Every year, many motor vehicle accidents happen in the Costa Mesa, CA, area for a number of reasons. Various agencies at the state and federal levels collect and analyze accident data from across the country. This data is then, in turn, used to inform the makers of public policy about the biggest traffic safety risks facing the public. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the California Department of Transportation (DOT) shows that Costa Mesa drivers and all other drivers face several risks every time they drive.
It’s vital to know the greatest risks you face when you get behind the wheel. Alert and defensive driving can not only potentially help you avoid a collision but can also prevent you from absorbing liability for one. If you experience a car accident in the Costa Mesa, CA, area, it’s vital to know your options for recovering any damages you suffered and ensuring the responsible driver’s accountability for their actions.
Distracted Driving in California
According to the latest accident data from various sources, distracted driving continues to be the most commonly reported cause of all motor vehicle accidents in California and throughout the United States. Whenever a driver is operating a moving vehicle without paying attention to their surroundings and safe operation of their vehicle, they can easily cause devastating accidents.
Cell phone use behind the wheel, eating while driving, and even conversations with passengers can be distracting enough to cause a collision. Anything that diverts a driver’s attention away from the road, their mind from the task at hand, or their hands away from the vehicle controls can potentially cause a damaging accident. If a distracted driver caused your recent collision, an attorney could assist you in proving how they were distracted and establish their liability for the incident.
Other Common Causes of Car Accidents in Costa Mesa, CA
While distracted drivers endanger themselves and others around them on the roads of California, they are not the only risks drivers face. Some of the other most commonly cited causes of serious accidents in the Costa Mesa, CA, area include:
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol. Any driver who causes an accident because of DUI faces severe criminal penalties. Available data indicates that DUI contributes to a large number of serious accidents in California each year and is a leading cause of fatal accidents throughout the country.
- Speeding. Exceeding the speed limit reduces the time you have to react to changes in traffic around you. Accidents that happen at high speeds are most likely to result in catastrophic or fatal injuries.
- Traffic violations. Moving violations like running stop signs, failing to stop for red lights, performing illegal turns, and anything else that disrupts traffic flow can easily cause an accident.
- Poor visibility. Drivers must use extra caution when driving during severe weather, at night, or in any conditions that restrict visibility. Motorcycles and other small vehicles are especially vulnerable to accidents in poor visibility conditions.
No matter how your recent car accident happened, you likely have lots of legal questions about how to recover your losses. A Costa Mesa, CA, personal injury attorney is the ideal resource in this situation. They can provide the guidance you need to determine your best options for recovering from a car accident.
Accident reports from the last several years have shown alarming trends, such as marked increases in accident rates and higher rates of fatal accidents throughout Southern California. Knowing the latest vehicle safety trends can help you stay safer behind the wheel and lower the chances of causing an accident with someone else. When an unexpected crash occurs, and you’re unsure how to proceed, it’s best to consult with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
Q: What Is the Actual Chance of Dying in a Car Accident?
A: Available statistics can show the number of fatal car accidents each year in various parts of California, including the Costa Mesa area. While you may interpret the fatal accident rate as the percentage chance of dying in a car accident, this isn’t necessarily true. Fatal accidents can happen for a number of unpredictable causes, and many factors influence whether the victim of a crash survives.
Q: What’s the Best Thing to Do Immediately After a Car Accident?
A: Your first steps after any car accident heavily influence your final recovery. You should address your immediate medical needs before consulting with an attorney at your earliest convenience. The sooner you have legal representation on your side, the better prepared you will be for addressing the unique aspects of your impending car accident claim.
Q: What Happens If the At-Fault Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
A: If a driver causes a crash in California and does not have auto insurance, the victim can proceed directly with a personal injury claim against them. Alternatively, if the victim has underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage in their own auto insurance policy, they may file a claim for coverage with their own insurance carrier for some expedient compensation. Your attorney can advise you as to how fault and insurance coverage will factor into your overall recovery efforts.
Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim for an Auto Accident?
A: California’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years, starting when the injury occurs. It’s essential to file your claim before this two-year window expires. While two years may seem like more than enough time, it is always best to start working on a civil case as soon as possible to ensure the best chances of success.
Ultimately, statistics can be useful in some ways, but defensive driving and situational awareness are the best tools for limiting your risk of experiencing an accident in California. In addition, when accidents do occur, the attorneys at Easton & Easton can provide comprehensive legal counsel to injured drivers. Contact us today to schedule a consultation about your case, and we can help you determine your best options for legal recourse.