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Most Common Causes of Fatal Accidents

Car accidents can result in a wide range of significant injuries. Injuries vary in nature and severity, ranging from soft tissue injuries to fractures, disability, and death. Tragically, the number of fatal accidents increases each year. In fact, approximately 30,000 accidents result in fatalities each year. Car fatalities are sadly the leading cause of death for children and young adults. These deaths have a devastating and traumatic effect on family members. Family members and loved ones naturally have questions regarding fault and recovering compensation for their loved ones’ death. The experienced attorneys at Slatter Law Firm will aggressively fight to recover the maximum compensation for the injuries of a family member.

Large cities, such as Los Angeles, have particularly high rates of traffic deaths. As a result, in 2015, Los Angeles implemented the Vision Zero policy, which is aimed to reduce the number of these deaths. Generally, fatal accidents are caused by many different factors. However, the Vision Zero Safety Study identified the most common causes for these accidents. Below is a description of those causes.

  1. Speeding- Speeding is the leading cause of fatal accidents. Speeding substantially increases the risk of harm to drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists in several ways. Speeding increases the braking distance needed to avoid a collision, making braking more difficult for drivers. Speeding also decreases a driver’s field of vision, thereby hindering the ability to notice other cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists.
  2. The basic speeding law is that drivers are prohibited from travelling at a speed greater than is reasonable based on the weather, traffic conditions, visibility, or road conditions. The speed limit for a highway or road is generally posted on traffic signs. If the speed limit is not posted, the law imposes a speed limit of 15 miles per hour when crossing railroad tracks or driving in alleys, and 25 miles per hour in residential neighborhoods and business districts.

  3. Intoxicated Driving- More than 25% of traffic-related deaths involve drunk driving. In fact, drivers under the influence of alcohol are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal accident than sober drivers. Intoxicated driving is not only dangerous, but also is a criminal offense.
  4. Hit and Run Accident- Hit and runs are another common cause for these fatalities. Approximately 682,000 hit and run collisions occur each year. Tragically, about 65 % of fatal hit and run collisions involve pedestrians and bicyclists. Hit and run collisions are particularly traumatic because the victim is left helpless and in need of urgent medical treatment.
  5. The law requires drivers involved in an accident resulting in an injury to another person to remain at the scene of the accident. It is a criminal offense to flee the scene under these circumstances.

  6. Failure to Yield- Fatal accidents are also caused by drivers’ failure to yield. In fact, a failure to yield causes about 25 % of fatal pedestrian accidents. Drivers frequently strike pedestrians by failing to notice pedestrians in crosswalks while turning onto a street. Pedestrians generally have the right of way. In other words, drivers are required to yield to pedestrians walking in any marked crosswalk, or any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.
  7. Side Impact or T-Bone Accidents- Side impact or T-bone collisions occur when the front of a vehicle collides into the side of another vehicle, motorcycle, or bicycle. These collisions are another common cause for fatal accidents. In fact, approximately 29 % of fatal collisions involve T-bone accidents. These accidents often happen when a driver runs a red light or stop sign and strikes another vehicle entering the intersection.

These accidents are governed by the laws of negligence. Drivers are required to operate their vehicle with care, caution, and attentiveness in order to prevent harm to other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Drivers must therefore obey all traffic laws. Speeding, intoxicated driving, failing to yield, and failing to stop and red lights or stop signs are traffic violations and breaches of drivers’ duty of care. In order to recover compensation for your loved one’s death, your accident attorney must establish that the other driver’s breach caused the accident.

Contact Us Today

Contact a Los Angeles personal injury attorney today if a loved one was involved in a fatal accident. Slatter Law Firm has been helping individuals injured due to car accidents throughout Los Angeles and Southern California for over four decades. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at (310) 444-3010 or contact us online.