Common Car Driver Mistakes Revealed

Driving a motor vehicle requires a great deal of skill on the part of the driver. When on the wheel, you need to be in control and focused to avoid getting involved in a car accident. While we acknowledge that humans do make mistakes, this is unacceptable when you are on the road. A Milwaukee car accident lawyer will tell you that one tiny mistake on the wheel can have devastating consequences. In this article, we shall look at the common driver mistakes.

  1. Being Distracted On The Wheel
    Distractions should be avoided when you are on the wheel. A report by Governors Highway Safety Association revealed that texting and other electronic usage contributes to 25% of all crashes. A 2009 study of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that distracted driving caused 5,500 vehicular-related deaths.
  2. Overcrowding The Car
    A 2008 study that was published in the Archives of Pediatric Medicine revealed that carrying more than two passengers makes the car three times more at risk of getting involved in a fatal crash. So avoid loading your car with passengers beyond its capacity.
  3. Following Too Closely
    By driving too closely, you are not giving yourself enough time to react in case the car in front of you makes a sudden stop. At a speed limit of 60 mph, you would need between 120 to 140 feet to make a full stop. This translates to 88 feet per second. For this reason, you need to maintain proper following distance.
  4. Not Wearing A Seat Belt
    Most states now have stringent seat belt laws that penalize drivers who are not buckled up. Most cars today have seat belt reminders that flash warning lights or chimes until your belt is secured. While this can be annoying, it can help save your life.

Car accident statistics are staggering and you do not want to be part of it. Knowing these mistakes can help prevent car accidents and keep you safe when on the wheel.

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DUI Accidents and Personal Injury and Insurance Claims

Just about every state in the US has their own laws regarding drunk driving, often known as DUI or DWI (driving while intoxicated). DUI is considered as one of the leading causes of deaths for road accidents, and the penalties are often very stiff and long-lasting. When you have been injured or involved in a car accident due to the other driver being under the influence of alcohol or illegal substance, it may be easier to get compensation after you have filed for a personal injury claim.

Filing for a personal injury claim against the offending party and their insurance company would be smoother. First thing to do in order to have compensation for all the damages and injuries you have suffered is to file a claim to the offending party’s insurance company. According to the website of Williams Kherker, before going to the court to file a personal injury lawsuit, it may be better to talk with the offending driver’s insurance company for a possible settlement. The law requires every driver to carry at least the minimum amount needed for car insurance. Informing the insurance company about your plan to talk about possibly reaching a settlement before going to court may even be a more fruitful decision, as many insurance companies would rather settlement a claim than have it brought up to court.

Filing a third-party claim would possibly yield even more compensation than going to court, especially if the offending driver is has a DUI conviction from the court. Drunk driving is heavily frowned upon, and most judge or jury often give harsher penalties or fines against the offending driver for their negligent actions that caused harm or danger to other motorists or pedestrians. Most often than not the verdict is in favor of the victim, and the offending driver and their insurance company would end up paying more. This is the main reason why many insurance companies prefer to have a settlement because they will not have to pay as much. This is also in your best interest, as going to court may cost money and time. In order to have fair settlement and to determine how much is the right compensation, it is advised to consult and even hire a personal injury lawyer to cover the laws that may affect your case.

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Reckless Driving

Traffic laws are put in place to protect people on or near the road. Reckless driving, however minor it may seem, disregards these laws and puts drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists in danger. The most common reckless driving activities are speeding, tailgating, drunk, drowsy, or distracted driving, running red lights or stop signs, and failure to use a turn signal. Unfortunately, reckless driving is one of the top causes of accidents on the road, and these accidents are preventable.

Cell phone usage has caused distracted driving to become one of the leading causes of traffic accidents. Distracted driving has grown to include activities like texting, eating, using a navigation system, and adjusting the radio or music device. Texting is the most dangerous distraction because it requires manual, visual, and cognitive attention from the driver. The largest number of distracted driving accidents occurred among drivers younger than 20. Of these accidents, 21% were because of cell phone usage.

Drunk driving is widely considered the leading cause of traffic fatalities in the U.S., accounting for 31% of traffic related deaths in 2010. However, speeding is often overlooked as another leading cause of traffic fatalities, despite the fact that it is one of the most common reckless driving activities. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are about 10,500 speeding-related traffic fatalities each year. An article from the Law Offices of Vic Feazell website explains that the most common ways that speeding threatens others include:

  • Reduced control of your vehicle
  • Decreased ability to react to oncoming collisions or road conditions
  • Compromising the function of vehicular safety features
  • Increased probability of damage in the event of an accident

Speeding accidents are entirely preventable, and drivers who choose to ignore speed limits put themselves and others in unnecessary danger.

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Who Is Responsible for Maintaining the Roads?

It is the driver’s responsibility to drive safely, but his safe driving can only go so far. Outside factors such as weather, vehicle defects, and road defects can all be causes of serious accidents that even a safe and defensive driver can’t avoid or control. According to the website of the Abel Law Firm, if roadside safety is not maintained, then even the safest driver can be in danger of getting into an accident.

Road defects such as potholes, defective traffic lights, lack of guardrails and many others can all count as factors that can endanger the lives of motorists and pedestrians alike. It is the government’s task to uphold and maintain these road safety measures, and if they don’t do this job they can held liable for any accident that occur in their area. Competent management of the road safety features saves lives; guardrails, for example, play a vital role in maintaining proper roadside safety. They serve as:

1.Prevention from going over the edge of an elevated area of the road
2.Protection from skidding onto a body of water on the side of the road
3.Absorber of the force of impact during an accident
4.Redirecting vehicles to the right side of the road
5.Avoiding roll-over accidents

Installing guardrails is something the government should always be keen to look into; however, installing the wrong type of guardrail is just as dangerous as not installing them at all. There are certain types or models of guardrails that can cause more harm than good, and some states are even banning in using them on their roads.

Guardrails are barriers that need to be maintained and posted in places where they are most needed. In high-speed roads such as the freeways, these barriers help vehicles from veering off the road. They help prevent or stop a small accident from becoming a major incident. Guardrails, together with proper road signs (or lights) are the things that keep traffic flowing safely and freely.

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