Some causes of car accidents are beyond your control, such as weather, road construction, or animals crossing the road. However, most accidents are caused by human error. The bad news is that you cannot control the behavior of the drivers around you. The good news is that you can modify your own behavior to reduce both your risk of a car accident and your liability if one should occur. The following are common causes of car accidents that are also avoidable.
1. Failure to Maintain Your Vehicle
As the owner of a car, you have a responsibility to do routine maintenance. Failure to perform normal upkeep can make the car unsafe, increasing the likelihood of an accident. The brakes could fail if you do not maintain them, making it almost impossible to stop. Bald tires can cause a blowout, and you could lose control of the vehicle as a result.
2. Driving While Impaired
Alcohol and drugs cloud your judgment and slow your reaction time, making you unfit to drive. Not only is it unlikely that you can recover any damages if you are involved in an accident while under the influence, but you may also face criminal charges as well, since driving while impaired is against the law. Is it possible that the other driver was partially responsible for your accident? Theoretically, it is possible, but convincing the court is likely to be an uphill battle.
3. Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents. Distractions are everywhere, inside your car and out. Car manufacturers contribute to the distractions by installing new gadgets in vehicles, answering the demand for convenience without giving enough consideration to the safety of the drivers and the people around them. Cell phones are a perennial distraction despite efforts by lawmakers to ban their use while driving. You may not be able to eliminate all distractions, but you can set ground rules for yourself forbidding cell phone use, eating, drinking, or grooming while behind the wheel.
You can’t prevent other drivers from tailgating you, which can be very frustrating. However, you can control your own behavior and prevent yourself from following other cars too closely. Knowing how unnerving it is for you when somebody rides your bumper may remind you to maintain a respectful distance from the vehicles in front of you.
Even if you were partially at fault for your accident, you may still be able to recover some damages. Contact a lawyer, like a car accident lawyer in Des Moines, IA from Johnston Martineau, LLP, so he or she can look at your case objectively and determine whether you were at fault, and to what extent.