You’re a good driver who follows the rules, and it can be frustrating when other people don’t. Most of the time, your frustration is just about the annoyance of a delay because someone cut you off and you got stuck at a red light as a result. But sometimes when other drivers fail to follow the rules or to behave reasonably in traffic, they can cause collisions and you might find yourself the victim of a car crash.
In Georgia, even though all drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care not to injure others, car crashes/collisions are a leading cause of personal injury and death. Regardless of the severity of the incident, victims often experience substantial pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost wages, medical expenses and property damage.
Car crashes/collisions are usually caused by a driver’s negligence, and may involve distracted driving, speeding, impaired driving, improper turning or improper lane change, fatigue, failure to yield, following too close and improper maintenance.
Aside from from those listed above, other factors can contribute to dangerous car accidents, some of which include:
- Drivers who are impaired by illegal drugs or even lawfully prescribed medications.
- Dangerous road conditions. This includes obstacles in the road (such as objects that have fallen out of vehicles), animals crossing the road, poor weather conditions such as the wind, rain, fog, ice or snow.
- Hazardous road design or layout, as well as defects in the road that need repair. Potholes, shrubs or other objects that obstruct the view and other surface conditions can cause accidents.
- Mechanical failure and defects in automotive design.
A car crash/collision can have a profound effect on your life. You may suffer significant injuries that leave you unable to work while you recover, or even permanently. If you were seriously hurt, you may have to have surgeries or other treatments for your injuries. You may have been psychologically traumatized by the crash and are afraid to get behind the wheel of a car again, and that may be harming your ability to live your normal daily life. You’re probably getting numerous medical bills, while your household bills may be falling behind because you can’t work the way you did before.
If your car crash/collision was caused by someone else’s negligent, reckless, or intentional behavior, there may be help for you.
When you make a claim for damages, it’s your responsibility to prove that you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. That involves establishing a few important things:
- The other driver acted negligently, recklessly, or intentionally
- The other driver’s actions caused the crash/collision
- You suffered harm that can be compensated
- Your harm was caused by the crash/collision
The U.S. Department of Transportation has taken it upon itself to lead the effort against distracted driving, particularly texting and cellphone use behind the wheel.
Common forms of distracted driving include:
- Texting while driving
- Using a cellphone or a smartphone
- Eating or drinking
- Using a navigational system
- Applying cosmetics
- Adjusting the radio, DVD player, CD player, or an MP3 player
Due to the fact that sending and receiving text messages require visual, manual and cognitive attention from the driver, texting while driving is the most alarming and dangerous form of driver distraction.
Here are some vehicle crash facts, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis:
- In 2015 there were an estimated 6,296,000 police-reported traffic crashes, in which 35,092 people were killed and an estimated 2,443,000 people were injured.
- An average of 96 people died each day in motor vehicle crashes in 2015, one fatality every 15 minutes.
- Fatality rates per 100,000 population (10.92) and per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT, 1.13) in 2015 have both increased compared to 2014 (10.27 and 1.08, respectively).
- In 2015 there were 10,265 alcohol impaired-driving fatalities, representing an average of one alcohol-impaired driving fatality every 51 minutes.
- Thirty-three percent of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were speeding in 2015, the highest of any vehicle type.
- NHTSA estimates that 13,941 lives were saved on the roadways in 2015 by the use of seat belts.
- On average, a pedestrian is killed in a motor vehicle crash every 1.6 hours, and one is injured about every 7.5 minutes.
- Drivers 15 to 20 years old made up 9 percent of drivers in fatal crashes, and 12 percent of those in all police-reported crashes.
- Of the 181 children 14 and younger who died in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes, 51 percent were passengers of vehicles where the drivers had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of .08 g/dL or higher.
- Fifteen percent of the U.S. population was 65 or older in 2015. They accounted for 18 percent of all those killed and 10 percent of all those injured in traffic crashes.
- The dollar costs associated with so many crashes are significant. In 2010, the most recent year for which cost data is available, NHTSA reported the following:
- Each fatality resulted in an average discounted lifetime economic cost of $1.4 million,
- and an average comprehensive cost of $9.1 million.
- The comprehensive cost of alcohol impaired crashes was $201.1 billion.
- The comprehensive cost of bicyclist and other cyclist crashes alone was $21.7 billion.
- The comprehensive cost of all vehicle crashes was $835.8 billion.
- Economic costs alone, which include things like medical costs, emergency medical services, lost productivity, and others, total $242 billion.
Source: NHTSA’s NCSA publication, Traffic Safety Facts, 2015 Data, February 2017,
DOT HS 812 376
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car crash/collision because of another party’s negligent or reckless conduct, let us help. Our goal is to secure the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on your physical and emotional recovery. Contact us today.