Car Accidents & Their Causes

Car Accidents & Their Causes

The crushing impact, shattering glass, flailing objects, and bodily injury combine to make auto accidents among the most frightening experiences you may ever endure. Despite advances in vehicle technology and safety design, car crashes continue to be a leading cause of death in the U.S. and around the world.

The Centers for Disease Control found that between 2003-2012, almost 2,000 people tragically lost their lives in traffic accidents in the state of Connecticut alone.

In most cases, accidents can be prevented through a combination of greater driver awareness and adhering to our state’s traffic laws. It continues to be a fact that all too often car accidents are caused by the reckless decision of others.

Car accident attorneys can be your biggest ally when dealing with the aftermath of a car accident that was another driver’s fault. An experienced attorney, like those at The Flood Law Firm, can help you secure compensation for your medical treatment, property damage, and other expenses related to your accident, regardless of its cause.

Top 10 Causes of Car Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration leads our nation’s research on automotive safety and legislative initiatives. Each year they compile data on traffic incidents across the U.S. Based on these findings, the following is a shortlist of frequent car accident causes:

10. Car Parts Failure

Automobiles have hundreds of parts, some are mechanical and some electric. Any of these can fail, whether from general wear and tear or manufacturer defect.

Example: by not using your emergency brake you may be in danger of having it deteriorate and fail. Regular maintenance ensures that your car is in top working order.

Family Safety Tip: registering your vehicle with the manufacturer’s website keeps you informed of any part recalls.

difficult driving conditions in connecticut rain storm9. Road Conditions

The shape of the road itself can lead to an accident, especially when combined with negative driving behaviors, such as speeding. Pavement quality, sharp curves, and steep inclines can all contribute to car crashes.

8. Bad Weather

Being unable to see beyond the hood of your car due to snow, rain or fog is one of the scariest driving conditions. In Connecticut, snow, rain, and sleet are leading weather-related causes of accidents. Vehicles with all-wheel drive are better equipped for inclement weather. Remember to drive a little slower on days with rainfall or sleet, it could save a life.

7. Reckless Driving

Running red lights, rolling through stop signs, driving the wrong way down a one-way street, and crossing over into a lane without using your blinker are some examples of reckless driving habits. This reckless, negligent behavior hurts hundreds from our state every year.

6. Elderly Drivers

For elderly adults, driving contributes to a positive feeling about the ability to remain independent, despite increasing health concerns. Unfortunately, changes in vision and cognitive ability are leading factors in accidents caused by older drivers. Elderly people who drive should be sure to have their vision checked every year.

Family Safety Tip: ride-share programs like Uber or Lyft can also be a great option for older people, giving them a feeling of independence and allowing them to go where they want when they want, and maybe even make a new friend!

5. Young Drivers

In 2014, the NHTSA found there were 1,678 young drivers (ages 16-20) who died in car crashes. Teens are more likely to be distracted, to speed, or engage in other reckless driving behaviors. Gender plays a significant factor in the reckless behavior of younger drivers too, with boys more predisposed than girls. Talking with your teens about the reality of reckless and distracted driving is one way to keep them safe on the road.

4. Tailgating

Being rear-ended by another car often results in excruciating neck and back injuries. The driver whose front end meets another car’s rear is almost always found to be at-fault. Following another car too closely gives little to no brake time for abrupt stops. The rule of thumb is to always allow three seconds of time between you and another vehicle; double it to six seconds during bad weather.

3. Speeding

Unless you’re a professional racecar or stunt driver, staying within the posted speed limit will save you money and possibly your life. According to the NHTSA, 9,262 people died in speeding-related crashes in 2014. Fines for speeding in Connecticut range from $35-to over $500 to discourage people from this deadly habit.

2. Driving Under the Influence

Drinking and driving has always been a terrible combination. Alcohol-impaired driving accounted for 39% of all fatal crashes in Connecticut in 2014. Driving under the influence can include prescription and recreational drugs, too. For example, drowsiness is one prescription side effect that can impair driving ability. In fact, drowsy driving accounted for 846 fatalities in 2014.

Be Smart: if you’ve been drinking or feel unable to drive due to a medication side effect, we live in a wonderful time of services like Lyft and Uber, in addition to our taxi system.

1. Distracted Driving

It seems like no matter where you go, people are always on their smartphones. What’s not very smart is using your phone or texting while driving. Not only is it illegal, but distracted driving also took the lives of some 3,179 people in the U.S. in 2014. Putting your phone away while driving is the surest way to stop distracted driving behavior. No text message is worth a life.

Protecting Yourself After a Car Accident

In any accident, regardless of the cause, the highest priority is your health. When anyone on the scene of an accident has been injured, seek immediate medical attention. Following an accident, your body releases adrenaline to help you escape danger. This reaction is meant to save you in a high-stakes situation, but may mask the severity of your injures.

Medical attention is therefore always recommended after an accident. A visit to the doctor is not only good for your health, but it can also help build your case should you choose to file an auto accident lawsuit against the at-fault party.

If the police haven’t been called to the scene, contact them immediately. If you are able, record the details of the scene and any injuries to your body and damages to your car by taking photos.

Exchange names, phone numbers, driver’s license, and insurance information with the other party. Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as you are able, but do not provide written statements without consulting a car accident lawyer.

How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help You

It is within your legal right to pursue damages against the driver who injured you. This allows you to be compensated for your suffering, which may include medical expenses and property damage. Getting what you are owed, without the help of an attorney, may be difficult.

While most minor injuries can be covered by an auto insurance policy, most settlement offers wouldn’t even come close to the total lifetime costs for injuries like wrongful death or paraplegia. In addition, insurance companies often put their company’s profit over the needs of individuals injured in auto accidents. Standing up to their tactics, on top of pain and suffering, can be too much for a victim to bear.

A qualified car accident lawyer can maximize the compensation you win. In fact, The Flood Law Firm has helped hundreds of car accident victims across Connecticut secure millions in compensation.

We understand the negative emotional and financial impacts of car accidents and how important compensation is to our clients. That is why we aggressively represent our clients in and out of court, helping to ensure the most favorable outcome for them.

To get you started on the path towards justice, we offer free case evaluations and you pay nothing if we don’t win your case.

Let us take over the burden of dealing with the legal issues related to your auto accident, so you can focus on healing. Contact us today. We can help you better understand your legal options during a 100% free case evaluation that is absolutely at no obligation to you.

Brian Flood


Brian has dedicated his entire legal career to helping accident victims. By choice, he has never represented the interests of an insurance company.

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