One of the leading causes of death and catastrophic injuries is traffic accidents.

In fact, there were more than 34,000 fatal car accidents in 2008.

Although the numbers of traffic injuries and deaths have been significantly reduced in the past few years, the number is still very high.

To further reduce the number of traffic injuries and deaths people should understand the different factors that can contribute to its occurrence:

Driver Behavior

According to studies, more than 50 percent of all vehicle crashes are caused by driver behavior.

The leading driver behaviors that lead to car accidents are:

  • Distractions – Rubbernecking, changing radio stations, using a mobile phone, or just simply talking to their passengers can get a driver's attention off the road long enough to cause a car accident.

  • DUI – Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol seriously reduces the driver's reaction time and ability to make good road judgments.

  • Old age and driver fatigue – Both can cause the driver to doze off behind the wheel.

  • Speeding – Majority of car accidents in the US has speeding as a factor. Higher speed means less control for the driver

  • Reckless driving – Aggressive driving, road rage, and road racing are prime examples of reckless driving.

Road Design and Condition

According to studies, the road design or road condition is a contributing factor in about 34 percent of all car accidents in the country.

Some of the road design or road conditions that can pose some danger to motorists are:

  • Oily roads – This can be due to oil slicks from the petroleum solution used for road resurfacing or from spilled oils from petroleum trucks.

  • Snowy and wet roads – Snow and rain can make the roads slippery.

  • Icy roads – Ice can form on bridges especially on cold climates. These ice patches are virtually invisible, which makes it difficult to spot.

  • Sharp curves – These are difficult to negotiate and may cause rollover accidents.

Vehicle Condition

The vehicle's condition is another contributing factor in vehicle accidents.

Its design and level of maintenance can be the difference between life and death during a car accident.

Some of the known defects that could cause car accidents are:

  • Defective seatbelts – Causes vehicle ejection

  • High center of gravity – Makes SUVs prone to rollovers

  • Defective tires and brakes – Can cause the motorist to lose control of the vehicle

Because of this, vehicles must be considered crash worthy before it is made available to the public.

Crashworthiness is the ability of the vehicle to protect its occupants from the impact of car collisions.

If you sustained traffic injuries, you should consult with a car accident expert personal injury lawyer to determine the primary cause of the accident so you can know the liable party.