An image of a head-on collision between a silver and a dark gray car.

5 Reasons Why Car Accidents Happen and How to Prevent Them According to Accident Injury Lawyers in Greensburg, PA

You or someone you know has likely been in at least one traffic accident. Car crashes are an unfortunate part of everyday life, with about 286 reportable crashes occurring across the state of Pennsylvania alone each day. With so many accidents, it can be intimidating to drive. Learning what causes accidents and how to prevent them can help give you the tools to be a safer driver.

Look no further if you have been looking for accident injury lawyers in Greensburg, PA, to help you navigate the legal parts of a car accident. At Westmoreland Injury Lawyers, we help accident victims recover the compensation they deserve after their crash.

1. Distractions

Distractions are an enormous factor in accidents. Looking away from the road for just a few seconds is enough to prevent you from seeing a car cut you off dangerously close or run through a stop sign. Distractions can be everything from looking back at your children when they make a loud noise to trying to grab at your phone if it falls under your passenger seat while you’re driving. You may also find yourself distracted by a billboard with lots of words or the beautiful scenery outside the car.

While it’s tempting to look away from the road for a few seconds for various reasons, you must keep your eyes focused on driving. Do not try to read anything, and if you get any text messages or phone calls, it is better to ignore them. Anything you might see on your phone can wait until you arrive safely at your destination.

RUNNING RED LIGHTS

Running red lights can be due to distracted driving or a driver who cannot see the traffic light. Running through a red light can cause a driver to impact another vehicle at high speed, causing a collision that is likely to damage both vehicles extensively and, in some cases, leads to injury for one or more people in the cars.

Teen Drivers

A young driver is looking at her phone instead of looking at the road while she is at the wheel.

Young drivers are particularly susceptible to distractions, as they are often convinced they are unlikely to suffer from an injury due to a car accident. They believe they are invincible—those bad things will never happen to them! This false belief makes them feel more comfortable texting, playing with the radio, and making other dangerous choices like driving impaired.

Teen drivers also lack the experience that makes them more likely to get into accidents, so insurance companies charge more for their insurance coverage. Driving is a skill, and it takes time to develop the abilities needed to make snap decisions in difficult driving situations. Their inexperience can lead to panic and, ultimately, accidents.

Auto injury lawyers in Greensburg, PA, often see clients who have been injured from these types of accidents, so it is essential to be aware of your surroundings and limit your distractions when you drive.

2. Impairment

Despite media campaigns discouraging impaired driving, people still choose to consume alcohol or partake in recreational drugs and get behind the wheel of a vehicle. When driving impaired, the senses are dulled, and reaction times are not as quick as when you are of a sound mind.

However, drugs and alcohol are not the only types of impairment that cause driving issues. Sleep deprivation is just as dangerous, and you should not drive a vehicle when you are tired. Try to get an adequate number of hours of sleep each night before operating any motor vehicle.

3. Disobeying Speed Limits

When you are on the open road, and there are no other vehicles around, it can be easy to speed and not think about it as you enjoy a sunny day with the windows rolled down. But that’s a dangerous scenario, even without other vehicles on the road. If an animal darts across the street or you lose control of your car, your speed can be the reason you crash and suffer from an injury.

If you have been involved in an accident with a driver going over the speed limit, you may need to speak with an auto injury lawyer in Greensburg, PA, to get the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

4. Driving Recklessly

You may be a reckless driver without realizing it. You can define several behaviors as irresponsible, including weaving in and out of traffic and slamming on the brakes often because you are regularly distracted.

Cars can slow much faster than a tractor-trailer can. Driving recklessly can also look like a car cutting a tractor-trailer off and then slowing down quickly or slamming on the brakes. This behavior endangers both the vehicle and the truck driver and can cause a severe accident.

In any situation where a driver is blatantly disregarding the safety of other drivers by ignoring the rules of the road, they are a reckless driver.

TAILGATING

Everyone has stories about an aggressive driver who got too close to their bumper on the highway, but that is not the only form of tailgating. You have also tailgated if you’ve been in a traffic jam situation and were stuck between two cars with very little space between the vehicles. Either of these scenarios can lead to an accident, but the damages and injuries are likely different because of how fast the cars were going.

Tailgating is dangerous, and you should always give yourself space between vehicles. While small, minimally damaging fender benders are common from tailgating, you may also be involved in a much more serious accident in some situations. You never know when someone will need to use their brakes and how fast you will be able to react to that.

Poor weather conditions

Sometimes, driving in less-than-ideal weather conditions is necessary. Unfortunately, operating a vehicle in the rain or snow puts you in greater danger of an accident. Even if you are a cautious driver, losing control on black ice or a puddle of water is higher in bad weather. When you are in poor weather, remember to keep your headlights on, drive cautiously, and eliminate distractions.

An image of the driver’s view of the road at night, with the dashboard of the car lit up.

5. Night Driving

While some people prefer to drive at night because fewer cars are on the road, more dangers are associated with driving at night. Limited visibility means you cannot see things until they are close to your vehicle, whether an animal or another car that has failed to utilize headlights.

How Do You Prevent Car Accidents?

While accidents are not entirely preventable, there are ways you can drive to mitigate your risk and reduce the odds of causing an accident and filing an insurance claim.

  • Be Mindful of Speed: Slow down when driving, especially in conditions that are not ideal for driving. Rain and snow are hazardous, and you should adjust your speed based on the weather conditions.
  • Stay Alert: It’s easy to be distracted while driving, both inside and outside your car. Avoid distractions by driving with your phone off or tucked away, and always pull over if you must make a phone call. If you are on a long drive and stop for food, always stay parked while you eat. If something is rolling around on your back seat and you don’t know it, wait until your vehicle is parked to turn around and look. Never take your eyes off the road.
  • Give Yourself Space: While driving, it is essential to keep distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. All it takes is one vehicle slamming on its brakes to cause a pile-up in the right conditions.
  • Use Turn Signals: Turn signals help the drivers around you understand where you are going and your intentions. When you use turn signals, you make turning, moving into a different lane, or slowing down more manageable and less dangerous for the other drivers around you. Then, the other drivers can act accordingly.
  • Check Your Mirrors: Some drivers get into the habit of staring straight ahead, carefully watching the car in front of them. This routine can be a dangerous way to drive, as you are so focused on the vehicle in front of you that you aren’t paying attention to what’s behind you or beside you. Check your mirrors now and again to assess what vehicles are behind you and what other drivers are doing around your car. This action can potentially help you prevent an accident, especially if you notice a reckless driver in your rearview mirror.

Need Car Accident Injury Lawyers in Greensburg, PA?

After a car accident, you may feel overwhelmed and anxious. However, it is crucial to get the legal representation you deserve as quickly as possible. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, speaking to an attorney can help determine if you have a compensation case. Get in touch with us today for a professional legal evaluation! Let Westmoreland Injury Lawyers be your car accident injury lawyers in Greensburg, PA.

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