For commuters traveling through or driving within Northwestern Arkansas, Washington County is a very familiar name. With 17 stretches of major highways running through it, it’s no secret that serious car accidents are a frequent occurrence in the county, a main contributor to the toll of deadly car crashes in Arkansas. According to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), across the state of Arkansas 483 deaths as a result of car accidents occurred in 2013.
In 2015, a Fayetteville police support specialist, joined the list of fatal victims of car crashes in Washington County. On January 15, she was driving on Round Mountain Road, east of Fayetteville, when she lost control of the vehicle and collided with a tree. In this particular case, the weather conditions may have played a part in the accident, but there are many causes and factors that can increase the likelihood of a car crash.
Causes for Major Car Accidents in Washington County
To understand how the injuries that are produced in an auto accident, we must first understand the numerous factors that can contribute to its occurrence. Factors and conditions that can increase the odds of a serious collision include:
- Cellphone use — As you may have expected, this is the number one cause for accidents, as revealed by the National Safety Council in 2014. According to data provided by the agency, 26% of all crashes are caused by a distracted driver who was either texting or talking on the phone. Distracted driving by a motor vehicle operator is negligence.
- Poor weather conditions — Heavy rainfall, snow, or ice can seriously hinder a vehicle’s traction, making every turn or action significantly more risky and likely to lead to a loss of vehicle control. Furthermore, rain, fog, low clouds, and other weather conditions can compromise visibility and make even the most experienced driver unable to perceive and react to upcoming threats.
- Driving under the influence — Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs can slow down a driver’s response rate and lead to poor decisions. According to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, drunk-driving causes over 10,000 casualties every year in the United States.
- Defective vehicle – Defects can effect any part or system in a vehicle. A problem with engine, braking, electric or transmission systems is all it takes for an afternoon drive to go seriously wrong. Common recent defects include the Takata airbag inflator defect, GM ignition switch defect, and Toyota unintended acceleration glitches.
- Excessive speed — Negotiating a turn, calculating braking distances, or even a simple lane change are made significantly more risky when a driver is traveling in significant excess of the speed limit. High speeds are another key factor behind many accidents, particularly those with casualties.
Possible Injuries Following a Car Crash
From minor cuts and scrapes to chronic injuries lasting a lifetime, a car crash has the possibility to directly impact your health in different ways.
- Whiplash — This is the most common injury following a car crash. The violent movement of the head causes the neck to stiffen and muscle and nerve tissue to shear causing pain and swelling. Whiplash can range from relatively minor signs and symptoms to a debilitating condition. It is often brought on by rear-end collisions.
- Blunt force trauma — As a vehicle spins out of control or rolls over, the movement inside the car can make a driver or its passengers hit their heads or chest against the glass, steering wheel or even the pavement. This can happen even with the use of a safety belt. The force of the impact can cause serious brain injury, broken bones, or even cardiac arrest.
- Psychological injuries — A major accident can make a person deal with an important amount of stress, fear and anxiety. Many drivers are unable to get behind the wheel ever again. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder are some conditions often diagnosed in victims of car accidents.
Seek the Help of an Experienced Washington County Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident and you feel that another party was responsible, you need to speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation for personal injuries, car repairs and other costs imposed by the other party’s negligence, recklessness, or carelessness. If you want to consult with an experienced attorney free of charge, please call (479) 316-0438 today or contact us online.