Legal Alert: 3 Causes of Fatal Car Accidents

In today’s article, we look at some of the causes of accidents involving motor vehicles, along with some ways you can minimize the risk of getting into an accident.

Failing to Maintain Lane Position.

Changing lanes without regard for other road users is one of the top causes of motor vehicle accidents around NYC. From blind spots to high speed, several factors may contribute to a driver making the decision to change lanes before checking if it’s safe to do so. We encourage all motorists to understand the importance of exercising extreme caution prior to switching from one lane to another.

To limit the risk of an accident, follow these tips

  • Use your turning signals prior to switching from one lane to another. Turning signals are a way to communicate to other road users of your intention.
  • Only change one lane at a time, as other drivers may assume you’re only changing a single lane.
  • Never cross lanes separated by solid lines.
  • Never change lanes in an intersection or even close to an intersection.
  • Be sure to maintain your current speed while changing lanes.

Speeding

This is New York – our life is packed with social and professional events, and sometimes drivers try to make up time by speeding. Going faster than the posted speed limit is dangerous (not to mention illegal), but so is driving too fast for the prevailing conditions. If it’s snowing or pouring with rain, you’ll want to reduce your speed accordingly.

Some tips on how to drive at a safe speed include:

  • Leave a few minutes early to reach your appointment on time. A side benefit is that you arrive relaxed and ready to fully engage with your friends, coworkers or client.
  • Watch your speed. Even if others are speeding around you, don’t feel socially pressured to do the same. Chances are they’ll get tangled in a fender bender at some point.
  • At lower speeds, even if you get into a crash, the consequences will be less severe, especially if it involves a pedestrian, cyclist or motorcyclist. A pedestrian has a 90 percent chance of survival if hit by a vehicle moving at 20 mph, decreases to 70 percent at 25 mph, and less than 20 percent at 30 mph.
  • Recognize what makes you speed – keeping up with traffic, overtaking or being tailgated.

Distractions While Driving

Eating is a common distraction among drivers. With so many fast-food places along your route, it can be difficult to resist. Perhaps you brought a couple of bagels from home plus some coffee. You’re in a hurry to get to where you need to be. Dropped food and hot liquid spills are huge distractions, causing you to lose focus on driving.

A cellphone is probably the number one reason for distracted driving. The use of any hand-held cellular device while driving is prohibited on any New York road. Anyone who violates this law will be issued a traffic violation, pursuant to Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1225c, which will carry a fine of up to $200. Additionally, there will be points assessed to the offender’s driver’s license and driving record.

Tips on how to reduce the chances of distractions include:

  • Leave for your appointment a few minutes early and have a quick light snack before you leave your home or office.
  • Place your cellphone in the back seat or away in a bag. Out of sight, out of mind.

While we may never reduce road accidents to zero, each of us as responsible drivers can do our part to help make the NYC roads a little bit safer.

In the event you do get into an accident on the roads which caused injuries, possibly loss of time at work or other traumatic events, please reach out to our experienced legal team. With decades of experience helping victims of car accidents, let us give you a free case evaluation to see if you’re eligible for compensation.

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