Although Orange County is known for its sandy beaches and mild weather, it actually has a high rate of car accidents. Even Irvine, which has been ranked as “America’s Safest Big City” by the FBI eight years running, isn’t completely safe in terms of its roadways. The city had five fatal car accidents and 876 injurious car accidents in 2010.
Avrek Law Firm, represents the victims of car, truck and motorcycle accidents in Irvine, Orange County, Riverside, and Riverside County. Our attorneys understand how devastating auto accident injuries can be. We fight aggressively to get clients the medical care they need and the maximum compensation for their injuries.
Contact Avrek Law Firm, for a free initial case review by calling 1.888.333.5009 or completing this online form.
Driver Error to Blame in Majority of Accidents
Like most of the leading causes of death in the U.S., car crashes are preventable. According to a 2008 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle crashes are attributable to four primary reasons: The driver; the vehicle; the roadway; and atmospheric conditions (i.e., the weather).
Drivers’ Roles in Accidents
The NHTSA identifies four major types of driver errors that result in motor vehicle accidents:
- Recognition errors: Inattention, inadequate surveillance, and internal and external distractions are examples of recognition errors. A shocking 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involve some form of distraction within three seconds before the event.
- Decision errors: Decision errors include things like driving too fast for conditions and making an illegal maneuver.
- Performance errors: Executing an improper motor response—like panicking or overcorrecting—constitutes a performance error.
- Nonperformance errors: Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving while drowsy or fatigued, and poor driver health are instances of nonperformance driver error. Alcohol was a contributing factor in 972 fatal California car accidents and 16,884 injury accidents in 2010, although studies show that sleepiness can be just as deadly. In fact, being awake for 20 hours straight causes a driver to perform, on average, as impaired as someone with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% (the legal limit).
Vehicles And Accidents
While driver error—particularly impaired, distracted, and aggressive driving—are leading causes of car crashes, the vehicle itself can also be the primary cause of a wreck. Specific vehicle conditions that can lead to an accident include faulty brakes or wheels, steering or suspension issues, transmission problems, and malfunctioning electronic components.
Roadways and Atmospheric Conditions
Fog, rain, snow, and other adverse weather degrade road conditions and make driving more dangerous, as do foreign obstacles or substances on the roadway. While the weather is beyond human control and doesn’t in and of itself constitute negligence, on days where roads are slick and visibility is poor, driving errors—notably driving too fast for conditions—can be negligent and lead to liability for a driver who causes a car accident.
Negligence can also be said to occur when the road is poorly designed, signage or signals are inadequate, roads are improperly maintained (e.g. potholes, uneven pavement), or there are other dangerous road conditions attributable to human error. In such cases, a government entity can be held liable for failing to maintain safe roadways.
Avrek Law Firm, obtained a $4.75 million settlement on behalf of a client who was injured after the vehicle he was in went off the 110 Freeway protected by an old bridge rail. The State of California was found liable for maintaining public property in a dangerous condition.
Spotlight on Texting and Calling While Driving
Despite our best efforts to be safe behind the wheel, certain distractions have been present since the first Model T rolled off the lot. Rowdy children, rubbernecking at accident sites, and checking one’s self in the mirror are, among others, mainstays of distracted driving.
But a single device, the smartphone, has made driving much more dangerous in recent years. Between 1995 and 2008, mobile phone subscriptions increased from 13 percent of the U.S. population to 87 percent. Staying constantly connected through mobile devices is nowadays a national obsession and this mentality extends, unfortunately, to driving time.
Just how dangerous talking and texting (not to mention web browsing) while driving is can be expressed by the following statistics:
- Text messaging makes an accident as much as 23 times more likely.
- Talking on a cell phone makes an accident four times more likely.
- Twenty-eight percent of motor vehicle accidents occur when people talk on cell phones or sending text messages while driving.
- Sending a text diverts a driver’s attention from the road for 5 seconds. At 55 miles per hour, that’s the equivalent of driving the length of a football field without looking at the road.
In California, it is illegal to send a text message while driving. For driver under the age of 18, it is also illegal to use a hands-free device, although people over 18 may use them. If you are involved in an accident and the other driver was violating one of these laws, this is an instance of negligence.
Contact the Experienced Car Accident Attorneys at Avrek Law Firm
Avrek Law Firm, has successfully resolved many car accident cases for our clients, including several multimillion dollar settlements. You are entitled to compensation if another driver’s negligence caused your injuries and we will fight aggressively to secure the compensation you need to recover. To learn more, call 1.888.333.5009 or fill out this contact form.
- The California Highway Patrol: 2013 Annual Report of Fatal and Injury Motor Vehicle Traffic Collisions
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey
- National Safety Council: Understanding the distracted brain: why driving while using hands-free cell phones is still risky behavior
- www.textingandrivingsafety.com: Texting and Driving Stats