Most drivers have swerved to avoid a collision at some point in their lives. Yet, when one car crashes into another from behind in a rear-end accident, the victim may never have seen it coming.
At Norris Injury Lawyers, we know that accidents are hard to predict. Yet, our lawyers believe you should be able to rely on justice. We have spent over 40 years helping our clients win what they deserve.
First, you need to know the facts about your rights. Call (800) 477-7510 at any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to schedule a free consultation with our legal team.
Actions That Lead to Rear-End Collisions
In Alabama, there was a traffic crash report filed every 3 minutes and 55 seconds in 2020.
Many of these accidents were preventable, and rear-end collisions are no different. Consider the following circumstances that often accompany these crashes.
Alcohol and drug involvement
Driving requires the coordination of various motor, perceptual, and cognitive skills. Drugs, alcohol, and driving do not mix. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “you cannot drive safely if you’re impaired.”
For this reason, impaired driving is illegal in all 50 US states. Below are some effects that drugs and alcohol can have on driving:
- Slowed response times
- Greater rates of error in complex tasks
- Loss of balance and orientation
- Lowered alertness
- Sedation (drowsiness)
- Impaired hand-to-eye coordination
- Behavior changes (e.g. increased likelihood to take risks, aggression)
- Difficulty in problem solving, learning, and memory
With these side effects in mind, it is easy to imagine why many rear-end accidents involve impaired drivers. Many common substances, even over-the-counter medicines and supplements, can affect one’s ability to drive. If you suspect that the driver who ran into your vehicle was impaired, please contact our personal injury attorneys to discuss your legal options.
Distracting driving is a serious problem in the United States. Research reveals that distraction plays a role in nearly 60 percent of crashes involving young drivers. A similar survey of older adults revealed that 42 percent of participants used their phones while driving for texting, talking, or navigation.
According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, texting drivers are 23 times more likely than non-texting drivers to get into a motor vehicle accident. Using wireless communication devices while driving (i.e. phones, tablets, laptops) is thus against the law in Alabama.
Some other distracting behaviors are:
- Eating and driving
- Talking to passengers
- Using navigational systems or reading maps
- Adjusting dials (e.g. radio, music, temperature control)
Motorists should be careful everywhere, but especially in work zones. It takes more intense concentration to drive through work zones than other areas.
Another dangerous combination is driving and fatigue. Some drugs cause drowsiness, but it can also happen for other reasons, such as:
- Lack of sleep
- Sleep disorders
- Drinking alcohol
- Shift work
Motorists need to be alert while driving. Drowsiness slows reaction time, causes inattention, and affects decision-making ability. Operating a motor vehicle in that condition would risk the health and safety of the driver and any others sharing the road.
Alabama crash statistics implicated speeding as a cause of nearly 8,000 accidents in 2019. Most people understand that driving over the speed limit is illegal. Yet, the definition of speeding also includes driving too fast for current conditions.
For example, a driver might need to reduce speed when facing:
- Adverse weather conditions like rain, snow, sleet, fog, or high winds
- Heavy traffic
- Visibility issues
- Obstacles or debris
- Work zones
- Curving roads or hills
- Mechanical problems
- Railway crossings and intersections
Since a driver needs to be in control at all times, he or she must use good judgment to determine a reasonable speed. In some cases, there is no safe speed.
The NHTSA identifies these consequences of driving too fast:
- Higher chance of losing vehicle control
- Reduced effectiveness of protective equipment like seatbelts, airbags, and crumple zones
- Increased required stopping distance if the driver perceives danger
- More severe crashes leading to more serious injuries
Motorists should pull over out of harm’s way and wait if driving is not advisable.
Following too closely
In 2019, tailgating contributed to a staggering 21,585 Alabama car accidents. Following too closely is dangerous because motorists require time and space to stop their vehicles. If there is not enough time or they are too close to the car in front, drivers may not be able to avoid a collision.
The space needed to brake varies by vehicle type, road surface, and weather. A good rule of thumb is to double your following distance in adverse circumstances.
Failing to yield
At an intersection, drivers should not simply continue through when they feel like it. Right-of-way rules are designed to keep everyone safe, including pedestrians and bicyclists.
Respecting traffic signals and signs is an essential component of safe driving. Besides yielding and making full stops when required, drivers should yield to any vehicle “in the intersection or approaching on another roadway.” Emergency vehicles like fire engines, ambulances, and police cars with flashing lights always have the right of way.
At times, mechanical issues cause motorists to lose control of their vehicles. They might not be able to steer or brake properly. Accidents could occur if any of the following parts malfunctions or is defective:
- Steering and suspension
- Headlights or tail lights
- Windshield wipers
The experienced legal professionals of Norris Injury Lawyers investigate accidents carefully, seeking answers to such questions as:
- Did the car owner know something was wrong with the car before the accident? Ignoring warning signs could make them liable for any resulting accidents.
- Did a mechanic miss an obvious problem during an inspection? Were car services performed according to proper standards? If mechanics failed at their duties, the blame for the accident could fall on them or their business.
- Was the product defective or poorly designed? Parts manufacturers are responsible for the safety of their items. Sellers should immediately pull recalled items from the market.
Determining fault for a mechanical issue requires insight. If you would like to find out whether you have a case, you can talk to the Norris team for free. Click “Start Chat” below to learn how the law applies in your case.
How Alabama Rear-End Accidents Affect Families
Rear-end accidents often cause the victim’s body to jerk forward, potentially coming in contact with the steering wheel, dashboard, front seat, or windshield. Even protective devices like seatbelts and airbags can injure you as they protect you from being thrown from the vehicle.
Besides the damage to your vehicle, you could be facing major injuries that make it challenging to support your loved ones:
- Spine, neck, and back injuries (e.g. whiplash, herniated discs, paralysis)
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue sprains and tears
- Facial injuries that affect your physical appearance
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Loss of appendages
- Internal injuries
Treatment and rehabilitation costs can make you feel hopeless. However, thanks to Alabama law, fair compensation for your losses is possible.
Regain Control of Your Life
Your rear-end collision might have seemed to come out of nowhere. Yet, you do not need to be blindsided by greedy insurance companies who refuse to pay what you are due.
At Norris Injury Lawyers, we want to give you back control. Our team is prepared to fight for as long as it takes to settle your claim. You will pay no fees unless we get you money.
Would you like to find out what compensation you are entitled to for your medical bills, lost wages, and property damage? Get in touch with us today at (800) 477-7510.