Common Causes of Car Accidents in the Washington DC Area

With thousands of cars traveling side-by-side on crowded streets every day in Washington DC, an accident is bound to happen sooner or later. Unfortunately, some of these accidents will cause personal injury and death. And worse, many of these accidents will be caused by reckless and negligent driving.

The Metropolitan Police Department reported 32 fatalities in car accidents in the District in 2011. Maryland saw 485 traffic fatalities in 2011, according to federal statistics. In Virginia, 764 people were killed and 63,382 people were injured in car accidents in 2011, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

The Virginia DMV specifically records statistics about alcohol-related and speed-related car accidents in its annual “Virginia Traffic Crash Facts” report. Why? Because speeding and drunk driving are the leading contributors to car accident injury and death. Virginia also keeps track of the 3,146 drivers who were fatigued or “apparently asleep” while driving before an accident in 2011, as well as a number of other driver actions, such as following too closely (cited in 27,187 accidents) or failing to yield (17,155 accidents).

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, no matter the cause, the experienced Washington DC car accident lawyer at The Abelson Personal Injury Law Firm, can help. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more about the rights of D.C. accident victims and about how our District of Columbia car accident attorneys can help you recover the maximum compensation you deserve.

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Leading Car Accident Causes

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) directs the federal government’s highway safety and consumer programs. Its mission is to save lives, prevent injuries and reduce traffic-related health care and other economic costs through research and education.

Among the driver behaviors that the NHTSA specifically focuses on are:

  • Aggressive driving– NHTSA says aggressive driving has become a serious problem on our roadways. It defines aggressive driving as occurring when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property.” Some behaviors typically associated with aggressive driving include:
    • Exceeding the posted speed limit or driving too fast for conditions
    • Following too closely
    • Erratic or unsafe lane changes
    • Improperly signaling lane changes
    • Failure to obey traffic control devices (stoplights, stop signs, yield signs, traffic signals, railroad grade cross signals, etc.).
  • Distracted driving– Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving, the NHTSA says. All distractions endanger the safety of the driver, passengers and bystanders, as well as other cars’ drivers and passengers. Common driver distractions include:
    • Texting while driving
    • Using a cell phone or smartphone
    • Eating and drinking
    • Talking to passengers
    • Grooming
    • Reading, including maps
    • Using a navigation system
    • Watching a video
    • Adjusting a radio or other equipment on the car.
  • Drowsy driving (also called fatigued driving) — NHTSA says a recent study concluded that an estimated 800,000 to 1.88 million drivers had been involved in a crash that was attributed to drowsy driving. Thirty-seven percent of drivers told NHTSA they had nodded off for at least a moment or fallen asleep while driving at least once in their driving career, and 8 percent said they had done so in the previous six months.
  • Impaired driving (drunk driving and drugged driving) — In 2010, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in the United States — one every 51 minutes, NHTSA says. The legal limit in every U.S. state is a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent.

Talk To Our Washington DC Car Accident Lawyers Today

Regardless of the cause, if you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, the experienced Washington DC car accident lawyer at The Abelson Personal Injury Law Firm, can help you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about the rights of Washington DC car accident victims and about how our District of Columbia car accident attorneys can assist you in recovering the maximum compensation you deserve.

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