Even experienced and responsible drivers can’t predict when a daily commute may go awry, or when uncontrollable factors may turn a familiar road into a treacherous situation. Nonetheless, millions of Americans get behind the wheel every day. In Los Angeles county alone, over 7.5 million vehicles were registered as of 2015. As the number of drivers increases, so does the potential for automobile and motorcycle accidents to occur. Whether you drive a brand new sedan, solely cruise around backcountry roads on a motorcycle, or drive a semi truck for a living, there’s a potential accident waiting around any corner.
- Automobile accidents: The advent of cell phones ushered in the threat of accidents related to talking on the phone and texting while driving. In fact, The National Safety Council recently reported that an astounding 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving, a practice that kills 11 teenagers every day.
Many liken the impairment of texting and driving to drunk driving, another publicly acknowledged driving issue that injures someone every two minutes. Unfortunately, despite the extensive means to eliminate drunk driving, many offenders still take to the roads — the average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before his or her first arrest.
Both texting and drinking while driving fall under the umbrella of distracted driving — eating, using a smartphone, navigating, and more — which caused 431,000 motor vehicle crashes in 2014.
- Motorcycle accidents: It’s easy to romanticize the idea of traveling via motorcycle, especially if someone special is riding tandem. However, the absence of protective walls, seatbelts, or airbags makes motorcyclists especially vulnerable to accident and injury. Although there were about 8.4 million motorcycles on the road in 2013, it was reported the same year that motorcyclists were about 26 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled and five times more likely to be injured.
- Truck accidents: If distracted driving is a notable root of auto accidents, drowsy driving is an alarming and rising culprit when it comes to truck accidents. In 2012, there were 3,921 people killed and 104,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks (gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds). For big rig drivers, who notoriously work long, overnight shifts, the potential to fall asleep at the wheel and veer into oncoming traffic or off the road increases. More often than not, whatever ends up in the truck’s way is in serious danger. As stated on TruckInfo.net, nearly 5,000 people die each year from truck-related incidents; moreover, in about 98% of the reported incidents, those killed were in the other vehicles.
During the moments of panic after an accident occurs, finding a strong, ethical, and responsible accident lawyer may not be at the top of your mind. But for any driver (newbie or veteran alike), due diligence to find a reputable accident lawyer as a safeguard can pay off in so many ways. Having confidence in an accident lawyer with experience as an auto accident attorney can alleviate some of the stress in an already taxing predicament.
For the thousands of Americans seriously injured in auto accidents (and the families of those killed), accident lawyers are often invaluable when it comes to getting compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
So the next time you get behind the wheel, take a second to put away your smartphone and remind yourself of the many risks of the road.