About Car Accidents

When a vehicle collides with another vehicle, pedestrian, animal, road debris or other stationary obstruction, like a tree, pole or building, which results in injury, death, and property damage, this situation is known as a vehicle collision or car accident.

There are a number of factors that contribute to the risk of car accidents and they are: speed of car, road environment, road design, skill of the driver, impairment due to alcohol or drugs, driving behavior, such as speeding or street racing, and, even, the design of the car.

The human factors in car accidents include all factors that are related to drivers or road users, like driver behavior, visual and auditory acuity, decision-making ability, and reaction speed, which when these factors are not responsibly managed during driving may lead to a car accident. One human factor that has about four times greater risk of crashing their cars is about drivers who are distracted by mobile devices, such as dialing a phone, reading or writing on a mobile device, than those drivers who were not easily distracted. Overconfidence in driving abilities may happen when the driver thinks he has had extensive driving experience but when this confidence grows unchecked, it could be a risk and may result into a car accident. Good drivers possess these key elements, which are related to their behavioral abilities, and these are: controlling a car, which includes a good awareness of the car’s size and capabilities; reading and reacting to road conditions, weather, road signs and the environment; and alertness, reading and anticipating the behavior of other drivers.
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The driver’s perception on hazardous roads or traffic conditions, which may not be clearly seen and anticipated by the driver or that these conditions are just too complicated for the driver to analyse since it needs immediate reaction at so short a time and distance, may contribute to a car accident.
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Findings on the relation of a car accident to vehicular speed are the following: the risk of having a car crash is increased both for vehicles travelling slower than the average speed and for those travelling above the average speed; the risk of being injured increases exponentially with speeds much faster than the average speed; the fatality of a car crash depends on the vehicle speed change during an impact; there is limited evidence suggesting lower speed limits resulting in lower speeds; most crashes that are related to speed involve speeding too fast.

When a driver is found to be at fault in a car accident, following the US law, he/she can be held financially liable for the consequences of a collision, which includes property damage, injuries to passengers and drivers and fatalities, such that victims of severe injuries or fatalities may seek damages in a civil court, in excess of the value of the insurance covered.