Have you ever wondered if where you live can influence the likelihood that you’ll be involved in a serious auto accident? Unfortunately, it does. In 2015, Alabama state rates of death in car crashes were almost double (13.7) the rates for the rest of the nation (7.0 per 100,000 respectively).
While there are many factors that contribute to this trend, the fact remains that hundreds of people are injured in car accidents every day in the heart of Dixie. Through understanding how accidents happen, we hope the number of deadly car accidents will eventually lower.
For more than 3 decades, the accident attorney’s at Pittman, Dutton & Hellums have represented Alabama residents who have been injured in car accidents get the compensation they need to help heal their bodies, recover their property and ease their minds.
5 Common Causes of Car Accidents
Sometimes malfunctioning car parts can cause devastating crashes that result in painful injuries. More often than not, driver inattention is to blame. The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHSTA) has gathered data on car accidents across the nation since 1970. Based on these statistics, we know the top causes of car accidents are:
Following another car too closely gives little to no brake time for abrupt stops. The result is often a rear-end collision. The driver whose front end meets another car’s rear is almost always found to be at-fault. The rule of thumb is to allow 3 seconds of time between you and another vehicle, and at least 6 seconds in inclement weather.
Speeding is illegal and staying within the posted speed limit could save your life. Speeding reduces your ability to react to sudden changes and execute safety measures in the road ahead. According to the NHSTA, 9,262 people died in speeding related crashes in 2014.
Teenage drivers and young men are the two groups most likely to engage in this risky behavior. Street racing is one way youngsters exercise their need for speed, but even the slightest loss of control of the wheel in a speeding vehicle can result in loss of life.
3. Driving Under the Influence
Alcohol impaired driving accounted for 32% of all fatal crashes in Alabama in 2014. Driving under the influence can include prescription, as well as recreational drugs. DUI convictions in Alabama could cost you your license, jail time and a fine of up to $5,000.
If you’ve been drinking or feel unable to drive due to a medication side effect, call a buddy or a cab to take you home. If you’ve been hit by a drunk driver, an attorney can help you recover compensation for your injuries in a civil suit.
4. Moving Violations
Rolling through a stop sign, forgetting to turn your lights on, making an improper turn, abruptly changing lanes, driving the wrong way on a one-way street – all these are examples of moving violations that could seriously injure others. A car that runs a red light through an intersection may T-bone another passenger car.
5. Distracted Driving
It seems like no matter where you go, people are always on their smartphones. What’s not very smart is using your phone or texting while driving. Not only is it illegal, distracted driving took the lives of some 3,179 people in the U.S. in 2014. Putting your phone away while driving is the surest way to stop distracted driving behavior. No text message is worth a life.
Alabama Hot Spots
If you’ve ever gotten a ticket in Alabama, you’ve unwittingly contributed to making the roads safer. Thanks to the University of Alabama’s Center for Advanced Public Safety, residents know just where to be weary on our state’s roads. Athens City in particular has several potentially dangerous intersections and roadways.
Counties to be extra careful driving in and through include:
• Shelby County
• Jefferson County
• the Huntsville-Decatur section of Highway 231
• Madison County
• Cullman Country
What to Do If You’ve Been in a Car Accident
If you’ve been in a car accident, please immediately contact authorities, especially if anyone is in need of medical attention. Get police on the scene of a serious accident so that a police report can be made.
If you can, document as much as possible about the scene. Take photos of any injuries or vehicle damage and get witness contact information. This evidence may be very useful if you file an accident claim for compensation.
Collect information from the other party, including: the driver and passenger’s name, address, insurer, policy number and vehicle make and model.
It’s vital you do not admit fault to anyone, or sign anything. Don’t discuss the accident with anyone but your doctor and your lawyer.
How an Alabama Car Accident Attorney Can Help
Insurance companies will want to handle your accident claim as quickly and as cheaply as possible. They may offer you a settlement early on that sounds enticing, however it is likely not to cover anywhere near the total compensation to which you may be entitled under Alabama law.
A car accident attorney at Pittman Dutton & Hellums may be able to get you compensated for:
• Property damage
• Medical expenses (ambulance rides, hospital stays, tests, medications, etc.)
• Loss of wages, both past and future
• Pain and suffering
Under Alabama law, you may also be entitled to punitive damages, which are intended as financial punishment for the guilty driver’s recklessness. An experienced car accident attorney will thoroughly investigate your accident and build the strongest case possible to win you the most compensation.
Contact Us Today
Pittman Dutton & Hellums has successfully secured maximum damages for our car accident clients for decades. To find out how our expertise can help you recover from the aftermath of car accident, please contact our firm today.