Drivers on the roads of California must follow all laws in the California Vehicle Code. These laws are designed to reduce high-risk behavior, thereby reducing the chance of an auto accident. Motorists are expected to drive safely and not engage in careless or negligent behavior. As a car accident lawyer, I can say that does not always happen.
California’s car accident laws are called fault laws because if a driver is careless or does not follow safety rules and causes an accident, he or she can become legally liable for the accident victim’s losses. There are many kinds of behavior that can result in a driver being held responsible for collision related damages. Some are high risk and totally avoidable.
Three High Risk Behaviors that Lead to Car Accidents
While motorists can make mistakes that lead to car accident, some of the most common causes of auto collisions are dangerous behaviors that drivers do knowingly:
- Distracted driving: According to Distraction.gov, 3,154 people died in 2013 in motor vehicle crashes caused by distracted drivers. Over the course of the same year, there were an additional 424,000 people injured in collisions caused by distracted drivers. Cell phone use is one of the major sources of distraction, with talking, texting and emailing on smartphones taking drivers’ focus from the road. Drivers are also distracted by talking with passengers, eating, grooming, and looking at objects inside or outside of the car.
- Drunk driving: According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, an estimated 10,000 people are killed every year due to driver impairment. The Washington Post reported that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has urged states to lower the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit from the current .08 percent to .05 percent. The NTSB’s position is that a driver is already significantly impaired and at high risk of a collision by the time his or her BAC has reached the permissible limit.
- Drowsy driving: Approximately 100,000 collisions reported to police each year are caused by drivers who are tired. Annually, drowsy drivers cause approximately 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary damages and losses. As high as they are, these numbers may be significantly underestimated because it is not always clear when fatigue is the cause of an accident and because not all accident reports accurately indicate drowsy driving as the cause of a crash.
Victims who were involved in a crash with a motorist who was driving carelessly or dangerously, should consult with a Long Beach car accident lawyer. At-fault drivers who violated laws against drunk driving or driving while using a cellphone, are presumed to have been negligent. This means they should be held responsible for damages related to the accident, if the negligence was the direct cause of the crash.
Proving liability for drowsy driving is more complicated because there is no clear law prohibiting fatigued driving for most motorists. However, if the drowsy driving crash was with a trucker, crash victims may be able to create a presumption of negligence by showing the driver violated Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) regarding the permissible number of on-duty hours.
How A Long Beach Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
Your Injuries are Personal to Me
When drivers engage in dangerous behaviors, or when motorists otherwise make unsafe choices behind the wheel, I can help car accident victims hold these unsafe motorists accountable for the damages they caused. Your injuries are personal to me, so I will handle every aspect of your case until your claim is resolved.
Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation to speak with a Long Beach car accident lawyer to learn how I can help you if you’ve suffered a car accident injury. You will be under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover compensation for your losses.
You can also download my convenient glove box checklist to keep in your car so you will know what to do if a crash occurs.
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