Causes of Car Accidents in Albany and Syracuse
Drivers who operate a motor vehicle negligently can be held liable if they cause an auto accident that result in injury, death or other losses. Those who are injured or lose a loved one can seek funds to defray the cost of their losses and compensate for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering.
Determining the cause of a car accident is usually the first step toward obtaining a proper financial recovery. The cause of a car accident indicates who should be held liable for the accident victim’s losses.
Since 1987, the car accident attorneys of Powers & Santola, LLP, have helped many seriously injured people and grieving families in Albany, Syracuse and across New York State. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.
Why Do Car Accidents Happen?
In its latest available motor vehicle crash statistics, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles reports that 93.3 percent of crashes in 2012 had one or more contributing factor. Many of these factors involve driver error.
Among the causes of car accidents we frequently deal with are:
- Speeding – Exceeding the posted speed limit or a safe speed for conditions is a factor in about one third of car accidents every year. Speeding drivers have less time to react to unexpected conditions in the road ahead, which may lead to a collision or loss of control of the vehicle. Excessive speed increases the impact of a collision and the severity of injuries suffered.
- Drunk driving – Despite strict standards and penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol, drunk driving is a factor in about 30 percent of car accidents nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Even though the legal limit for is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent, any amount of alcohol can cause impairment.
- Drugged driving – In New York, a person is guilty of a DUI if he or she operates a motor vehicle while his or her ability to operate the vehicle is impaired by the use of drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol. Drugs that may lead to impairment include illegal drugs such as marijuana and cocaine or prescription drugs such as Oxycodone / OxyContin.
- Distracted driving – We often think of distracted driving as texting while driving or other cell phone behind the wheel of a car. However, distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving, including putting on makeup or dealing with a pet.
- Fatigued driving – Driver fatigue is considered a factor in an accident if a driver was reported to have been drowsy, sleepy, asleep, tired or exhausted behind the wheel at the time of the accident. Fatigue slows reaction time, makes drivers less attentive and impairs decision-making skills. People who work a night shift and young drivers who work while going to school are more likely than others to drive while fatigued. Fatigued driving is often a cause of truck accidents as well.
- Aggressive driving – Tailgating, flashing headlights, speeding or weaving through traffic are just a few forms of aggressive driving. Operating a motor vehicle in a selfish, bold or pushy manner without regard for the rights or safety of others is inexcusable conduct.
- Faulty car parts – Cars and automotive parts are frequently recalled because they have defects caused by faulty design and/or manufacturing. Unfortunately, recalls usually happen after many car accidents, injuries and deaths have been blamed on these faulty car parts. When an investigation into a car crash shows that a faulty part or system caused the crash, the manufacturer and others may be held liable.
- Road conditions – Sometimes, it is the road itself that causes an accident, including the road’s faulty design, construction or maintenance. In other cases, work to maintain a roadway may endanger drivers if a work zone is not properly set up by workers. Local governments, construction companies, independent contractors and others may be held liable if their negligence leads to road conditions that endanger drivers.
Investigating the Cause of Car Accidents
Conducting a thorough investigation into a car accident is the best way to determine why the crash occurred and who should be held liable.
An investigation includes collecting and analyzing evidence from the accident scene, including skid marks, crash debris and road conditions.
Additional evidence may include:
- Police reports
- Vehicle damage
- Event Data Recorder (“black box”) information available in many recent passenger vehicle models
- Witness statements
- Drivers’ cell phone data
- Recall notices.
In some cases, accident reconstruction experts are called in to determine how and why a complex car accident occurred. These consultants can provide written and illustrated reports of their findings. If necessary, they can explain the accident in clear language as expert witnesses testifying before a jury.
Call Our Albany Car Accident Attorneys Today
If you have been injured in a car accident in Albany, Syracuse or elsewhere in New York State, contact Powers & Santola, LLP. We can provide a free consultation and start an investigation into your crash as soon as possible. We will act quickly to seek the recovery you need and deserve after a car accident
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