Top Reasons for Car Accidents in LA

Vehicular accidents remain common despite advances in technology. Manufacturers have integrated forward collision systems, backup cameras, and adaptive headlights to make cars safer, but most crashes occur due to human error. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 42,915 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2021.

Based on Transportation Injury Mapping System data, there were 40,669 crashes in Los Angeles County alone that year. But this doesn’t explain why it’s so common to see a car crash in LA.

We find that many people ask why car accidents occur. In 2015, the NHTSA found driver error was the cause in 94% of crashes studied, while vehicle component failure and environmental factors each contributed 2% of the time. Knowing the reasons car accidents occur can help take preventative measures and avoid many driving hazards. We have found these to be the top reasons:

Reason 1: Distracted Driving

There are many forms of distracted driving. It is an increasingly prevalent threat and the leading cause of car accidents. Your brain cannot focus on driving and other tasks simultaneously, so it’s impossible to make decisions required to drive safely. Common distractions include:

  • Texting
  • Reading
  • Talking on the phone
  • Grooming
  • Eating
  • Talking to passengers

Reason 2: Speeding

Speed limits prohibit drivers from traveling at higher than reasonable speeds. Provisioned and enforced to prevent accidents, they consider road and traffic conditions. They also account for the fact braking distances increase and a driver’s field of vision narrows at higher speeds. Also, someone who is running late may be rushing and therefore exhibit poor decision making, increasing the risk of a crash.

Reason 3: Intoxicated Driving

Driving after consuming alcohol or drugs is still among the most common causes of car accidents, and the deadliest. Being intoxicated impairs judgment, alertness, visual acuity, muscle control, and coordination. This can make it difficult to steer and/or react to the environment. A large percentage of car crashes in LA are due to intoxicated drivers.

Reason 4: Reckless Driving

In addition to speeding, this includes changing lanes too quickly, running red lights and stop signs, and failing to exercise caution when knowing such actions are dangerous. Driving recklessly blatantly disregards the safety of others, both in your vehicle and on the road.

Reason 5: Tailgating

You should always leave a safe distance between your vehicle and the one ahead of you. Failing to maintain a proper distance does not give the vehicle behind enough room to stop. It can easily result in a rear-end collision if a light changes or a car ahead must stop or slow down.

Reason 6: Driver Fatigue

Drivers should only be behind the wheel when alert. If you are sleepy, drowsy, or exhausted, your ability to respond to stimuli and assess road conditions can be impaired. Night driving can be more hazardous, especially if you’re not used to driving in the dark; it’s important to be extra alert and use the high beams when on darker roads.

Reason 7: Poor Judgement

Always be aware of street signs and changes in road patterns, especially when driving in an unfamiliar area. Little mistakes are often not a concern. But serious lapses in judgment can result in making improper, illegal, and dangerous turns or worse, being a wrong-way driver. Failing to use turn signals, ignoring road signs, and not obeying proper right-of-way are also examples of poor judgment. Failing to yield to pedestrians is too, as it puts people at crosswalks and intersections at risk.

Reason 8: Car Accidents Not Caused by Human Error/Negligence

Surprisingly, not every car crash in LA is caused by a driver failing to obey the rules. Other causes of car accidents include:

  • Weather: Rain, snow, and ice can make roads slippery, while floods, high winds, and fog can contribute to accidents as well.
  • Road Conditions: Potholes, poorly maintained pavement, and misplaced construction equipment can cause a car to crash.
  • Vehicle Defects: If any part of your car malfunctions, it can cause a cascade of events that leads to a crash (tire blowouts are especially dangerous). Regular maintenance and responding to recalls can reduce the risk.

Confusion in construction zones makes it all that more important to drive slowly, follow cones, and be aware of other drivers. Also take caution when you see animal crossing signs. Using high beams in rural areas helps spot danger and avoid hitting large creatures.

Hire a Lawyer If You’ve Been in a Car Crash in LA

The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani has among the most skilled car accident attorneys in Los Angeles. A car accident, even if it’s not your fault, can cause devastating injuries and cost a great deal of financial distress. We hold negligent parties accountable and take on the insurance companies to ensure you get fairly compensated. To receive your free consultation and to help file your claim, call 619-727-6715 today.

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