According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), single-vehicle collisions represent over half of all car accidents nationwide. Statistics show that Washington State follows the national trend. In 2010, there were 311 fatal injuries as a result of collisions throughout the state of Washington. Of those fatalities, 163, or 53 percent, were the result of a single-vehicle crash.
What Causes Single-Vehicle Collisions?
As is the case with all types of accidents, an endless number of scenarios can lead to a single-vehicle collision. Some common reasons why single-vehicle collisions occur include:
- Impact with an object in the road — This could mean running into an object that has fallen off of another vehicle or hitting a median, for example.
- Distracted driving — Talking or texting, grooming, eating, or talking to passengers often causes a driver to run off the road or collide with a median.
- Drowsy driving — Nodding off at the wheel can cause a driver to veer off the road and crash.
- Impaired driving — Drug or alcohol use can cause a driver to lose control and crash.
- Road conditions — Rain, ice, snow and fog can all contribute to a single-vehicle accident.
- Mechanical defect/failure – A problem with the vehicle’s brakes, tires or steering, for example, could result in a single-vehicle collision.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) puts single-vehicle crashes into two categories — run-off-road (ROR) crashes and on-road (OR) crashes. In a recent report by NHTSA, the agency issued the following conclusions relating to single-vehicle crashes:
- Alcohol or drug-impaired drivers are more likely to be involved in an ROR crash than a sober driver. In the study, 86.5 percent of impaired drivers were involved in an ROR crashes, compared to just 58.3 percent of their sober counterparts.
- Over 90 percent of speeding drivers were involved in an ROR crash, compared to 59.5 percent of non-speeding drivers.
- ROR crashes are more likely to take place on curved roadways, single-lane roads and rural roads.
- ROR crashes occur more often during adverse weather conditions and nighttime driving.
- Fatigue and distracted driving contribute to a significant proportion of ROR crashes.
- Young drivers and male drivers are more likely to be involved in an ROR crash than their older or female counterparts.
Some examples of negligence that could contribute to a single vehicle accident include:
- Improperly maintained roads — If a road was not properly maintained by the government agency responsible for design, repairs and maintenance, then it could be held responsible for any injuries caused by that negligence.
- Manufacturer defects — When a manufacturer puts a defective product into the stream of commerce, and that defect causes injuries, the manufacturer is potentially liable.
- Actions by another motorist — If, for example, a truck driver failed to properly tie down the load being carried and something fell off the truck causing you to crash, the truck driver could be held accountable.
- Driver error — A wide range of driver behaviors can contribute to a single-vehicle collision. When driver error is responsible for the crash, passengers in the vehicle who were injured may have a cause of action against the driver. That is true even when the driver is a friend or a relative.
Hurt in a Single-Car Crash? Get Help from Our Yakima Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a single-vehicle collision and someone else was at fault, you could be entitled to compensation for the injuries you suffered.
To learn more, contact a Yakima Valley car accident attorney today at the Mariano Morales Law Firm by calling (509) 972-0493 or by using our online contact form. Your initial consultation is free of charge. If we handle your case, we receive payment only if we obtain a settlement or verdict for you.