, researchers counted 1,600 “verified crash events,” about 905 of which were considered higher-severity. In 90 percent of those serious crashes, at least one of the four factors mentioned above was present.

Distracted driving (related to cellphones and other devices) is obviously a hazard; as is drunk/drugged driving. But did you know that people who drive when feeling highly emotional can be 10 times as likely to be involved in crash? Those who drive well over the speed limit are about 13 times more likely to crash.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident caused by another driver, it may not have been an “accident” in the true sense of the word. Negligent driving may have been a factor, and if so, you could be entitled to receive appropriate compensation.