Causes of Car Accidents in New Jersey
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 10 million Americans are involved in car accidents each year. These accidents often result in serious injuries or even death. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens, and many collisions can be prevented. There are numerous causes of car accidents in New Jersey that make contacting a local attorney worthwhile.
Some car accidents are caused by environmental factors that are outside a driver’s control. These may include:
If part of the car, such as brakes, tires, or suspension systems, fails while the vehicle is in motion, it can be difficult to avoid an accident. Older cars are particularly susceptible to failure, but some vehicles may have inherent design flaws that can endanger drivers. Vehicle manufacturers may be liable for injuries caused by defective auto parts, but drivers also have a responsibility to properly maintain their vehicles.
Unsafe roadway design
Roadways should be designed to maximize safety, but poor weather conditions or changes in traffic patterns can present unforeseen hazards for drivers. Other dangerous road design flaws include poorly placed lane mergers, insufficient lighting, or obscured pedestrian crossings. Improper use of traffic signals such as traffic lights, stop signs, and speed limit signs can also cause driver confusion and cause car accidents in New Jersey.
How can poor roadway maintenance cause a New Jersey car accident?
Federal, state, and municipal governments are responsible for maintaining public roadways. Road surfaces and signs must be kept in good condition in order to prevent car accidents. When inclement weather hits, roadways should be sufficiently salted or sanded, and debris should be removed before it becomes a hazard to drivers.
Reckless Motorist Behavior
Despite the hazards that drivers may encounter on the road, the most common cause of auto collisions in New Jersey is driver negligence. Examples of reckless motorist behaviors which commonly cause car crashes include:
Drivers who use cell phones, eat or drink, or otherwise get distracted while driving are the leading cause of local car accidents. Drivers must maintain focus at all times in order to safely operate their vehicles. Using a cell phone or other handheld device while driving quadruples a driver’s chances of getting into an accident. Moreover, motorists who text and drive are 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision.
Driving above the speed limit can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles and decreases reaction time to any sudden hazards they may encounter. Speed is a factor in about one-third of car accidents nationwide, and collisions involving speeding are more likely to result in catastrophic injury. Other reckless behaviors, including tailgating, ignoring traffic signals, changing lanes suddenly, and failing to use turn signals can also catch other drivers off guard and cause a multi-vehicle collision.
Driving under the influence
Drivers who are impaired by alcohol or drugs are a serious danger to themselves and others on the road. Impaired drivers have slower reaction times and poor judgment, which can result in deadly car accidents. An estimated 300,000 incidents of drunk driving occur daily in the US, despite numerous warnings and harsh penalties.
What role does drowsy driving play in causing a New Jersey car accident?
Drivers who are fatigued should stay off the road until they have had enough rest. Drowsy driving has many of the same results as drunk driving, inhibiting a driver’s ability to make decisions and maintain focus.
Learn More about Causes of Car Accidents in New Jersey from an Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident in New Jersey due to faulty equipment, unsafe roadways, or reckless driver behavior, our injury lawyers could help determine who is at fault for your injuries. You may be eligible for compensation if your losses were the result of someone else’s negligence. Call us today to learn more about common causes of car accidents in New Jersey.