Causes of Car Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and car manufacturers are working tirelessly to make both roads and cars as safe as possible from any type of accident. Accidents are definitely avoidable occurrences, if drivers would only religiously observe traffic safety rules and keep their focus on the road.

The various causes of motor vehicle accidents can be grouped under two categories: those beyond drivers’ control, such as poor road condition, and car defects or sub-standard car parts; and, those within the control of drivers, like driver distraction, driver error, overspeeding, reckless driving and driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

Cracked asphalt, ruts, potholes and ice patches are but just a few of the factors that make driving a rough experience for millions of Americans. And unless the government comes up with the solution to acquire the fund needed to keep roads and highways in good condition, motorists will continue to absorb the effects, which include more fuel consumption and more costly vehicle maintenance and repair.

On the part of car manufacturers, while trusted names continue to research and introduce modern technological devices (some of which are the Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake, the Forward Collision Warning system or the Obstacle Avoidance technology) that will help reduce incidences of accidents involving cars, as well as ensure the high-quality of manufactured car parts, the same in not a guarantee with regard to aftermarket car part manufacturers. Thus, quality standards, which all car part producers need to comply with, have been set by the government.

With regard to causes of accidents that are within the control of drivers, the NHTSA has only been more determined in making and enforcing laws that will make drivers realize the importance of driving safely, of keeping their focus on the road, of not being a threat on the road, and of not being a cause of disruption to safe traffic flow.

Besides the law prohibiting the use of a cell phone or hand-held phone while driving, traffic authorities have also become more visible on roads and highways to discourage anyone from possibly attempting to violate road safety rules and to catch those who inconsiderately violate these.

Drunk-drivers compose another group of violators that the NHTSA and traffic enforcers have tightened the fight against. Though the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit observed in all US states is 0.08% (0.04% for truck and other commercial vehicle drivers and zero tolerance for those below 21 years old), research has proven that a 0.05% level is enough to impair a person, lessening his/her reflexes and ability to avoid emergency conditions. This explains why drunk driving will always be a road threat.

Thus, anyone caught with a BAC level higher than 0.08% can be charged with a DWI or driving while intoxicated. The offense and the punishments become more serious and heavier, respectively, if a drunk-driver causes an accident and seriously injures or kills anyone in the process. Other than a criminal charge, the driver can face jail time, costly fines and revocation or suspension of his/her license. In some instances, the court may also order the installation of an Ignition Interlock or a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) inside the driver’s vehicle. This device will not allow the vehicle to start if it detects even a 0.02% level (the usual pre-determined limit of the device) of alcohol in the driver’s breath.

Besides a criminal offense, the driver who caused the accident can also face a civil lawsuit if someone was injured or killed in the accident. A Houston personal injury lawyer should be one of the persons that the victim or the victim’s family contacts if the accident happened in Austin, Texas. Legal counsel explain to the victim and her family all her rights and the compensation that the law entitles her to receive.

5 Responses to “Causes of Car Accidents”

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