As you can probably imagine, there’s no such thing as a “typical car accident.” They can run the gamut from a “simple” fender bender to a 50-car pile-up with cars pointing every-which-way. The one thing they all have in common is their life-changing implications. On average, over 3 million people each year are injured in car accidents. It’s sad to say that 90 people die in car accidents every day. Cars can make our lives easier, but in a split second, they can drastically alter the course of our lives.

Single Car Accidents

Like the name implies, single car accidents involve one vehicle and some sort of fixed object, such as a utility pole, tree or building. Because only one car was involved in a single vehicle accident, the driver is almost always considered to be at fault for the accident. But there are a few exceptions. It’s important to talk to an experienced car accident attorney if you find yourself involved in a single car accident to determine your rights.

Multi-Car Accidents

All it takes is one driver’s mistake to set off a massive chain reaction of cars, trucks, travel trailers, motorcycles, and other vehicles, all crashing into each other. The probability of serious injuries and death from multi-vehicle collisions is high. In multi-vehicle accidents, several cars can hit one car several times from several different directions. The more vehicles that get involved means more broken glass, bent steel, and leaking gasoline. There are infinite causes of multi-vehicle car accidents, but here are some of the more common causes:

  • Bad weather
  • Speeding
  • Falling Asleep
  • Driving under the influence
  • Distractions
  • Police Chases

Rear-End Accidents

A common type of collision is when one car rear-ends another. Most people presume that rear-end car accidents are always the fault of the driver who rear-ended the car in front. This isn’t always the case though. If you have been rear-ended by another driver, you may be able to prove that that driver was negligent (they “breached” their duty of care) in connection with the accident. Drivers can breach their duty of care in a number of ways, including:

  • failing to pay attention to the road
  • failing to stop within a reasonable time
  • failing to drive at a reasonable speed
  • failing to maintain control of the vehicle
  • failing to yield the right of way
  • failing to use turn signal(s), and
  • failing to follow at a safe distance.

In addition, you must prove that the breach of duty was the cause of the accident and that you were injured as a result. Issues of comparative fault may apply in these types of accidents, so it’s important to contact a specialized car accident injury attorney to determine what your rights are in this situation.

Just as there are multiple types of car accidents, there are also multiple causes of car accidents. Below are just a few of the most common accident causes.

Distracted Driving

This is probably the type of accident you’ve been hearing a lot about in the news. Distracted driving refers generally to multitasking while driving. Commonly, this includes texting, checking email, talking on the phone (even with a hands-free device) and changing radio stations.

Each day, more than 9 people are killed due to distracted driving. More than 1060 people are injured in crashes that involve a distracted driver. You are 23 times more likely to crash while texting and driving. Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field blind. Despite these dire numbers, 1 out of 3 people still text while driving.

Impaired Driving

Impaired driving is extremely dangerous. In fact, it’s the cause of more than half of all car accidents. Impaired driving means driving while you are affected by:

  • Alcohol
  • Legal or illegal drugs
  • Sleepiness
  • Distractions, such as using a cell phone or texting
  • Having a medical condition which affects your driving

Alcohol

The CDC says that nearly 30 people are killed every day across the U.S. in automobile accidents in which a driver has been drinking. Essentially, a drunk driver kills someone every 48 minutes.

Drugs

Being under the influence of any drug that acts on the brain and central nervous system impairs a driver’s motor skills, reaction time and judgment.  Drugged driving puts not only the driver at risk, but also passengers and others who share the road and nearby walkways.

Sleepiness

Falling asleep at the wheel is clearly dangerous, and being sleepy affects your ability to drive safely even if you don’t fall asleep. Drowsiness can

  • Make drivers less attentive.
  • Slow reaction time.
  • Affects a driver’s ability to make decisions.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 2.5% of fatal crashes and 2% of injury crashes involve drowsy driving.

Medical Conditions

While not something we think about everyday, there are certain medical conditions that may interfere with the safe operation of a vehicle. Some of the most common conditions known to affect safe driving are:

  • impaired vision
  • physical limitations
  • dementia
  • diabetes
  • seizures
  • sleep disorders

Call An Attorney You Can Trust.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, contact the Bottaro Law Firm. Our car injury attorneys are dedicated to helping you navigate this complex process and ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Contact us today for a free consultation.