There are important reasons for everyone—those who have been hurt in car accidents and those who have not—to know about the common causes of car crashes. By understanding the causes of car crashes, people who have not yet been hurt in accidents can try to prevent accidents and resulting injuries. Those who have been hurt in can benefit from understanding the different causes of accidents because in order to determine liability and recover damages one must first figure out why the crash happened.
Eight Causes of Crashes That Should be Considered
Some of the common reasons why car accidents occur include:
- Distracted driving. A driver may be distracted in one of three ways. A driver’s hands may be taken off of the steering wheel, a driver’s eyes may be taken off of the road, or a driver’s attention may be taken away from driving safely. A cell phone is an often cited cause of each of these forms of distraction, but it is not the only cause. Anytime a driver is distracted—for any reason—a serious crash can result.
- Drunk driving. It is against the law for car drivers over the age of 21 to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. The legal limit is lower for younger drivers. The state of Iowa may pursue criminal penalties against drunk drivers, and those who have been hurt by a drunk driver may pursue civil penalties for their injuries.
- Speeding. A driver who is traveling over the posted speed limit may not have enough time to slow down and avoid a crash. To make matters worse, a speeding driver may cause a more significant accident and more serious injuries than a driver who is operating a vehicle at a lower speed.
- Drowsy driving. At least 1,500 deaths and 71,000 injuries occur each year because of tired drivers; however, some organizations believe that those numbers are much higher. Tired drivers may drift into other lanes, have delayed reflexes, or fall asleep at the wheel causing catastrophic crashes.
- Teen drivers. In Iowa, there are three stages to the state’s graduated licensing system. A full license, without restrictions, may be obtained at age 17. Some teen drivers lack driving experience and may face significant distractions, which make car accidents more likely than for adult drivers.
- Elderly drivers. Physical and mental changes can make driving more difficult for older drivers. While most drivers in Iowa have eight years between license renewal periods, drivers who are aged 72 and older must have their drivers’ licenses renewed every two years. Other restrictions also apply.
- Aggressive driving. Impatience, anger, or another emotion may result in a driver being aggressive on the road. An aggressive driver may follow the car in front of him too closely, may cut off other vehicles, may fail to stop for traffic signals or signs, or may otherwise create dangerous conditions and serious accidents.
- Complicated roadways. Inadequate road design and poor weather conditions can make some roadways complicated to travel safely. This can lead to serious crashes and devastating injuries—especially if a driver is tired, drunk, distracted, speeding, or otherwise impaired.
Of course, other reasons such as mechanical failure and poor weather conditions may also be factors in Iowa crashes.
How to Know What Really Caused Your Car Wreck
An investigation must be completed to know what caused your specific accident. This is often one of the first and most important steps in your recovery. If you would like to learn more about how to investigate the cause of your accident and how to protect your rights, then we encourage you to contact us today at 1-800-800-5678 to set up a free initial meeting in one of our conveniently located Iowa offices.