Most of us will be in a car accident at some time in our lives. Whether the crash is a single car accident or multi-car pileup, there is a real risk of injury associated with any accident. The types of injuries can differ, as well.
Rear-end collisions are the most common type of crash. If the driver behind you is following too closely, driving too fast for the weather, or simply not paying attention, he or she may crash into your vehicle. The impact causes a forward/backward motion, frequently resulting in whiplash or other soft tissue injuries. With this type of crash, the front air bags may deploy and lessen the forward motion. Note that in all cases, air bags are designed to work in conjunction with seat belts to lessen the severity of the injuries. If the airbag in the car deploys and you do not have your seat belt on, it is possible that you would receive more severe injuries from the accident.
Side impact collisions are the second most common type of crash and may occur when someone runs a red light or stop sign, turns without looking or misjudges distances. Side impact collisions are more likely to cause a rotation of the head, neck and body. The motion may cause the occupants to hit their heads on the side window or frame of the car; in this case, if your vehicle has side air bags they may lessen the impact.
While not as common, head-on collisions typically occur when one driver swerves into the other’s lane. This may happen if the driver is distracted, falls asleep, or is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These accidents can cause severe injuries, especially at high speeds. Many highways now have either wide center medians or guard rails separating oncoming traffic in an effort to reduce head-on collisions.
Speeding-related accidents are extremely common and also deadly: they make up a third of all car accident deaths. Speeding is often a contributing factor to a car accident when the road or weather conditions are bad, though speeding can cause a crash even on clear, sunny days.
All of us have driven by a single-car accident and wondered how the driver possibly managed to wreck his car! While some accidents are due to driver error (inattentive driving, falling asleep, etc.), there are cases where the accident is the result of mechanical failure or a road defect.
Mechanical failure can occur if the car’s owner fails to properly maintain the vehicle. But the car may also fail due to poor design or unsafe materials or workmanship in the building of the vehicle. If you look at automobile recalls over the last several years, incidents such as accelerators that stick, faulty brakes, seat belts that fail, or bad parts that cause engine fires have all been responsible for accidents and deaths. It is important to keep your address current with the manufacturer so you will be notified of any recalls related to your vehicle.
Poor road design or improper maintenance can also cause accidents. Federal, state and local governments have a responsibility to the public to design, build and maintain safe roadways. If the government fails to do so, it may be required to compensate the injured party or the survivors of a loved one killed in the accident. Unfortunately, if a design flaw is identified after the road is in place, funding for repairs or redesign frequently takes a back seat to new road construction and unsuspecting drivers are left to navigate dangerous roadways.
If you have been in a car accident, Martinson & Beason offers a free step-by-step accident guide. Download a copy here:
If you have been injured in a car accident that was caused by another’s negligence, including manufacturing or design error or poor roadway design, construction or maintenance, you should speak with an accident attorney immediately to learn your rights.
Our Alabama car accident lawyers handle all automobile accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not charge you a fee until and unless we make a recovery for you. To learn what you should ask a prospective attorney, download our Special Report.
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury contact our experienced and dedicated Huntsville car accident attorneys. The evaluation is free and confidential.
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