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What are common causes of car accidents?

Car accidents can be caused by a variety of distractions, behaviors and freak circumstances. For example, there are stories about asphalt coming lose, causing damage to cars and sending them off the roadway. More often, though, accidents are caused by some common factors such as speeding or reckless driving.

Reckless driving occurs when someone is driving in what is deemed an aggressive or dangerous fashion. Driving significantly over the speed limit or changing lanes wildly and often are examples of possible reckless driving. If a driver is shown to have engaged in reckless driving just before an accident occurs, he or she may be deemed both at-fault and liable for the accident.

According to statistics, someone dies in an accident related to drunk driving in America every 51 minutes, making drunk driving a common accident cause. That statistic doesn't even include accidents that involve drunk drivers but no fatalities.

Other common causes of accidents include failures to yield or signal, drivers not obeying basic traffic laws or signals, and drivers failing to heed weather or road conditions. If weather conditions are poor or the road is slick with rain or ice, drivers are expected to practice common sense measures such as reducing speeds, paying closer attention to the environment around them and putting on windshield wipers and headlights. In some areas, such activity is mandated by law.

Failing to take appropriate care when driving -- no matter the weather conditions -- can result in an accident. If lack of care is what caused an accident, then someone injured in the accident can seek compensation for medical and other expenses from the driver who caused the incident.

Source: FindLaw, "Car Accident Basics," accessed Aug. 21, 2015

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