Single-Vehicle Car Accidents

Single-Vehicle Accidents are a Major Hazard, but They Might Not be Your Fault

Everyone knows that automobile accidents are a major threat to everyone on the roads. In 2015, statistics show that 35,092 people were killed in crashes on U.S. roadways. This was up 7.2 percent from 32,744 traffic fatalities in 2014, and indicates the largest percentage increase in nearly 50 years. Traffic injuries likewise were up in 2015, from 2.34 million to 2.44 million people hurt. The estimated number of traffic accidents rose by 3.8 percent, from 6.0 to 6.3 million.

As dangerous as traffic accidents involving two or more cars are, single-vehicle accidents also are a major threat. Fatalities in single-vehicle accidents were up in 2015 by 4.2 percent over 2014. Further, from 2005 through 2007, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration studied 5,471 crashes, looking at the number of vehicles involved in the accidents and matching the percentages to national estimates of traffic accidents. Most of the accidents involved two vehicles, but nearly a third, were single-vehicle crashes.

What are the Causes of Single-Vehicle Accidents?

According to federal statistics, crashes that involve running off the road cause a significant number of the fatalities and injuries to vehicle occupants resulting from single-vehicle accidents. Accidents that involve a vehicle running off the road are referred to by the federal government as, not surprisingly, run-off-road (ROR) accidents. These types of accidents account for about 70 percent of fatalities in single-vehicle accidents. In a study looking at single-vehicle accidents from 1991 through 2007, the NHTSA found that leading factors in ROR accidents included:

  • Alcohol use by the driver;
  • Speeding;
  • Curved road segments;
  • Rural roads;
  • High speed limit roads;
  • Roads with only one or two lanes in each direction;
  • Inclement weather, such as rain, sleet, snow, fog, smog, smoke, blowing sand, or dust;
  • Nighttime driving;
  • Vehicles with two or more occupants;
  • Vehicles driven by drivers ages 15 to 24; and
  • Drivers with performance-related factors such as drowsiness, inattention, overcorrection of the vehicle, or attempting to avoid another vehicle.

Obviously, these are factors, not causes, but they are worth keeping in mind to help avoid being in a single-vehicle accident. Further, these can be factors in whether a single-vehicle accident is determined to be your fault.

A Single-Vehicle Accident Isn’t Necessarily Your Fault

Because no other vehicles are involved, the driver of the car in a single-vehicle accident is usually going to be deemed to be at fault for the accident. However, that isn’t necessarily the case. A sudden catastrophic equipment failure, such as loss of brakes, or a falling or fallen tree on a dark rural road, or a driver coming toward you on the wrong side of the road are primary examples of when a single-vehicle accident would not be your fault. There are others, obviously. If you are involved in a single-vehicle accident and believe you are not at fault, then, there are things you can do to help prove this.

If another vehicle caused your accident without actually being part of the accident, you need to report that to the other driver’s insurance company or, if the vehicle didn’t stop, to the police. Witnesses may be able to help provide license plate information.

If your accident occurred under bad road conditions, you should take pictures of the road where you had your accident, as this could be evidence of negligent maintenance of the road. Finally, if you believe your accident was caused by a mechanical failure of your vehicle, you should immediately have your car checked to document that failure. Don’t drive your vehicle from the scene – have it towed.

If You Have Been Injured in a Single-Vehicle Accident in the Miami area, Contact the Personal Injury Attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz

If you have been involved in a single-vehicle accident in the Miami area, you should consult an attorney to determine what your rights are. It is possible the accident was not your fault and you can recover for your damages.

The attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz can assist you in protecting your rights when you are involved in this type of accident. You can call us at (877) 475-2905 or contact us through our website.

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