There are some common causes of car accidents, and they apply to Virginia and around the country. Most people know, for instance, that distracted driving is becoming a major issue. Multitasking is never a good idea behind the wheel whether by using a smartphone, adjusting the radio, eating, drinking, applying makeup or conversing with noisy children.
Drivers should also be aware that alcohol and drugs, even over-the-counter medicines, can impair their judgment and slow their reaction times. Medical conditions contribute to many car accidents, too, with some drivers suffering episodes like heart attacks, strokes and seizures. Such episodes may be uncontrollable, but they sometimes present risk factors that drivers must take into account. Falling asleep at the wheel could also be considered a medical episode in the light of conditions like obstructive sleep apnea.
Many drivers become negligent when they get lost or when they are in a different state whose traffic laws they are unfamiliar with. For example, states will differ on whether a right turn on red is acceptable or not.
Defective car parts are known to put drivers and others in dangers, as will poor vehicle maintenance. Drivers will be held responsible for a crash if their vehicle had bald tires, broken tie rods or bad brakes. Another factor in crashes can be bad weather.
Those who were injured through another’s negligence in a motor vehicle accident may wonder if they would be eligible for compensation for their losses. Virginia is one of the few jurisdictions that follow the principle of contributory negligence, which means that the victim will only be entitled to recovery if the other motorist was 100 percent at fault.