Every fifteen minutes in the U.S., someone dies in a traffic accident, according to an Autoblog.com. That equals 94 people each day. The worst part about this statistic is that most traffic “accidents” can actually be prevented. Unfortunately, traffic accident fatalities are expected to increase over the next 20 years by a whopping 65%.
With that said, most of us will probably either be in a traffic accident or witness one. We never know how we are going to react to a traffic accident until it happens. Whether we are a victim or a witness watching it happen, we are bound to have questions. Here are some common traffic accident questions and answers that will help you if you are ever in a traffic accident or witness one.
Q: What are the Top Causes of Traffic Accidents?
- Distracted driving is the number one cause of traffic accidents today. We all live non-stop busy lives that often require us to multi-task, but it is never smart to try to perform other tasks while driving, especially when those tasks take your eyes and mind off of the road while you are driving. Eating, reading, applying makeup, texting, talking on the phone, adjusting the GPS, and even talking to passengers in the car are all ways that drivers can become distracted. When motorists drive while they are distracted, they are much more likely to be in or cause an accident.
- Speeding accounts for nearly one-third of all traffic accidents in America, and also causes some of the deadliest crashes on our roads.
- Drunk driving lands in the number three spot for behaviors that cause accidents. In fact, in 2010, a whopping 1.4 million motorists were arrested for driving under the influence. Not only is drunk driving irresponsible, it is also preventable, dangerous and puts innocent lives in jeopardy.
Q: What Should I Do if I Witness a Traffic Accident?
A: Whatever you do, if you witness a traffic accident, you need to make sure that you do not put yourself in a dangerous predicament. After a traffic accident occurs, there is a possibility that combustibles, flames, or fire could break out. If the collision occurred in the middle of a highway or other similar roadway, there is a possibility that another driver could barrel into the collision, as well, if they are not paying attention to what is in the road. Therefore, you do not want to approach the scene of the accident prior to ensuring that the scene is safe.
In fact, it is smart to keep your distance from the vehicles until the police arrive on the scene, rather than exit your car in the middle of traffic or leave it somewhere it could be an obstruction or cause another crash. However, there are times when serious accidents occur and drivers or passengers may need to be made more comfortable until police and medics show up. Perhaps a driver or passenger needs someone to help stop their bleeding. Use common sense – victims should not be moved because moving an injured victim could exacerbate issues and make him or her much worse.
When the authorities arrive on the scene, be sure to provide them and the individuals involved in the accident with your name and contact information. You may want to sit down as soon as possible after the accident and write down what you saw. Details tend to fade quickly, so documenting what you remember immediately will help if you are ever called on for a statement.
Q: Can I Get a Ticket if I Cause a Traffic Accident?
A: Absolutely! You can be issued a traffic ticket for a variety of different citations. For instance, if an accident occurred because you failed to yield the right of way, you can be issued a ticket for failing to yield the right of way.
Additionally, if you commit a misdemeanor or a felony that leads to an accident, you can be charged with a crime. For instance, if you are drinking and driving and you cause an accident, you can be charged with driving while intoxicated or another relevant charge.
You will have to appear in court and answer to any crimes you are charged. You may need a lawyer to help you get the charges reduced or to help you negotiate a plea bargain. In the end, it is not worth all of the stress, financial burden, and potentially damaged reputation that you could deal with. Please drive safely.
Q: Do I Need a Need an Attorney if I Have Been Injured in a Traffic Accident?
While you could handle any pertinent insurance claims and you could even file and pursue a personal injury lawsuit without any legal assistance, it is advisable to contact a Pennsylvania personal injury attorney if you have been injured in an accident. Insurance companies immediately know that they cannot lowball settlement offers when accident victims have legal representation because most personal injury attorneys are fully aware of how much a claim is worth. Without an attorney, there is a good chance that the insurance company will try to make you offers that are much lower than the value of your claim, in the hopes that you are not aware of how much your claim is worth or you are desperate to settle.
If you have been injured in a traffic accident, contact Solnick & Associates, LLC today at (877) 415-6495 for a free consultation. We will ensure that you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries.