Causes of Auto Accidents
Accident involving automobiles are not just scary and dangerous but life threatening as well. It is continuously being studied how to improve the safety and reduce risk, and with these studies we learn which behaviors as highest risk and even against the law. Queens, NY is one of the most densely populated driving communities in the United States with a population of 2.4 million people. This means that the severity of the damage that can be caused by an accident is much greater than other places. The risk to pedestrians, cyclists and other cars alike is intensified. This is why it’s critical to understand which distractions to look out for and stay safe on the road.
Driving our automobile requires 100% focus at all times. When we are behind the wheel we are in control of a fast and heavy machine that comes with a great level of responsibility. Taking our focus off the road, even for a brief few seconds can have detrimental effects, not just for us, but for those around us as well. It is first essential to understand what is a distraction, because without identifying it, it is impossible to avoid it.
The first type of distraction is anything that takes your eyes from the road such as watching other cars or drivers, or looking at advertisements.
The second type of distractions is anything that take your hands from the wheel, like eating, reaching for something, or altering the radio/cd player.
The final type of distraction, which is the most dangerous is an activity that takes your eyes and hands away from the vehicle. This includes texting, or using the cell phone, reading maps or other material etc.
None of the above examples require a significant period for the distraction to cause harm. Studies show that just 2 seconds of distractions account for 14% of motor vehicle and car accidents in the US. The driver does not necessarily need to be the one initiating the distraction. 2 seconds is all it takes to check a ringing phone, or turn to the passenger to respond to a question. No matter who is at fault for the car accident, that brief distraction is enough time to make the difference between avoiding the accident and getting into one.
Accidents involving Cyclist/Pedestrians
One of the risk of modern transportation is the close interaction of automobiles with pedestrians and cyclist. Even with the creation of bike lanes and sidewalks, there are unsafe intersections and close interactions of these individuals. Several steps have been taken to help reduce these accidents, mainly by increasing visibility of the cyclist/pedestrian. Solid or flashing lights on bikes and with bright vest can help catch the attention of passing cars. Reflective strips are common on joggers and exercise clothes.
Ultimately the driver of the automobile must remain aware at all times to avoid these accidents. As mentioned above it takes a minimal distraction to have life threatening consequences. But even with perfect focus there are other steps drivers can take. Being constantly aware and updated to the rules of the road is an important step. Like knowing who has the right away at crosswalks, how long to stop for at stop signs and other high-risk areas can greatly reduce accidents. Another major preventative measure is to always know the speed limits, and to follow it strictly.
Even though auto accident can happen extremely quickly, it is still possible to define who was at fault. Personal Injury laws in the United States help provide a framework for the victim to receive some level of compensation after an accident involving a party who was distracted.