Car wrecks can happen anywhere and at any time – too often with serious consequences. There were nearly 160,000 motor vehicle accidents in Alabama in just one recent year, according to the Alabama Department of Transportation. These crashes resulted in nearly 1,000 fatalities and over 45,000 injuries.
Overall, most collisions happened in urban areas like Dothan, but around 60% of the fatalities resulted from accidents in rural areas.
Car accidents often have serious impacts on victims’ lives, and victims have a right to pursue justice and compensation for the damages that negligent or careless drivers cause. If you are suffering from a car crash injury in Dothan, the experienced legal team at Stokes Stemle, LLC is here to stand up for your rights.
At Stokes Stemle, LLC, our experienced and caring Dothan car accident attorneys have the dedication to customer service and the legal skills that it takes to seek the best possible outcome for your case. We have a proven track record of helping people just like you get the results that count and get on the road to recovery.
To get the help you need after a Dothan car crash, contact Stokes Stemle, LLC today by phone or reach out to us online to set up your free legal consultation. We’re available 24/7 to serve you.
What Causes Car Accidents?
Some of the most common causes of car accidents in Dothan include:
1. Failure to Yield Right-Of-Way
Whether on a highway, a country road, or a neighborhood street, drivers can cause serious accidents when they fail to obey traffic laws about yielding.
For example, traffic rules indicate that drivers at a four-way stop typically must take turns proceeding through the intersection, or if two drivers arrive at the same time, they should yield the right-of-way to the person on their right. Otherwise, drivers risk the chance of crashing into each other at the intersection.
In another instance, many frontage roads have yield signs, which indicate that drivers on these side streets should yield to traffic coming off of the highway. When people on the frontage road don’t watch out for these drivers, someone coming off the highway might slam into them at high speed. The careless driver might also cause other motorists to crash into other objects or spin out of control when they have to swerve to avoid the person who didn’t yield.
Following too closely behind another car is one of the most hazardous activities a driver can engage in, and tailgating doesn’t just cause fender benders. Some cases of tailgating can even lead to massive multi-car pileups.
3. Distracted Driving
Taking your eyes or attention off the road for even a second can create a dangerous or deadly situation. In fact, taking even five seconds to send or read a text message while you’re driving 55 mph is the same as closing your eyes while driving the length of a football field, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Nonetheless, drivers regularly engage in a wide range of distractions. Beyond texting, some other distracting and dangerous behaviors include driving while programming a GPS or navigation device, talking on the phone, eating, or attending to children.
4. Reckless Driving
Reckless driving can involve behaviors such as running red lights, ignoring other traffic signs or signals, and driving without headlights. In other instances, drivers might engage in road rage and behave aggressively towards other drivers who they think are in their way or who are doing something they disagree with. For example, if a reckless driver thinks another person is driving too slowly, then they might cut in front of them and abruptly slam on their brakes, causing a serious rear-end collision.
Too often, drivers speed when they’re running late, when they’re trying to get around slower cars, or just because they like driving fast. This risky behavior is one of the top causes of traffic accidents that lead to fatalities.
In fact, nearly 10,000 people died in crashes involving speeding in the U.S. in a single recent year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. When drivers speed, it takes them longer to stop and increases their chances of losing control. These collisions also often lead to even more severe injuries than those from other types of accidents.
6. Driving too Fast for Conditions
While speed limit signs indicate the maximum speed that people should drive in normal situations, they don’t provide the best guidance for how fast a person should go in abnormal conditions.
For instance, when it’s raining or foggy, it’s typically not safe to go as fast as the speeds marked on speed limit signs because poor weather conditions increase the risk that drivers might hydroplane, slide, or otherwise lose control.
7. Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
People who drive while impaired by alcohol cause nearly 30% of traffic deaths in the U.S., and over 15% of motor vehicle crashes involve drivers under the influence of medicines or illegal drugs.
Every 50 minutes, a person dies in the United States from a traffic accident involving a drunk driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These collisions cost over $44 billion each year. Across the U.S., it’s illegal for people to drive when they have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher.
However, even when a person isn’t legally drunk, alcohol can still impair a driver’s judgment, aggression, muscle coordination, reasoning, and ability to react quickly to obstacles and dangers. Alcohol can also make drivers sleepy, plus it can cause even more substantial impacts on someone’s driving abilities if it interacts with prescriptions the driver is taking.
8. Poor Road Conditions
Government agencies have a responsibility to maintain roads in order to help keep residents safe. Otherwise, unsafe road conditions can cause or contribute to a range of traffic accidents.
For example, if road signs are missing, then drivers won’t know about dangerous conditions, and confusing road signs can even create additional hazards like drivers having to swerve quickly when a lane ends abruptly.
Some of the other kinds of unsafe road conditions include poor road design, missing guardrails, sinkholes, untreated ice patches, poorly painted lane dividers, shoulder drop-offs, poorly arranged construction zones, and abrupt changes in road surfaces.
9. Vehicle Defects
Equipment failures that cause car accidents can arise from dangerous or defective cars or auto components, or when drivers don’t maintain their cars.
For example, if a company manufactures a car with faulty brakes, then it can cause drivers significant injuries when they’re not able to stop in time to avoid a collision. Some of the other vehicle defects that can leave victims with serious and sometimes fatal injuries include airbags that don’t deploy, cars that accelerate on their own, and roofs that don’t hold up in a rollover accident.
Poor maintenance can also cause hazardous vehicle defects. For instance, if a driver doesn’t keep their tires properly inflated, then a tire can blow out while they’re on the highway and cause the driver to lose control.
Contact an Experienced Dothan Car Accident Lawyer
Don’t wait to stand up for the maximum compensation and justice you deserve after a car accident or Dothan or surrounding areas. To get started right away, contact Stokes Stemle, LLC to set up your free case evaluation.