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Driver Error: One of the Major Causes Car Crashes in the US

Every year, more than five million incidences of car crashes on US roads and highways are reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). More than two million of these crashes cause injuries, from minor scratches to serious physical harm, such as broken bones, spinal and neck injuries, damage to internal organs or brain damage; more than 30,000, however, result to victims’ instant death.

One hurting truth about car crashes is the fact that these can cause disability or the death of a friend or a loved one; it is insanely outrageous to know, however, that more than 90 percent of all car crashes are due to driver negligence or recklessness, making these totally preventable incidences.

Causes of car accidents can be categorized under two groups: those that are beyond the control of a driver, like road/highway defect or car/car part defect, and those that are within the control of a driver, such as drunk-driving, reckless driving, overspeeding and driver error.

The study conducted by the NHTSA, the 2008 National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NMVCCS), shows that driver error was the major cause of car accidents from 2005 to 2007. There are many different things which can be considered as driver error, the ones that were most often reported though, included:

  • Driving while impaired by alcohol or while fatigued or feeling drowsy
  • Texting or conversing with someone over the phone
  • Driving recklessly, speeding, driving through a red light, not allowing down at curves, not stopping at intersections, making improper lane changes, improper overtaking, not using signals before making turns, tailgating, etc
  • Speeding or driving too fast for certain road conditions
  • Not wearing a seatbelt
  • Turning one’s focus away from driving and from the road (this is one type of error that majority of drivers are guilty of. The alarming thing is that many do not consider these to be dangerous, besides the fact that these errors, more correctly called driving distractions, are often unnoticed. Some examples include eating, adjusting a radio or using an electronic device, looking at a map, conversing with a passenger, lighting a cigarette, reaching for something from the backseat or anywhere else inside the car, and so many others.

The website of the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier agrees that everyone makes mistakes. However, the said firm continues, if these mistakes are committed while driving, then these can result to a collision which can seriously injured an innocent driver, pedestrian, or another motorist.

While no driver would want to be involved in an accident, much more injure anyone, the fact remains that if he or she does injure someone else, then that other person will be faced with concerns that will definitely affect his or her financial situation, like the sudden need to pay for medical treatment and inability to report to work which will mean loss of earnings. To save an innocent victim from still experiencing financial difficulties on top of the injuries that he or she had already been made to unjustly suffer, the law allows him or her to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver for the compensation that will cover all present and financial concerns that result from the injury.

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