Contact a New Orleans Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer for Help With Your Case
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of injury and death in both Louisiana and nationwide. In 2018 (the latest year for which data is available), the rate of motor vehicle fatalities per 100,000 people was 16.48, which is considerably higher than the national average of 11.17. On a personal level, car accidents can have devastating physical, emotional and financial effects on their victims and victims’ families.
Below are some of the most common types of accidents we see, as well as the most common reasons why they occur. If you have been injured in a car accident that was the result of negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information about any of the topics discussed herein, please contact a New Orleans motor vehicle accident lawyer.
Common Types of Car Accidents in NOLA
There is an almost limitless variety of ways that cars can get into accidents. However, we find that most of the car accidents we see on a regular basis tend to fall into the following categories.
A front-end collision occurs when a forward-moving vehicle crashes into a stationary object or another vehicle. Head-on collisions — a subcategory of front-end collisions — occur when two forward-moving vehicles crash head-on into each other. These types of accidents are particularly deadly as they frequently involve vehicles traveling full speed and can result in severe blunt-force trauma to passengers. Front-end collisions occur most often when a vehicle crosses the center line into oncoming traffic, drives the wrong way down a one-way street or highway ramp, or veers off the road.
Rear-end collisions occur when one vehicle crashes into the back of another (usually stationary) vehicle. They are particularly common at intersections or in traffic when the driver of the following car does not come to a stop in time to avoid hitting the lead car. In almost all cases, rear-end accidents are the fault of the driver of the car in the rear.
Sideswipe collisions occur when one side of a vehicle brushes up against the side of another vehicle traveling in either the same direction or the opposite direction. They occur most often when one driver attempts to change lanes without properly checking to see if another car is in his or her blind spot. The driver of the sideswiping vehicle often will then overact to his or her mistake and overcorrect, which can cause further accidents and injuries.
Sideswipe collisions are also often seen in New Orleans and other cities where parallel parking is common, Some streets in the French Quarter or residential areas can be particularly thin, and drivers may sideswipe parked cars.
Broadside (a.k.a. T-Bone) Collisions
A broadside collision occurs when one vehicle hits another vehicle at a perpendicular angle. As such, they are most common at intersections, as this is where vehicles moving perpendicularly to each other can most easily come into contact. Drivers who run stop signs or lights or fail to yield are frequently to blame for broadside collisions.
A rollover is a type of accident wherein a turning vehicle’s center of gravity shifts, causing the vehicle to turn onto its side or flip over onto its roof. They are particularly common in vehicles with high centers of gravity (such as trucks and SUVs) and frequently occur when the driver is attempting to turn either too sharply or at too high a rate of speed. Rollover accidents are relatively rare but are among the most deadly types of car accidents.
What Causes Car Accidents in New Orleans?
User error — including distracted driving — is far and away the leading cause of car accidents nationwide (accounting for 94% of serious crashes, according to the NHTSA). Any behavior that takes the driver’s attention away from the task at hand falls under the category of distracted driving, including eating, talking on the phone, applying makeup, adjusting audio and climate controls, smoking, and trying to find dropped objects. According to the CDC, there are three main types of driver distraction:
- Visual: Taking the driver’s eyes off the road
- Manual: Taking the driver’s hands off the wheel
- Cognitive: Taking the driver’s mind off of driving
Texting and driving is a particularly dangerous form of distracted driving because it involves all three types of distraction.
Nearly everyone is familiar with the dangers of drinking and driving. Drunk driving causes accidents because it interferes with the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle. Some of the effects of consuming alcohol include loss of judgment, poor muscle control, blurred vision, deterioration of reaction time, and poor coordination. A driver suffering from any one of these symptoms could be dangerous, but suffering all at the same time can be deadly.
Drunk driving is of particular concern to New Orleans residents and visitors due to the city’s status as an international party destination. For more information about drunk driving, please contact a New Orleans motor vehicle accident lawyer.
Reckless driving occurs when a driver shows wanton disregard or indifference to the safety of other drivers on the road. As such, it is not so much a single action as it is a mental state. However, such a mental state can cause a driver to engage in a number of dangerous driving behaviors, such as:
- Cutting other drivers off
- Rapidly switching lanes
- Running stop signs or lights
- Fleeing from police
Because reckless driving frequently involves intentional, rather than negligent, conduct, it can sometimes carry criminal penalties for those who engage in it.
While it accounts for far fewer accidents than user error, mechanical failure also plays a role in causing car accidents. Mechanical failure includes tire blow-outs, seatbelt malfunctions, brake failure, and any other accident or injury caused by a faulty or negligently-maintained component of the vehicle. Accidents caused by mechanical failure often give rise to products liability claims.
Contact a New Orleans Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer
If you have suffered an injury in a car accident, you likely are facing the prospect of time away from work and costly medical bills. If your accident was due to another driver’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages. For more information about pursuing a personal injury claim after a car accident, please contact a New Orleans motor vehicle accident lawyer at Bloom Legal by using our online form or calling us at 504-599-9997.
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