Below are a few common causes of car crashes and what to do if you’re injured in one.

Violating the Rules of the Road

The California Vehicle Code aims to reduce crashes by providing clear rules for drivers of all types of vehicles as well as bicyclists and pedestrians. Those who violate the “rules of the road” increase their chances of crashing and hurting themselves or someone else.

In 2016, 1,326 pedestrians were killed and injured in motor vehicle-related collisions. Of those, 157 were younger than age 15, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety. The same year, 908 bicyclists were killed and injured. Nearly 100 of those riders were under age 15. 

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) updates its Driver Handbook every year. Individuals driving in the state should download the free handbook for detailed information on safe driving rules. Hard copies are available through the DMV. There are separate, special booklets to aid senior drivers and motorcyclists.

Some of the common violations include (but are not limited to):

  • Driving at an unsafe speed
  • Traveling on the wrong side of the road
  • Making an improper turn
  • Violating right-of-way rules, such as those involving bicyclists or pedestrians
  • Violating rules regarding stop signals and signs

Drug and alcohol abuse is a prevalent problem across California and the U.S. In 2016, 15 percent of drivers tested after being killed in crashes in California had tested positive for legal and/or illegal drugs. Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs isn’t just illegal; it puts the driver and everyone nearby in serious danger.

Distractions take a driver’s attention away from the road. Although California’s distracted driving laws only apply to mobile devices, police officers can still cite drivers for other distractions if they’re driving recklessly. Anything is a dangerous distraction if it takes a driver’s hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, and/or mind off the task of driving. Engaging in distracted driving increases the risk of causing a crash.

Poor Driving Conditions

Drivers must be particularly vigilant in poor driving conditions, such as:

  • Dangerous weather, including high winds, sun glare, fog, rain, and snow,
    Low visibility at night or in bad weather, and
    Hazardous roadway conditions, including slippery road surfaces, debris in the road, etc.

Defective Car Parts

Sometimes, a manufacturing defect can cause a crash. These defects can run the gamut, but they may involve tires, ignition mechanisms, brakes, and more.

Other defects may fail to protect a driver or passenger in the event of a crash. Seatbelt or airbag failure, for example, could allow a person to sustain more serious injuries.

Resulting Car Accident Injuries

Car accident victims might suffer from the following injuries:

  • Head injury or traumatic brain injury
  • Whiplash
  • Spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and other nervous system damage
  • Broken bones
  • Dislocations
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage
  • Lacerations, bruises, abrasions, punctures
  • Emotional trauma including PTSD

These injuries can last a lifetime. When they result from another person’s negligence on the road, the victim may have the opportunity to seek compensation for his or her medical bills, lost wages, and other losses related to the crash.

Getting the Right Help After a Car Accident

These common causes of car crashes are merely a snapshot of the ways people can be injured on the road. If someone acted carelessly behind the wheel and hurt you, it’s important to take action right away. After seeking immediate medical care (no matter how minor your injuries seem), contact an experienced car accident attorney. An investigation will determine how the crash happened and who is at fault. Filing a car crash lawsuit can help you obtain compensation for medical bills and other expenses related to your injury.

If you sustained injuries in an auto accident, we welcome you to contact CaseyGerry at (619) 238-1811.

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