What Are the Leading Causes of Roadway Auto Accidents?

The main causes of car accidents in California are excessive speed, impaired driving, distracted driving, poor road conditions, and vehicle malfunctions.

Minor car accidents tend to result from minor mistakes, such as not noticing that there is another car behind you when you back out of a parking space or not slowing down fast enough in a line of cars parked at a red light. The most destructive car accidents, however, tend to result from much more egregiously dangerous behavior, not just a split-second error in judgment. These are five factors that can cause traffic accidents that result in serious injuries. If you have suffered serious injuries in one of these types of car accidents, contact a Murrieta car accident lawyer.

Dangerously High Speeds

The speed at which the striking vehicle was traveling is one of the most important factors that influences how seriously the occupants of the struck vehicle will be injured. Driving at speeds high enough to get a reckless driving charge is much more likely to cause a fatality accident than driving the speed limit but colliding with another car under otherwise similar circumstances. That is why it is possible to get a reckless driving criminal charge for driving at excessive speeds even if you do not cause an accident.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

It is difficult to overestimate the dangers posed by drunk driving; one of the biggest factors that have made the roads safer than they were a generation ago is that drunk driving is now illegal everywhere. Despite this, alcohol continues to play a role in a disproportionate number of car accidents. Driving under the influence of legal substances, such as alcohol or cannabis, prescription medications, or illegal drugs can impair a person’s driving ability enough to cause catastrophic accidents, which is why DUI is illegal whether or not you cause a collision.

Distracted Driving

Drivers who are paying attention to their cell phones, or anything else besides the road, can make a big enough mistake to cause an accident involving serious injuries. California law imposes penalties for cell phone use by people operating motor vehicles, but cell phones are not the only distraction that can lead to car accidents. Trying to drive while eating food or applying makeup is just as dangerous. Letting pets ride in the car without harnesses is dangerous, too; try staying focused on the road when a dalmatian suddenly leaps from the back seat onto your lap.

Dangerous Road Conditions and Vehicle Defects

Sometimes factors other than driving errors contribute to car accidents. Poorly maintained roads and adverse weather conditions such as heavy rain, icy roads, or smoke in the air can increase the risk of a collision. Likewise, poorly maintained vehicles and those with manufacturing defects can malfunction and cause accidents.

Contact a Murrieta Car Accident Lawyer

No matter the cause of your accident, a car accident lawyer can help you recover damages. Contact Gibbs & Fuerst LLP in Murrieta, California to set up a consultation about your car accident case.