Motor vehicle accidents are among the most common forms of accidental injury in the United States. In New York alone, thousands of people every year are injured or killed as a result of an accident involving a car, truck, motorcycle, or other motor vehicle. These accidents, which are often preventable, become more likely depending on how drivers choose to act. Here are five common things drivers do that increases the risk of a motor vehicle accident:
- By far the greatest contributor to motor vehicle accidents is speeding. There are many reasons that people will fail to adhere to speed limits, including impatience, inattentiveness, or simply keeping up with other cars on the highway. Whatever the reason, however, speeding both increases the likelihood of an accident by making it harder to react to potential hazards, as well as increasing the harm inflicted when an accident does occur. Thus, one of the most important things you can do to avoid an accident is to be mindful of your speed, and ensure you leave enough space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you to stop if you need to.
Failure to keep up maintenance
- Another common contributor to motor vehicle accidents is the failure to keep your vehicle properly maintained. The reason this happens is fairly mundane, of course: doing proper maintenance on a car or other vehicle can be quite expensive, and many people will put off maintenance as long as possible to save costs. However, doing this makes it more likely that one or more parts of your vehicle will fail at an inopportune moment, resulting in an accident. Thus, while maintenance can be expensive, always remember that being in an accident is way more expensive, both in terms of the damage to your wallet and your health.
- Modern conveniences allow for many diversions to be available at any time, which unfortunately includes text messaging on our cell phones. Our cell phones, while convenient, are also distracting to drivers, and unfortunately many drivers seem unable to pull themselves away from the pull of text messaging and social media. The result is that drivers take their eyes off the road, making it that much more likely that they will get into an accident. Avoiding this problem is simple: keep your hands off your cell phone while you are driving, and only use a hands-free set if you must make a call.
Driving on slippery roads
- Bad conditions on the road, obviously, can increase the likelihood of an accident, particularly if it is slippery or icy. This can be a harder hazard to avoid than many of the other contributing factors, since you do not always have an option about the road conditions you need to drive on. However, if you can, avoid driving when road conditions are bad, and when you absolutely must drive on a slippery or icy road, make sure to drive slowly to maintain control of your vehicle.
Driving under the influence (DUI) / Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- While the term typically refers to the consumption of alcohol, driving while under the influence of any mind-altering substance can substantially increase the likelihood of an accident. Whether the drug in question is legal to consume is irrelevant; what matters is how the substance affects your judgment and ability to react to potential hazards. If you have consumed alcohol or any other kind of drug to a degree where you can feel its effects on your mind or your body, you should not be driving, and you should intervene if you see someone else attempting to drive while under the influence.
If you or someone you know has been struck by a vehicle, you should seek legal representation as soon as possible. An attorney experienced in personal injury matters will be able to advise you on how to receive the compensation you deserve. Put the experienced Brooklyn personal injury attorneys of Georgaklis & Mallas, PLLC on your side to vigorously represent you and fight for the compensation you and your family deserves. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (718) 238-2400.