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Top Five Traffic Violations That Cause Auto Accidents

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Photo Courtesy of NBC News

Getting from point A to point B should be accident free. Unfortunately, auto accidents happen every day in Sacramento, many of which are preventable.

Top 5 Causes Of Car Accidents

There are multiple variables that can cause car accidents. However, the following factors contribute to the highest number of accidents:

  1. Following Too Close 
    California Motor Vehicle Code (CVC) 21703 (a) requires you to follow the vehicle in front of you at a distance that allows you to stop, no matter how quickly that vehicle stops. A safe distance for following another vehicle varies depending on various factors including vehicle speed, weather, visibility and other road conditions. However, the three-second rule may help you judge this distance: if the vehicle in front of you passes an object, there should be a three second period before you pass that same object. Driving too closely behind another vehicle, or tailgating, eliminates the safe distance needed to avoid an accident. Motorists who are complacent and do not allow for sufficient stopping distances can cause rear-end collisions.
  2. Failing to Obey Traffic Laws 
    Behaviors that can cause serious car accidents include making illegal U-turns, failing to stop at stop signs or stop for red signal lights. California law doubles the fine for red light violations.
  3. Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs (DUI) 
    In the recent year, drunk driving fatalities represent approximately 29% of all total traffic deaths. Not only is this astonishing but also unacceptable. On September 28, 2015, Governor Brown approved a bill requiring interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers in four counties in California – Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulare.
  4. Speeding
    Speeding is one of the leading causes of car accidents in California. Driving in excess of the posted speed limit, or at any unsafe speed, reduces reaction time. Speed increases the likelihood that a crash will be catastrophic or fatal.
  5. Left Turns
    The most common cause of car accidents, after rear-end collisions, is the failure of a motorist turning left to yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic. According to CVC 21801 (a), a driver must continue to yield the right-of-way to approaching vehicles until the turn can be made with reasonable safety.

Other leading causes of accidents include poor road conditions, manufacturer defects, and distracted driving. The National Safety Council estimates that 21% of all crashes involve cell phone use.

What should you do if you’ve been in an auto accident? 

1. Make sure no one is hurt.

  • If someone sustains a serious injury, call 9-1-1. In the case of an emergency, seek immediate medical attention. Even if your symptoms appear minor, it is still important to be examined by a doctor.

2. File a report of the collision as soon as possible. Gather the following information:

  • time and location where the accident happened
  • driver license numbers
  • license plate numbers
  • insurance information
  • Names, address and phone numbers of anyone involved in the accident including witnesses

Take pictures if possible. Documenting the scene of the accident, vehicles involved, and your injuries, are valuable evidence when pursuing a personal injury claim.

3. Write down what happened 

  • If you remember, recall the details of the accident as honestly and accurately as you can and write them down.

4. Do not speak with the insurance company

  •  The at-fault party’s insurance company will call you after the accident. Before talking to an insurance company, contact an attorney first to discuss your legal rights. You do not want to make admissions of fault or liability to the other party. In addition, do not agree to any recorded statements or conversations with the insurance company. In the heat of the moment, things may have unfolded differently than you perceived.

5. Keep all accident-related records 

  • Keep copies of any expenditure that is related to the accident.

Call Our Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers | California Auto Accidents 

If you or a loved one were injured in an auto accident, caused by another party’s negligence, you should contact our experienced personal injury lawyers to help protect your legal rights. You may be entitled to compensation for accident-related expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us at 888-997-5170 for a free case consultation. You can focus on your recovery, and we will focus on your case.

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