Written by attorney Timothy R. Miley

The Seven Most Common Causes of Auto Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were over 30,000 fatal auto accidents in the US in 2010. Of that figure, 315 occurred in West Virginia. The overwhelming majority of car accidents are entirely preventable and are caused by careless or negligent driving. If you have been injured in a car accident, a Westover personal injury attorney can help you secure compensation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that car accidents in West Virginia are the leading cause of death for children, teenagers, and young adults. Considered one of the most dangerous states to drive in, there are approximately 20 car accident fatalities per 100,000.

The Seven Most Common Causes of Auto Accidents in West Virginia

Distracted Driving – One of the most common causes of auto accidents is distracted driving. Distracted driving involves taking your eyes off the road, taking your hands off the steering wheel, and / or not focusing your attention on driving the vehicle.

Driver Fatigue – The NHTSA reports that driver fatigue contributes to slower reaction time, reduced vigilance, and deficits in information processing. Auto accidents are more likely to occur after midnight, and involve drivers aged 16 to 45. Crashes that are caused by the driver falling asleep at the wheel have higher rates of death, because of speeding and slow reaction time. In other words, since the driver is asleep, they will make no attempt to avoid or mitigate the accident.

Impaired Driving – According to the CDC, almost one-third of fatal car accidents involve a drunk driver. Statistically, men are more inclined to drink and drive than women – accounting for 81 percent of impaired driving charges in 2010.

The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in West Virginia is .08 percent. Even those who fall below the BAC limit are likely to be unable to complete two tasks at once and may have delayed response times. Impaired perception, inability to maintain lane position, short-term memory loss, and speed control are all issues that will affect one’s functionality when driving impaired.

Reckless Driving – Driving aggressively or carelessly in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of people or property is grounds for a reckless driving charge in West Virginia. Running red lights and stop signs, tailgating, illegal passing, speeding, improper turns, and erratic lane changing are the reasons behind many reckless driving accidents. It is estimated that aggressive driving is involved in 56 percent of auto accidents.

Other common causes of auto accidents include:

· weather conditions – heavy rain or snow diminishes visibility and tire traction;

· road hazards – if a roadway is poorly designed or maintained, drivers are at a higher risk of auto accidents; and

· motor vehicle defects – when the automobile is defective in design, assembly, or one or more components are malfunctioning.

Contacting a Westover Personal Injury Attorney After a Car Accident

If you have been injured because of another driver’s negligence, the Westover personal injury attorneys at The Miley Legal Group can help. Distracted driving, impaired driving, reckless driving, and driver fatigue are preventable and may entitle you to compensation for your injuries. In cases where your vehicle malfunctioned and caused an accident, we can pursue a claim against the manufacturer. For a free copy of _ The 7 Biggest Mistakes that Can Wreck Your West Virginia Car Accident Claim,_ contact us today at(304) 326-1800.

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