We learn from an early age that driving is a privilege. In order to earn and keep that privilege, we’re supposed to understand how to safely operate a vehicle, as well as abide by the road laws established by our state and federal governments.
Unfortunately, some drivers neglect their safety responsibility and choose to break those necessary laws. When they do, they’re choosing to put other people’s lives at risk. If you find yourself to be the victim in an accident, it’s important to know you’re not alone. Navigating the complexities of the law after a crash can be difficult. That’s where our Charleston car accident injury attorneys come in.
In order to be a responsible driver, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with driving. Many of those risks are preventable. Let’s take a look at the top causes of car accidents in West Virginia.
Understanding Why Car Accidents Happen
Unfortunately, far too many people spend their time behind the wheel eating, checking their phones, and tending to their children or pets in the backseat. Driving while trying to complete additions tasks is incredibly dangerous. Our brains just aren’t able to handle two completely different tasks at once, especially when one is as complex as driving.
According to West Virginia’s Analysis of Fatal Crash Data for 2006 to 2010, 4.6 percent of fatal crashes in West Virginia each year are a result of distracted driving. Of those fatal crashes, more than 23 percent involved the use of a cell phone.
Speed limit signs are posted for a reason. When drivers disobey those limits, they risk losing control of their vehicle. Speeding increase their chances of colliding with another vehicle, hitting a pedestrian or construction worker in a work zone, or hitting an immobile object – especially when taking curves and turns too quickly. You may also be speeding if you’re driving too fast for the weather conditions you’re traveling through.
Between 2006 and 2010, speeding-related fatalities increased by 45 percent in West Virginia, even as the national percentage decreased. The majority of these crashes involved multiple vehicles.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is always an irresponsible choice. There is never an excuse, especially in the age of ridesharing. Alcohol affects the brain by significantly decreasing a person’s ability to concentrate on the task at hand, make quick and smart decisions, and understand what is happening around them. A person may also experience blurred vision or a lack of control over their body.
Nearly 600 people lost their lives in drunk driving accidents in West Virginia from 2006 to 2010. All of those deaths could have been prevented if other drivers had chosen to follow the law and drive responsibly.
You can also be considered driving impaired if you are fatigued. At a certain point, being tired can have a similar effect on you that drugs or alcohol would. Your concentration and decision-making abilities can greatly suffer.
When a driver decides to disregard the traffic laws that are in place for the benefit and safety of everyone on the road, they may be making a deadly decision. Some of the more common traffic violations that lead to car accidents are illegal turns, right of way errors, stop sign or stop light neglect, driving under the influence, and texting and driving.
While driving without insurance or not wearing a seatbelt may not contribute to accident rates, they can significantly impact the outcome of your crash. Driving without insurance can get you in trouble with law enforcement and driving or traveling in a vehicle with the proper restraints can increase the risk of sustaining serious injuries in the event of a collision.
Age is another factor that contributes to the number of car accidents in West Virginia every year. Younger drivers, those between the ages of 16 and 21, are more likely to find themselves in an accident because they are more likely to use their cellphone while driving, and they may not have the capacity to make the best driving decisions. Older drivers, over age 65, are susceptible to crashing because of vision limitations and decision-making abilities.
If you’ve been injured in a crash, our car accident lawyers in West Virginia are prepared to help you seek compensation for what you’ve been put through. You may be eligible for a monetary sum that assists with your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and car replacement. To learn about your legal rights and options, contact DBD Law today for a free claim evaluation.