The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately 2 million Americans are injured and over 32,000 are killed in car accidents every year. Unfortunately, New Jersey residents make up a sizable portion of those victims.
To help reduce traffic injuries and fatalities, researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham studied some of the most common causes of car accidents and provided tips to prevent them. For example, traffic safety experts estimate that drowsy driving plays a role in roughly 21 percent of all fatal crashes. Studies show that drivers who get only four or five hours of sleep per night are 5.4 times more likely to be involved in an accident. To reduce drowsy driving crashes, researchers suggest that fatigued drivers pull over and take a nap, consume coffee or an energy drink and open a window to get fresh air.
Meanwhile, federal statistics show that texting and driving kills around nine people across the U.S. each day. Researchers say that drivers can reduce the temptation to use their phones by placing it out of reach while they are behind the wheel. Traveling with children in the car can also distract drivers and increase the risk of an accident. To address the issue, researchers recommend taking care of a child’s food and bathroom needs before leaving the house. Providing books and movies can also help keep the ride peaceful and safe. Other common causes of accidents include road rage and speeding. Researchers recommend that drivers remain calm and slow down to prevent needless car accidents.
Animals are another reason car accidents can occur. Animals are not aware of traffic laws and cannot understand the danger of crossing a road. Also, their unpredictability can be very hazardous to drivers. It is not uncommon for large animals, such as a deer who is attempting to go to the other side of the road, to strike the sides of moving vehicles. Deer being struck head-on is also a frequent occurrence.
If a vehicle does not receive the regular maintenance it requires, this can result in car accidents as well. Broken tie rods, bad brakes and balding tires can be safety hazards on the road and should be addressed as soon as possible. The owner of the vehicle is responsible for making sure that the vehicle undergoes routine maintenance.
If a negligent driver injures someone in a car accident, the victim has the right to pursue financial compensation in court. Injured victims could learn more about their legal options by consulting with a personal injury attorney.