Common Causes of Automobile Accidents
Identifying and documenting the cause of an automobile accident is one the key concerns at our Oklahoma City firm. Some of the most common causes of auto accidents include:
- Cell phone use, including talking, texting, and checking the Internet
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Unsafe driving and traveling at excessive speeds
- Distractions, including adjusting music or eating
- Attempting to retrieve items on the floorboard or in another seat
- Looking at something other than the road, such as scenery
- Reading notes and other materials
- Distractions from other passengers
Typically, car accidents are not the result of mechanical malfunction, and instead are due to driver error. We can provide exceptional representation for car accident victims in both product liability and driver negligence cases, as well as other types of vehicle accidents, including truck accidents and SUV roll-overs.
A Closer Look at Drunk, Distracted, & Reckless Driving
In the state of Oklahoma, driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol or driving while intoxicated (DWI) is illegal. First time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or greater can be charged with a type A misdemeanor. Drivers convicted of a second DUI face a felony offense. Even those with a BAC lower than the 0.08 legal limit can still have criminal charges filed against them. For instance, reckless driving charges may be brought against drivers with a BAC of 0.06 to 0.07. Under the state’s zero tolerance law, it is illegal for drivers under the age of 21 to have a BAC above 0.0.
Distracted driving is defined as driving a motor vehicle while engaged in another activity. This can include talking on the phone, using a navigation system, or eating. One of the most dangerous and common forms is texting while driving. Reading, composing, and sending a text involves each main type of distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive. As a result, a driver who is texting is not looking at or thinking about the road as they should, and he or she does not have the both hands on the wheel.
This behavior is particularly prevalent among younger drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers under the age of 25 are considerably more likely to text while driving than all other age groups. An astounding 71 percent of teens and young adults (ages 21 to 24) admit to having composed and sent text messages while driving. Nearly 80 percent from the same age group say they have read a text message while driving. The incidence of texting while driving falls with every age group, and less than one percent of drivers 65 and older report that they text while driving.
Oklahoma law defines reckless driving as, “any operation of a motor vehicle that exhibits reckless, wanton or willful disregard for the safety of other people and their property.” Not to be confused with the criminal offense “road rage,” reckless driving refers to traffic offenses. In the state of Oklahoma, reckless driving is a misdemeanor. Common behaviors associated with reckless driving include:
- Excessive speeding
- Failure to indicate lane changes
- Excessive lane changes
- Failure to stop at red lights
- Passing traffic on the shoulders of the road or emergency lanes
An accident is considered a rear-end collision when a vehicle hits another vehicle directly in front of it while both were moving in the same direction. It is generally easier to prove who is at fault in a rear-end collision compared to other accident types. Nonetheless, it can be difficult to prove that injuries were a result of the collision. Injuries sustained at low speeds often include whiplash and lacerations and bruising to the face and head as a result of airbag deployment. At higher speeds, passengers in the front car usually endure more serious injuries, which often involve:
- Closed head injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Closed head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Nerve damage in the legs or back
- Blunt-force trauma