The truth is that there is rarely a true traffic “accident”, if that term is described simply as an unfortunate event that results in damage or injury with no apparent cause. Most traffic accidents are not accidents at all, but rather the foreseeable result of the lack of due care on the part of somebody. There are a number of human factors that can contribute to an automobile collision. Sometimes we miss them and merely chalk the event up to an “accident”. However, unless the collision is a result of an unforeseeable natural event, such as a landslide, usually, there is some human error involved. Some common human factors that may cause a traffic injury include the following:
• Driver perception and response time (for instance a speeding driver has less time to perceive and react to conditions, such as a child running into the street or a hazard in the roadway);
• Hazard perception and awareness (all drivers are required to exercise due care, ignoring dangerous conditions such as ice is not excusable);
• Conspicuity, Lighting & Visibility (ever wonder why those tractor trailers have those glow in the dark strips across the back of the truck; We have had more than one injured client to run into a truck at night because the reflectors were covered up and the truck traveling at an extreme low speed was not visible until it was too late)
• Collision avoidance;
• Warning and signage (what good is a rail road crossing device if it is grown over and nobody can see it).
Certain behavior, such as talking on the cell phone, texting, or other behavior that distracts the driver can obviously fit into more than one of the categories above. Also, driver fatigue and intoxication are examples of human behavior that can contribute to the factors listed above. Following too closely doesn’t give a driver enough time to perceive and react. The list goes on and on. The bottom line is that traffic collisions happen for a reason and those reasons need to be fully explored.
Because the personal injury attorneys at Smith, Welch, Webb & White have offices located in McDonough, Stockbridge, Jackson and Barnesville and we are in Metro Atlanta and because Interstate 75 (I-75) runs right through Henry County and Butts County, we get to see an awful lot of avoidable collisions. Unfortunately, although local law enforcement tends to do a pretty good job, unless the case involves a wrongful death, the investigation is usually limited. The lawyers at Smith, Welch, Webb & White provide free consultations for personal injury clients.