Motor vehicle accidents are among the leading causes of death. All too often, these crashes result from preventable errors that can be minimized or eliminated through education and careful attention to road safety.

The Main Causes Of Motor Vehicle Accidents

Here we will discuss the main causes of motor vehicle accidents and how you can avoid them.

1. Driver Error

The leading cause of motor vehicle accidents is driver error. Contributing factors include speeding, failure to yield the right-of-way, running red lights, stop sign violations, failure to obey traffic signs and signals.

Also driving while intoxicated or impaired by drugs or alcohol, fatigue or lack of sleep, distraction caused by in-vehicle devices (cell phones are the leading cause), poor judgment when passing cars in front of you with less space than you deem adequate for safety purposes.

If this has happened to you and if you have been injured on a road in Brisbane, there are expert teams of accredited personal injury lawyers to assist you with making a motor vehicle accident claim for compensation. If you are unable to identify the driver at fault, or if the vehicle at fault was unregistered or uninsured, their team can help you make a compensation claim.

2. Passenger Error

Passenger error is a significant factor in collisions that result in serious injury or death. Occupants who are not wearing seat belts place themselves at great risk, especially when they sit in positions where their own body weight can increase the severity of injuries sustained in an accident.

Passengers who fail to use child restraints also face increased risks. If a car is equipped with airbags, it is crucial that all occupants use them. This is important because, in some dangerous collisions, drivers are unable to release their seat belts in time before the airbags deploy.

3. Vehicle Malfunction/Mechanical Failure

Vehicle malfunctions and mechanical failures are also leading causes of motor vehicle accidents. Vehicles that do not meet safety standards set by the government or established manufacturers can put drivers at risk for collisions.

Some examples include defective brake systems (including worn-out brakes), faulty steering components, defective tires, open doors on vans and other vehicles involved in accidents where pedestrians are struck while riding bicycles or walking, and defective auto parts such as bumpers which fail to absorb the force of an impact resulting in serious injury or death.

Defective emissions control equipment may contribute to the severity of an accident.

4. Roadway Defects And Conditions

Roadway defects and conditions such as potholes, inadequate or nonexistent guardrails, pedestrian crosswalks in disrepair, defective traffic control devices (signals, stop, or yield signs), trip hazards (such as rocks and tree limbs on the roadway), wet pavement (due to lack of proper drainage) and snow and ice can contribute to collisions resulting in serious injury or death.

These defects and conditions are often caused by other factors, too.

5. Weather Conditions And Other Natural Factors

Weather conditions such as foggy/smoky/hazy road conditions (caused by wildfires), reduced visibility due to coastal mist (also caused by wildfires), rain, standing water, or other standing obstructions on the roadway (flooding) and extreme temperatures can also contribute to motor vehicle accidents.

Other natural factors include poor lighting, deer crossing the roadways, other wild animals suddenly darting across the roadway, flooded low-water crossings where vehicles are swept away because drivers are unable to determine how deep the water is, or they attempt to cross because of high water but do not have enough momentum to do so safely, mudslides/avalanches etc.

6. Pedestrian  Error

Drivers must be aware that pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists make up a large percentage of those who are injured and killed in traffic accidents.

Pedestrians (and bicyclists and motorcyclists) share responsibility for being aware of their surroundings, being alert to avoid dangerous situations, crossing signals, crosswalks, etc., not darting out into the street from between parked cars or starting to cross after a light turns green.

How can you be safe on the road, whether you are a driver or pedestrian?

There are several things that drivers should look out for to prevent accidents on the road, particularly when driving during poor weather conditions or at night.

The most important thing a driver must keep in mind is that they cannot control the actions of others, regardless of whether they are another motorist or a pedestrian crossing the road.

Before taking your car out onto a public roadway, it is best practice to ensure that your vehicle is at an optimum operating condition. This includes ensuring all fluids such as engine oil and transmission fluid levels are up to standard and refilling them if necessary, tires have the appropriate amount of air pressure and tread depth, etc. — with your owner’s manual for guidance. 

As mentioned before, there are many possible factors that can contribute to an accident. Some of these include defects in the highway/roadway conditions, defective auto parts, and carelessness of the driver.

Considering all the dangers on the road, it’s important to follow the road laws, as well as pay attention to your surroundings.

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