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March 16, 2023

What Are the Most Common Reasons for Road Accidents?

There are several reasons for road accidents in Rhode Island. When you get injured in a crash, determining why the accident happened is one of the first steps toward recovering compensation. An experienced attorney can help to determine the cause of the wreck and which party or parties may be responsible for your physical, financial, and emotional losses.

If you were seriously injured in a wreck, you may be facing high medical bills, pain and disability, and time away from work you cannot afford. In these situations, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced attorney at Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd. right away. During your free case review, we will listen to your story, assess the merits of your claim, and explain your rights and legal options.

10 Common Reasons for Road Accidents

While there are many ways in which a wreck can occur, and no two crashes are exactly the same, below are 10 common reasons for road accidents

1. Driver Inattention 

Many car accidents happen simply because a driver isn’t paying attention behind the wheel. Inattentiveness is a common factor in all types of road accidents—including rear-end, head-on, and side-impact collisions.

2. Driver Distractions 

Distractions are a leading cause of road accidents as well. Even though Rhode Island prohibits handheld cell phone use behind the wheel (and prohibits minors from using their phones at all), it is clear that far too many drivers still choose to talk on the phone, text, and scroll social media while driving. Talking to passengers, rubbernecking, eating and drinking, and navigating are all common distractions—and common causes of road accidents—as well. 

3. Driver Impairment 

According to the Rhode Island Department of Health, roughly 40 percent of all fatal road accidents in the state involve drivers who are drunk behind the wheel. Drunk drivers cause a significant percentage of all serious but non-fatal accidents in Rhode Island as well. 

4. Driver Fatigue

Studies have shown that fatigue can have similar effects to low-level alcohol impairment behind the wheel. Studies have also shown that many people drive while fatigued, and that driver fatigue is a risk at all hours of the day. 

5. Recklessness Behind the Wheel 

Even when drivers aren’t being inattentive, distracted, impaired, or fatigued, they can still make poor decisions behind the wheel. Recklessness is a common reason for road accidents as well. When drivers tailgate, weave through traffic, and engage in other reckless driving behaviors, they are far more likely to cause accidents that result in serious or fatal injuries. 

6. Failing to Look Before Turning or Merging 

Looking before turning or merging only takes a split second, and it can prevent collisions in many cases. Yet, many drivers turn or merge without checking for oncoming traffic. All vehicles have blind spots, and drivers cannot rely solely on their vehicles’ mirrors and assisted driving features when determining whether it is safe to turn or get over. 

7. Assuming Other Drivers Will Move or Wait 

In many cases, road accidents happen because drivers assume that other drivers will either move out of their way or wait for them to pass. This is a common factor, for example, in intersection accidents that occur when a driver speeds through a red light. This type of negligence can also lead to accidents when a speeding driver assumes that the vehicle in front will move over or proceed through an intersection instead of braking. 

8. Traffic Law Violations  

Rhode Island’s traffic laws exist for a reason. They are designed to ensure that the state’s roads are as safe as possible, and that drivers can predict how other drivers will behave on the road. As a result, when drivers violate these laws, they often end up causing road accidents. Some examples of common traffic law violations that result in accidents include:

  • Driving while distracted, drunk, or high
  • Passing illegally 
  • Running red lights
  • Running stop signs
  • Speeding

9. Road Hazards and Defects

Along with driver-related factors, road hazards and defects are common reasons for road accidents as well. Negligent road construction, inadequately marked construction zones, and inadequate road maintenance are all frequent factors in accidents in Rhode Island. 

10. Vehicle Maintenance Issues and Defects 

Vehicle maintenance issues and defects can also lead to road accidents. Defective and inadequately maintained brakes, tires, lights, engines, and transmission systems can all cause drivers to suddenly and unexpectedly lose control on the road. In many cases, vehicle maintenance issues and defects will combine with driver negligence to result in serious or fatal collisions.  

Discuss Your Road Accident Claim with an Attorney for Free

If you’ve been injured in an accident on the road and need to know more about your legal rights, we encourage you to contact Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd. promptly for a FREE, no-obligation case review.

To speak with a road accident lawyer at our Providence, RI law offices as soon as possible, call us at (401) 273-8330 or tell us how we can reach you online now.