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Contributing Factors in Accidents

You didn’t do anything wrong. Our Pennsylvania car accident lawyers can help.

Auto accidents happen for a range of reasons in Johnstown, Altoona, State College and throughout Pennsylvania. Some of the top contributing factors include speeding, alcohol, texting and other distractions. But with 124,149 crashes reported in Pennsylvania in 2013, the reasons can vary widely. If you were injured in an accident, don’t hesitate to contact us at Marcus & Mack for a free consultation. We will listen to you and discuss your options.

What are common contributing factors for auto accidents?

Some of the most common causes we deal with at our law firm include:

Whatever the cause of your accident, whatever another driver did, make sure you protect your rights. Make sure you contact Marcus & Mack. We offer a free consultation to all potential clients. Call (800) 488-0338 or fill out our online contact form.


Speed

Driving faster than the posted speed limit might seem harmless. But when drivers go too fast, they put everyone sharing the road at risk of serious injury or death. Speeding drivers have less time to stop and react to other drivers around them. As a result, many speeding drivers often cause car accidents on Interstate 99, the Pennsylvania Turnpike and other highways throughout the Keystone State.

High-speed accidents also often occur on rural roads in Pennsylvania. These accidents are often severe or even fatal in some cases. That’s because many of these accidents involve head-on collisions on two-lane roads without lane dividers.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Crash Facts and Statistics, 2013, 322 speed-related accident fatalities were reported that year, a drop from the 371 fatalities in 2012. While any decline in fatalities is welcome news, each loss of life on Pennsylvania roads represents a person who touched many lives. Families and friends are always devastated when a loved one dies in a speeding accident.

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Drunk and Drugged Driving

The dangers of drinking and driving have been well documented for decades. That’s why Pennsylvania has strict laws against driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. Even so, some drivers ignore such warnings and choose to drive after they have had too much to drink.

The consequences are often grave. According to the PennDOT, in 2013 there were 381 alcohol-related deaths. That translates to more than one person killed every day in the state. The total number of alcohol related crashes decreased to 11,041 in 2013 from 11,956 the year before.

Combining drugs and driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. While it can be difficult to prosecute someone for driving under the influence of drugs, Pennsylvania does have a “per se” drugged driving law, which makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle with any detectable amount of certain drugs in the driver’s system.

Drivers convicted of DUI in Pennsylvania or drugged driving who have caused accidents must be held accountable. Talk to Marcus & Mack to learn about your rights if you were injured or a loved one was injured or killed.

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Cell Phone Use

Drivers talking on cellphones often cause serious accidents. And it’s not only because they’re holding a phone or dialing while driving. Numerous studies have found that simply talking on a cellphone – even while using a hands-free device – can be dangerous.

In another study, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that texting while driving made the crash or near-crash event 23.2 times more likely to happen than non-distracted driving. Some studies have found that texting while driving is even more dangerous than drunk driving.

Pennsylvania made texting while driving illegal in 2012, but the law doesn’t seem to stop some drivers from taking careless chances.

Many drivers often deny using a cellphone while driving after an accident. Or even worse, they might even point the finger at you and try to blame you. That’s not right. You shouldn’t have to suffer because a driver using a cellphone caused your car accident.

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Other Distractions

Distracted driving is a major epidemic on Pennsylvania roads. Distractions were linked to 14,372 crashes in 2013, according to PennDOT. Fifty-nine people died in distracted driving accidents that year. While cellphone or smartphone use has been cited as one of the major factors in distracted driving accidents, other common distractions have been around for decades. The following are some of the distractions, old and new, that have played a part in serious crashes:

  • Eating while driving
  • Using a GPS
  • Personal grooming (applying makeup, shaving, etc.)
  • Watching videos (on a phone or mobile device)
  • Reading a road map while driving

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Driving While Tired

Tired driving might seem like an unavoidable part of modern life, but many fatigued drivers might not realize how dangerous such behavior can be. A recent AAA study found that drowsy driving is a leading factor in crashes. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reports that every year falling asleep behind the wheel causes at least 100,000 car accidents in the United States. More than 1,500 people die and 40,000 people are seriously injured in these accidents. In some cases, the driver who fell asleep was drunk or under the influence of a drug.

Many drivers admit to driving while fatigued, and might be tempted to cut others slack if they cause an accident. But drowsy drivers and drivers who fall asleep at the wheel had a choice. They could have pulled over and taken a break. Instead, these drivers chose to remain on the road and put everyone at risk.

Asleep at the wheel accidents are among the most serious ones we handle at our law firm. That’s because many drivers don’t slow down before crashing into another vehicle. They might even accelerate, as their foot might be on the gas pedal while they’re sleeping.

Many drivers often deny falling asleep or dozing off before causing an accident. The evidence often tells a different story. Absence of skid marks, location of damage on both vehicles and other tell-tale signs can be critical in building a strong legal case. Our experienced Pennsylvania tired driving accident attorneys leave no stone unturned in conducting investigations into serious car wrecks.

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Improper Turning

Improper turning was a contributing factor in 12,389 crashes in 2013, resulting in 60 fatalities, according to PennDOT. Intersection accidents in Pennsylvania may involve a driver who is turning into the path of an oncoming car that has the right of way. In other cases, a driver might make an illegal U-Turn.

Other examples of improper turning include turning right on red at an intersection clearly marked prohibiting right-hand turns on red. Turning without using a turn signal and crashing into another car is another example.

Pedestrians and bicyclists often are struck by vehicles making improper turns. Like many other accidents, many drivers that cause such accidents will deny any wrongdoing. Such accidents can be extremely complicated. They often become a case of your word versus someone else’s. Protect your rights. Contact Marcus & Mack. We fight for you!

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