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Why do Most Car Accidents Occur?

why do car accidents happen?

You know you are a safe driver and have an excellent record of safety for all of the years you’ve been driving. That is until you have a car accident.

It can happen to anyone. In Alabama, in your lifetime, you have a more than one-in-three chance of being in a car accident that involves serious injury or death.

According to the University of Alabama Center for Advanced Public Safety (CAPS), in 2018 there were 159,925 car accidents in Alabama which resulted in 953 deaths. This represents an increase in accidents and fatalities from the previous year, and the trends show there is a steady increase in the number of car crashes in Alabama every year.  

There is a traffic crash every 3 minutes and 17 seconds, and a traffic injury every 11 minutes and five seconds. Someone is killed in an Alabama car accident every 9 hours and 10 minutes, according to state statistics.

Hopefully, you will avoid a car accident, but the odds are it will happen sooner or later.

After your accident, you may be facing pain and suffering, high medical bills, and loss of wages.

In more serious cases, there may be permanent disability, the death of dismemberment of a child or children, or of one or both parents happens every day on our roads.  

Causes of Alabama Car Accidents

In order to address those increasing numbers of car accidents, it’s important to understand why most car accidents occur.

According to Drive Safe Alabama, most crashes happen in urban areas, but most fatalities occur in rural areas.  More than half of those killed were not wearing a seatbelt, which is the simplest, most effective thing you can do to save a life.

Hitting another vehicle or a fixed object were the leading types of total crashes in 2018, according to Drive Safe Alabama.

Some of the most common causes of Alabama car accidents include:

  • Speeding – The DOT says speeding leads the list of contributing factors in fatal crashes in Alabama. Our state is ranked #12 out of 50 for speed-related crash fatalities.

  • Failure to yield the right-of-way – This is considered the leading cause of most non-fatal crashes according to the 2018 state crash facts. There were more than 23-thousand crashes resulting from this cause which led to 96 fatalities.

  • Tailgating – Led to 22,472 car crashes in Alabama in 2018 which includes 4 deaths. Plan on one car length for every 10 mile increments, so going 70 mph means you need to have seven car lengths between your car and the car ahead.

  • Misjudged Stopping Distance – Similar to tailgating, this driving habit caused 13,837 crashes and five deaths.
  • Distraction – This can include anything from changing the radio station, retrieving a cellphone from the floor, texting, grooming, and even talking on the phone.  The DOT reports being distracted took the focus off the driving in 10,698 crashes in Alabama in 2015. A texting driver raises his chances of getting into a crash 23 times when compared to a non-texting driver.

  • Drugs or Alcohol – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs leads to a fatal crash 6.9 times more than all crashes in general. Consider nearly 6,000 Alabama drivers received citations for drug or alcohol use while behind the wheel. One does not have to be drunk to have impaired judgment and prescription drugs can affect the driver just as badly as illegal drugs.
  • Weather – Alabama car accidents can happen whenever there is a disruption to the normal course of driving. For example, rain or snow can entirely change the conditions on the road and most drivers should lower their speed by about 10 mph.  Many people do not.  It will be more difficult to stop and slow down under challenging conditions.

  • Teen Drivers – Car accidents are a leading cause of death for teenagers who are twice as likely to crash as a young adult.  Driver inexperience, speeding and aggressive and/or reckless driving leads to those crashes and deaths, according to the Alabama Public Health Department. Of all fatal crashes in our state in 2018, 9% were caused by drivers age 19 or younger and 20 % were caused by drivers under the age of 25.

Your Alabama Car Accident Attorney

If you are involved in a car accident in Alabama, please do not make a statement to the driver or the insurance representative at the scene.  Under Alabama’s contributory negligence law, you could lose your right to compensation if you are found to have contributed even 1% to your accident.

Attorney J. Allan Brown will want to consult with you as soon as you can after the accident. He is a compassionate and knowledgeable lawyer who is experienced in the area of automobile accidents in Mobile and around Alabama. Call our office today at 251-220-3199 or message us online for a complimentary consultation.

J. Allan Brown, LLC
Law Office of J. Allan Brown, LLC, is located in Mobile, AL and serves clients in and around Mobile, Bucks, Satsuma, Eight Mile, Semmes, Spanish Fort, Citronelle, Theodore, Saraland, Montrose, Irvington, Saint Elmo, Wilmer, Point Clear, Grand Bay, Chunchula, Fairhope, Creola, Bayou La Batre, Axis, Coden, Bay Minette, Silverhill, Baldwin County and Mobile County.
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