Every day, millions of people rely on their vehicles for their daily commute to work, school, and other activities. Fortunately, most drivers and passengers reach their destinations without any problems.
However, when these routine trips take an unexpected turn, life can change in a matter of seconds. According to the US Department of Transportation, there were 35,766 fatal car accidents in 2020 alone and an additional 1,593,390 crashes that resulted in injuries.
Many of the crashes that occur on our roadways are preventable. In KC, lawyers for auto accidents help ensure victims receive justice and work to prevent similar accidents from happening in the future.
Common Causes of Automobile Accidents
Car accidents are often the result of many complex factors. Car accident lawyers and their team of experts can determine the precise reason(s) why a crash occurred.
Some of the most common causes of car accidents include:
Distracted driving is an increasingly common problem on our roadways. From mobile devices to built-in infotainment systems, a driver’s attention can be diverted in a number of ways.
When drivers take their eyes and minds off the road (even if it’s only for a matter of seconds), a lot can go wrong. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. If you are driving at 55mph, in those 5 seconds you are driving the length of a football field—blind.
When drivers are distracted on the road, it can lead to:
- Slower reaction times
- Decreased control of the vehicle
- Drifting outside of the lanes
- Failure to notice hazards on the road
Preventing Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving accidents are entirely preventable. To make our roads safer, KC lawyers for auto accidents recommend taking the following steps to ensure your focus and attention are fully on the road:
- Turn your phone on silent and store it out of reach while you are driving
- Set up GPS navigation and radio/Bluetooth settings before you start driving
- Set all electronic devices to “do not disturb mode”
- Practice mindful driving by staying focused on the road, traffic, and your surroundings at all times
In today’s fast-paced world, speeding is a common sight on our roadways. Whether the driver is running late for work or excited to return home, speeding is extremely dangerous.
“Speeding” doesn’t only mean going over the posted speed limit—it also includes driving too fast for the road conditions. If there is construction, bad weather, or other hazards on the road, it’s essential to adjust your speed accordingly.
Speeding is a factor in nearly one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. When vehicle operators drive too fast, it significantly increases the risk of accidents due to:
- Reduced reaction time
- The increased distance required to stop and slow down
- Reduced control of the vehicle
- Reduced margin for error
- Increased difficulty navigating turns and curves
Preventing Speeding Accidents
Drivers play an essential role in preventing speeding accidents in KC. Lawyers for auto accidents suggest taking the following steps to reduce the risk of a speeding accident:
- Never go faster than the posted speed limit
- Adjust your speed based on the road conditions, visibility, and traffic flow
- Allow extra time to reach your destination in case there are delays
- Keep a safe distance from the car in front of you
- Use cruise control on open highways to maintain your speed
- Regularly check your speedometer to be aware of your speed
Impaired driving is a major threat to the safety of our roads. When drivers are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it takes away their ability to operate a vehicle safely.
Every day in the US, there are about 37 people who die in drunk driving accidents. Even a small amount of alcohol can significantly impact your ability to operate a vehicle.
Impaired driving often leads to accidents because of:
- Impaired judgment
- Reduced coordination
- Slower reaction times
- Overconfidence in abilities
- Lack of inhibition
- Poor decision making
- Inaccurate depth perception
Preventing Impaired Driving Accidents
Preventing these accidents is straightforward—if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, do not operate a vehicle for any reason. In KC, lawyers for auto accidents also recommend the following tips to ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road:
- Always designate a sober driver before going to parties
- Do not let a person who has been drinking get behind the wheel
- If you are impaired by any substance, use public transportation or rideshare services
- If you are hosting a party, make sure guests leave with a sober driver
In the midst of our busy lives, sleep doesn’t always take priority. In fact, studies show that about 1 in 3 adults do not get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. This lack of sleep can have a major impact on our functioning—especially behind the wheel.
Drowsy driving tragically took the lives of 684 people in 2021. You don’t have to fall asleep behind the wheel to cause an accident from drowsy driving. Anytime you operate a vehicle in an excessively tired state, it can:
- Impair your reaction time
- Reduce your attention span
- Impair your decision-making
- Decrease your coordination
- Reduce the awareness of your surroundings
Preventing Accidents From Drowsy Driving
To prevent accidents caused by drowsy driving, you must be fully awake when you get behind the wheel. The following strategies can help ensure alertness while driving:
- Get an adequate amount of sleep
- Avoid driving overnight
- Take short breaks during long drives
- If you start experiencing signs of drowsiness (heavy eyelids, frequent yawning, etc.), pull over and rest
- Avoid driving long distances alone
Adverse Weather Conditions
Road conditions in Missouri and Kansas can be unpredictable, especially when the weather changes. Bad weather can be a major contributor to accidents on our roadways. From rain to snow, ice, and fog, elements of nature can put drivers at an increased risk behind the wheel.
Approximately 21% of all crashes are weather-related. The majority of these accidents happen due to wet pavement and rainfall, followed by snow and sleet, icy pavement, and slushy pavement. Bad weather can contribute to accidents because of:
- Reduced visibility on the road
- Decreased traction (making it more difficult to slow down and stop)
- Decreased control (because of sliding or hydroplaning on wet roads)
- Fog that can reduce the time you have to react to hazards
- Accumulated snow that covers road markings and lane dividers
Preventing Accidents From Weather
Unfortunately, nobody can control the weather, but there are ways to help ensure your safety during adverse weather conditions. In KC, lawyers for auto accidents recommend the following steps to reduce your risk of being involved in a weather-related accident:
- Check the weather forecast before you leave
- If weather conditions are bad, delay departure if possible
- Ensure your vehicle is in good working condition (tires, brakes, lights, windshield wipers, etc.)
- Reduce your speed to match the weather conditions
- Use turn signals/brakes early so other drivers know where you are going
- Brake gently to avoid skidding
- Be cautious of ice on bridges and overpasses
- Eliminate all distractions and put your complete focus on the road
What to Do if You Are Involved in a Car Accident
If you are involved in a car accident, it’s essential to take the following steps:
- Call 911 to report the accident and request medical assistance if necessary
- Get to safety and move your vehicle to the side of the road if possible
- Exchange contact information and insurance information with all parties involved
- If possible, document the scene with photos and videos
- Notify your insurance company as soon as possible
- Contact a car accident attorney in Kansas City
Contact Bartimus Frickleton Robertson Rader, The Trusted KC Lawyers for Auto Accidents
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in an automobile accident, it’s important to know your rights. Bartimus Frickleton Robertson Rader is the trusted name for personal injury attorneys in Kansas City. We deliver answers, accountability, and justice for victims of car accidents.
When we represent a client or a family for a car accident lawsuit in Kansas City, we devote the time, resources, and experience for the best possible result. Our attorneys are dedicated to investigating cases the right way—by answering every question and methodically working through each case.
Navigating the aftermath of an accident can be challenging. An attorney can give you the support, tools, and resources you need to help you recover. To get in contact with an attorney today, use our virtual case tool or contact our office at (913) 266-2300 to speak with one of our team members.
The above is not intended to be legal advice. Each individual case is different and must be analyzed on its own set of facts and circumstances. If you believe you may have a case, it is critically important that you timely contact a lawyer to ensure your rights are protected.