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What Every Driver Needs to Know About Car Accidents

Since the invention of cars, driving has become one of the most cherished conveniences that we have the privilege of using. Although driving is a convenience, there’s always the chance of an inconvenient car accident. Driving defensively and knowing the possible dangers can increase your chances of avoiding a severe crash. Here’s what every driver should know:

What Types of Road Dangers Cause Car Accidents?

One of the most common road dangers beyond a driver’s control is inclement weather. Besides slippery roads from rain, here are some other road dangers that can cause a serious car accident:

Road Design
Roads that are not designed effectively can put drivers at risk. For example, curvy roads and slopes that can cause a driver to lose control

Road Maintenance
From potholes to cracks, vehicles that encounter obstacles in the road can blow out a tire causing the driver to lose control.

Malfunctioning Traffic Lights
Unsuspecting drivers that may come upon traffic lights or signals that are not working correctly can cause a serious accident. For example, when the power goes out or traffic lights are flashing.

Construction Zones
When driving through work zones, it’s crucial for drivers to be alerted with proper signage and warnings before they get within close distance to the road construction site. Any machinery or barriers ahead without forewarning could be a potential accident waiting to happen.

Other Roadside Obstacles
Not having a clear view while driving can increase the risk of an accident. Utility poles, odd placement of signs, overgrown roadside bushes and vegetation are all potential hazards.

Vehicle Maintenance and the Impact on Road Safety

You can’t control how other people maintain their vehicles. If a motorist fails to keep their car up to standard, breakdowns and malfunctions can happen, putting other drivers at risk. Here are some common maintenance problems that can cause car accidents:

Brakes

Brakes are critical to road safety. Common reasons for brake failure may include:

  • Moisture in brakes
  • Defective brake hose
  • Corrosion/Rust
  • Brake pad overheating
  • Low or leaking brake fluid
  • Manufacturer defects and faulty parts

Headlights

Headlights are often overlooked for regular maintenance. Malfunctioning or dirty headlights can limit your visibility and driving at night can only make matters worse. Check your lights frequently to ensure they are in proper working order.

Tires

An unexpected tire blowout can cause a driver to lose control of their car, which can easily lead to an accident. Common reasons for tire blowouts can include:

  • Underinflation
  • High tire pressure
  • Vehicle overload
  • Driving over a pothole
  • Driving over glass, nails or other objects that can cause a puncture
  • Improper alignment
  • Tread separation

How Vehicle Defects Can Cause Accidents

It’s always exciting when you purchase a new vehicle, but when it comes with defects, not only does it put a damper on your excitement, your safety on the road can be put at risk.

Common Defective Products In Vehicles

  • Tires
  • Airbags
  • Wiring
  • Seatbelts
  • Fuel systems
  • Steering
  • Vehicle computers​​​​​​​

How Vehicle Defects Can Cause Harm

There are millions of recalls each year, and defective products in vehicles can cause a host of dangers to both the driver and the passenger. Drivers who may not be aware of certain defects are at an increased risk for injury or worse, death. For example, a faulty airbag that does not deploy or deploys too forcefully can cause the following injuries:

  • Brain injuries
  • Eye injuries
  • Broken bones

What is Product Liability?

Anyone who has been injured due to a vehicle defect may be entitled to a product liability claim. The following are the three types of product liability.

  • Design Defects - Product designs that may be deemed unreasonably dangerous
  • Manufacturing Defects - Product flaws due to production errors
  • Marketing Defects - This happens when a manufacturer knows about certain defects but does not give the consumer ample warning, or if the product is not labeled with sufficient instructions.

Drunk Driving and Car Accidents

Even though most people understand what the ramifications can be for drinking and driving, people are hurt or killed in car accidents every day. Drunk driving combined with other dangers on the road only compounds the likelihood of a serious or deadly car accident.

What is the Dram Shop Liability?

The state of Florida has implemented the Dram Shop Act that holds social hosts and restaurants/bars liable for accidents caused by individuals who became intoxicated in their home or establishment. Anyone who is injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver that came from any of the locations as mentioned earlier could file for additional damages. Family members may also be able to file a suit if a loved one has died in a drunk driving accident.

How Drivers Are Impaired After Drinking

A driver who decides to get in their car after drinking alcohol puts themselves and others in harm’s way. Alcohol can impair the following:

  • Reaction time
  • Judgment
  • Concentration
  • Comprehension/Interpretation
  • Coordination
  • Vision

How Drivers Get Distracted on the Road

Drivers who are distracted increase their risk of causing a car accident. Unlike certain road dangers, distracted driving can be avoidable. Some common distractions include:

Cell Phone Use

Texting or talking on the phone while driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents and in the state of Florida, it is illegal.

Taking Eyes Off The Road

Whether attending to children arguing in the backseat or peering at a broken down vehicle, taking eyes off the road for five seconds at 55 miles per hour equates to driving the length of a football field practically with your eyes closed.

Eating or Drinking

Eating or drinking a beverage while driving means you have to take your hands off the steering wheel. Even though cup holders may be convenient for keeping your drink within reach, it’s best to save your sips for when your car is in park or when you reach your destination.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries sustained. Contact Viles & Beckman, LLC at (239) 208-5223 for a free case evaluation. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can answer all of your questions and explain your rights.