Common Causes of Car Accidents in Fairfax

There are many different possible causes of car accidents, some more common than others. No matter what caused the accident, it is important to work with an Fairfax car accident attorney who can help build a strong case and seek appropriate damages.

Distracted Driving

One of the common causes of car accidents is distracted driving, which means a driver is looking at their cellphone or GPS, talking to other people in the car or on the phone, eating or drinking something while driving, or they are sleep-deprived or fatigued, or smoking in the car.

Those are examples of distracted driving which can cause people to follow too closely to the people ahead of them. It can cause them to rear-end other cars in a roadway or veer out of their own lane and end up causing a sideswipe or a head-on collision if they are driving in the middle lane or over the middle lane.

Failure to Yield

Failure to yield is a big cause of accidents. When people reach a stop sign, they typically stop for half a second and then go. The rule states that a person should stop until it is clear to go. Road rage is another cause of accidents, and people driving too closely to each other or following too closely or tailgating are also common causes.

Maintenance Issues

Another cause of accidents is when a car has maintenance problems and is not fixed properly. For example, someone is driving with bad brakes and they try to stop to avoid a collision but they can’t because the brakes don’t work.

Impact of the Weather

Inclement weather sometimes causes accidents. People do not take care to drive slower or more carefully when the roads are slick from snow, rain, or any kind of moisture.

Inclement weather can affect a case because if the roads are slick or there is bad weather, people should drive more slowly. The standard for negligence is what a reasonable person would do in a situation. If a reasonable person is driving the speed limit but should be driving more slowly because of bad weather and wet or slick roads, that can be a sign of negligence.

Someone who, without the bad weather may not be found negligent in operating a vehicle, in bad weather may be found negligent, because their actions are not what a reasonable person would do when facing a situation like inclement weather.

Impact of Tailgating

Tailgating is following too closely to the vehicle in front or following too close to the tailgate of their vehicle.

If someone is following too closely, that is an example of someone driving in a negligent manner. If that causes an accident, they can be held liable for the injuries they cause. The best case scenario, people should travel at least one and a half to two car lengths behind other drivers when they are driving. However, if they are only half a car length or even closer than that, and the person ahead of them stops, they may not be able to stop in time and could cause a rear-end collision.

If there is a rear-end collision caused by someone following too closely or tailgating, that can be used as an example of that person’s negligence to hold them liable for the injuries of the person they rear-ended.

Driving at Night

Driving at night does not cause accidents by itself. If people do not use their lights properly or they hit a pedestrian because they do not see them at night because they are not paying attention, driving at night can cause more accidents. Sometimes people are drinking and driving and that typically occurs at night. More accidents occur at night than during the daylight hours. But there is nothing in particular about the night that causes accidents.

When driving at night, a reasonable person would have to adapt their behavior a certain way. If someone can prove that the driver’s failure to adapt their behavior to nighttime driving caused the accident, that driver can be held negligent. They can be held liable for their negligence and a person injured in the accident can be entitled to the damages they accrued because of the driver’s negligent behavior.

Drunk Driving and Car Accident Cases

Drunk driving is a form of negligence or recklessness. In Virginia, punitive damages may be awarded because a driver was ticketed for drunk driving, driving under the influence, or driving while intoxicated as a penalty on top of the person’s compensatory damages.

For example, a compensatory damages was $50,000, a punitive damage award might be two to three times what that is.