Unfortunately, not a day goes by that we don't witness someone in a
motor vehicle accident. It can be something minor like a fender bender
or something more serious such as a high-speed, head-on collision. There
are many causes of car accidents and while some accidents may be easily
avoided, others may be more challenging.
Experienced Kingston car accident attorneys know that many needless accidents are caused by the negligence of another
driver and can be easily avoided. Whether a motorist is deemed negligent
in the use and operation of a motor vehicle depends on the totality of
However, it is important to understand that every motorist is required
by New York law to use reasonable care when driving in order to prevent
harm to another driver, passenger, or pedestrian. Failure to exercise
one's duty of reasonable care while behind the wheel translates into
a breach of duty and in turn, a possible claim of negligence.
#1 - Distracted driving is the top cause of car accidents in the U.S. today.
Careful driving requires full attention on the road but when commuters
become distracted, they divert attention from driving to another activity.
Technology has become the common foe of the road as more and more drivers
find themselves talking on their cell phones and texting while driving.
Also, switching the radio station, eating food, reading, applying makeup
and glancing over at other passengers in the car while engaged in conversation
easily distract drivers and can cause a
car accident. Such negligent driving can easily be avoided and simply staying focused
on the road can prevent an accident.
#2 -Another contributor to car accidents is a motor vehicle defect. These can
manifest in the form of a design defect, manufacturing defect, and improper
maintenance. A design defect occurs when there is a problem with the design
of an automobile part that makes it inherently dangerous to use such as
a poorly designed accelerator pedal.
A manufacturing defect occurs when an automobile part is improperly manufactured
and departs from the manufacturer’s intended design such as an incorrectly
installed floor mat that results in unintended acceleration.
I#3 -mproper maintenance occurs when a driver fails to properly maintain the
vehicle such as having brake pads routinely inspected, tires changed,
and windshield wipers fixed. Drivers may be liable for car-related injuries
resulting from driving on bad tires or poorly working wipers.
Liability will typically be imputed to automakers if a design or manufacturing
defect causes a motor vehicle accident. However, this does not mean a
driver is off the hook. If the driver became aware of such a defect or
received notice from the manufacturer who offered to make repairs, he
or she can become liable for failure to have the defect timely cured.
#4 - Inclement weather during winter months typically triggers motor vehicle
accidents and may occur despite a motorist exercising reasonable care.
Heavy snow and blizzards can create whiteout conditions that reduce the
visibility of motorists. Ice and slippery road conditions can quickly
cause spinouts and in turn, a motor vehicle collision.
Such adverse weather conditions can be very dangerous and challenging to
drive in. Despite harsh weather and road conditions, a driver may still
be deemed negligent for failing to take extra precaution while battling
the elements. Motorist should drive more slowly on wet, snowy or icy roads
as well as keep a safe distance between vehicles. Drivers should also
engage their windshield wipers during rain or snow.
#5 -Roadway debris is another common cause of car accidents. Government agencies
are responsible for maintaining public roads and highways in order to
prevent harm to motorists. Liability is typically imputed to government
agencies for dangerous roadway debris, such as large vehicle parts or
other objects that caused an accident, if they were put on notice of such
danger but failed to remedy the hazardous conditions in a timely manner.
Other causes of car accidents that impute liability to drivers for negligence
include driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, running stop
signs and red lights, and reckless driving such as speeding, tailgating,
and changing lanes prematurely.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact our
personal injury attorneys. We serve clients in and around Orange County, NY and Dutchess County, NY.