Common Causes of Accidents
How to Prevent Accidents with Safer Driving
The vast majority of drivers will tell you that they would never consider driving while impaired, but few people know how dangerous other driving practices can be, such as drowsy driving and texting while driving (distracted driving). If you have been involved in an accident where you or the other driver was impaired in some way, call the Charlotte motor vehicle accident attorneys at Price Petho & Associates P.L.L.C. We offer free consultations.
Sleep Deprived Driving
As one of the main causes of accidents throughout the United States, sleep deprived driving affects approximately 250,000 drivers every day. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that 100,000 crashes and 40,000 injuries annually are due to people falling asleep at the wheel, even if just for a second.
Sleep deprivation affects driving ability in several different ways. It slows reaction time, impairs judgment, and affects coordination. Much like the consumption of alcohol, fatigue can affect vision, information processing, and performance.
The warning signs of driver fatigue include:
- Feeling sleepy, groggy or exhausted
- Difficulty keeping eyes open
- Excessive yawning
- Slow reaction time
- Driving over the centerline or off to the shoulder
Driving while fatigued is especially dangerous when it involves commercial truck drivers. Given the size and weight of these vehicles, the potential for injury is greatly increased. Nearly 1/4 of all passenger vehicle traffic fatalities involve collisions with trucks.
Driving Under the Influence
When it comes to traffic-related deaths, driving under the influence is one of the worst offenders, with drunk driving accounting for nearly a third of fatalities in 2015. With recreational marijuana use on the rise, drivers show this substance appearing more in their systems as well.
Warning signs of drunk driving can include:
- Difficulty staying within lane lines
- Failure to signal or obey traffic signs
- Visible difficulty accelerating or braking
- Making unsafe maneuvers
In North Carolina, not only is it illegal to operate a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) measurement of more than 0.08%, you must also not appear visibly intoxicated. If the driver is operating a commercial vehicle, that rate is cut down to 0.04%. Repeat drunk driving offenders may have their cars seized at the arrest site, and even given to North Carolina’s school system. Penalties can include fines and imprisonment as well.
When people drive without watching what is happening on the road, they are distracted. This can be caused by eating, reaching into the backseat, talking with a passenger, or even adjusting the radio. In recent years, a more common threat to road safety has become cell phone use. When drivers use their phones, whether for calling or texting, accident rates skyrocket as a result. In 2015 alone, over 3,000 people were killed by distracted drivers.
Warning signs of distracted driving can include:
- Illumination within a car, such as the light from a cell phone screen
- Smoking, or lighting a cigarette
- Eating or drinking within a car
- Veering off the road and swerving to correct
In North Carolina, it is illegal to text while driving. For drivers under 18, as well as commercial drivers, no cell phone use is permitted whatsoever.
Have you been involved in an accident? Call the Charlotte motor vehicle accident attorneys at Price Petho & Associates P.L.L.C. today by dialing (704) 850-6322. We offer free consultations.