Alcohol reduces the function of the brain, impairs thinking, reasoning and muscle coordination. All these abilities are essential to operating a vehicle safely.
28 people in the US die in drunk driving crashes every day. That’s one person every 52 minutes.
In 2019, more than 10000 people died in the US from drunk driving.
Over the last decade, 70,000 alcohol-related crashes happened in Tennessee with 8000 in Davidson County.
Many types of drugs, whether legal or illegal, can impair people’s driving skills.
They can :
- Alter perceptions and judgement (cannabis, psychedelics, ketamine, etc.)
- Induce drowsiness (opiates, cannabis, anxiety medication, etc.)
- Increase impulsive behaviors and risk-taking (cocaine, amphetamines, ice, etc.)
In 2017, the NHTSA reported that, out of police controls for drugs, drivers were tested positive for:
- Cannabis 38%.
- Depressants 29% (anxiety medication, GHB, etc.)
- Narcotic analgesics 28% (Oxycodone, codeine, heroin, etc.)
- Poly-drug use 37%.
Drug combinations, called poly-drug use, and combination with alcohol have disastrous consequences.
7Teenagers and inexperienced drivers
Car accidents are the leading cause of death for American teenagers who account for more than one third of teen wrongful deaths. The risk of auto accidents is higher among 16- to 19-year-old teenage drivers than among any other age group.
Per mile driven, teenage drivers are 4 times more likely to get into a car accident than older, more experienced drivers. They’re also more prone to reckless behaviors, texting, speeding, DUI and DWI.
In Tennessee, Nashville ranks first in crashes involving teenagers.
Human error is at play with car accidents more often than not. However, vehicles and parts sometimes fail drivers:
- Tire blowouts: Most highways are littered with the scattered remains of a tire blowout. They can cause motorists to lose control of their vehicle are even more dangerous for bigger vehicles like semi-trucks.
- Faulty brakes and steering malfunctions: As paramount parts of any vehicle, brake and steering failures may cause catastrophic accidents.
- Design defects: Automobiles have many parts and most of those can be defective, causing a crash. Many design defects became sadly famous over time, like Ford’s cruise control catching fire in the late 90s.
Poor conditions and lack of maintenance to Tennessean roads are a big contributing factor in car accidents:
- Potholes: Drivers run the risk of losing control of their car or blowing out a tire when they drive over those bowl-shaped holes.
- Other maintenance defects: Missing or broken signage, missing or insufficient reflectors and paint lines, missing, broken or defective guardrails, loose gravel, etc.
- Poor road designs: Deadly curves, narrow bridges and roads, insufficient lighting, poor intersection planning, etc.
- Construction sites: They provide drivers with many hazards such as sharp turns, uneven pavement, lack of road markings, etc.
Unfortunately, weather conditions and wild animals are out of anyone’s control:
- Rain: Water makes roads slicks and often causes automobiles to spin out of control or skid while braking.
- Ice and snow: Although Nashville gets only about 10 inches of snow every year, icy and snowy roads can cause the driver to lose tire traction therefore control. Even more than rain, snowfall makes for treacherous road conditions.
- Night time: Although 60% less drivers use the road, driving at night makes the risk of fatal crashes more than 40% higher. Sunrise and sunset make roads darker than the sky, impairing visibility. They are the most dangerous time period.
- Fog: Thick fog makes visibility extremely difficult, sometimes preventing motorists from seeing further than one car length in front of them.
- Animal crossings: Wild animals do not take driver’s education. They will unexpectedly cross roads, especially in rural areas. Not colliding with them is entirely up to the driver.
If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident that was caused by the negligence of another motorist, or car manufacturer defect you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our car accident attorneys at our Nashville or Lebanon office at 615-313-3999.