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Common Causes of Alabama Auto Accidents

Have you or a loved one been in an auto accident in Alabama? Call Maloney-Lyons, LLC today to schedule a free case review. We can help you get the compensation you need to recover.

Alabama’s charm is undeniable, but a seemingly harmless drive can be shattered by a sudden collision, leaving you injured, disoriented, and facing an uncertain future.

Car accidents can be incredibly devastating in more ways than one. The force of an impact, whether on Alabama’s bustling interstates or its scenic country roads, can cause severe injuries, resulting in medical bills, time off work, mental anguish, and many more forms of stress.

Here, we’ll explore the leading causes of car accidents in Alabama, discussing the factors that transform a relaxing drive into a life-altering event. Additionally, we’ll explore the potential consequences for victims and how to navigate the legal complexities that follow.

If you’ve been injured in an Alabama car accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to Maloney-Lyons, LLC. We offer compassionate legal support and guidance to help you move forward with confidence and peace of mind. Schedule a free consultation with an Alabama automobile accident attorney at our personal injury law firm today to explore your options for seeking justice and the compensation you deserve.

Alabama Auto Accidents

Auto accidents are generally unexpected, involve at least one motor vehicle, and result in property damage, personal injury, or even death. These incidents can occur on various roadways, from bustling highways to quiet neighborhood streets.

Car accidents can encompass a wide range of collisions, including:

  • Head-on collisions: These car accidents occur when the front ends of two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide.
  • Rear-end collisions: This type of car accident occurs when a following vehicle strikes the vehicle in front of it that is stopped or moving slower.
  • Side-impact collisions (T-bone accidents): These happen when the side of one vehicle is struck by the front or rear of another vehicle.
  • Rollover accidents: This occurs when a vehicle flips over onto its side or roof.
  • Multi-vehicle pileups: These involve multiple vehicles colliding with one another, often due to sudden stops or hazardous weather conditions.

The severity of a car accident depends on various factors, such as the speed and size of the vehicles involved, the point of impact, and whether occupants were wearing seat belts and airbags deployed properly. Regardless of the specifics, auto accidents can have a life-altering impact on those involved.

Common Causes of Car Accidents in Alabama

Automobile accidents in Alabama can stem from various factors, but the majority of accidents happen due to negligence on the part of at least one driver. That is to say, most accidents could be prevented if everyone paid attention and followed all traffic laws at all times. Below are some of the most common causes of car accidents we see in our Alabama personal injury law firm.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has emerged as one of the leading causes of car accidents across the United States, and Alabama is no exception. While speeding, drunk driving, and reckless behavior remain significant dangers, the act of diverting focus away from the road has become a major culprit behind collisions, largely because of our smart phones.

Distracted driving encompasses any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the critical task of operating a vehicle safely. These distractions can be categorized into three main types:

Visual Distractions

A lot of car accidents happen due to the driver being visually distracted. This involves anything that takes your eyes off the road. Common examples include texting or using a cellphone, checking GPS navigation systems, adjusting the radio or climate controls, eating or drinking, reading, applying makeup, or grooming. Even a glance away from the road at high speeds can have disastrous consequences. In many cases, drivers fail to recognize the road hazards associated with distracted driving until it’s too late, leading to devastating accidents and injuries.

Manual Distractions

Accidents caused by manual distractions can occur when you take your hands off the wheel, hindering your ability to control the vehicle. Reaching for dropped objects, fiddling with the stereo knobs, interacting with passengers, or attempting to multitask by eating or drinking while driving all fall into this category. Losing control of the steering wheel, even for a moment, can significantly increase the risk of an accident.

Cognitive Distractions

This type of distraction diverts your mental focus away from driving. Engaging in deep conversations with passengers, listening to podcasts or audiobooks, daydreaming, or feeling stressed or angry can all affect your cognitive awareness and reaction time behind the wheel. A driver who is mentally preoccupied is less likely to anticipate potential hazards or react swiftly to changing road conditions.

The dangers of distracted driving are undeniable. Studies by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) have shown that texting while driving increases the risk of a crash by 23 times. Any activity that diverts your attention away from the road, even for a few seconds, can significantly impair your ability to drive safely. In Alabama, texting while driving is a primary offense, meaning law enforcement officers can pull you over solely for this behavior.

When drivers fail to concentrate solely on driving, they not only put themselves at risk but also endanger other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians on the road. The consequences of distracted driving accidents can be devastating, ranging from minor injuries to permanent disabilities or even death.

If you have been injured in an auto accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Contact a skilled Alabama auto accident lawyer at Maloney-Lyons, LLC, today to discuss your legal options.

Drunk Driving (DUI/DWI)

One of the common causes of car accidents in Alabama is drunk driving, also known as driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). It remains a significant threat on Alabama’s roadways. These reckless actions endanger not only the driver but also innocent passengers and others sharing the road.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, understanding Alabama’s DUI laws and your legal options for seeking justice is crucial.

Alabama’s DUI Laws

Alabama, like most states, has a zero-tolerance policy for drunk driving. The legal limit for a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% for most drivers. This means that if a chemical test, such as a breathalyzer, indicates your BAC is at or above this limit, you can be arrested for DUI. However, even a BAC lower than 0.08% can lead to a DUI charge if law enforcement officers suspect you are impaired.

DUI Penalties in Alabama

The penalties for a DUI conviction in Alabama vary depending on the severity of the offense and whether it’s your first, second, or subsequent offense. A first-time DUI offense with a BAC of less than 0.15% can result in:

  • A minimum fine of $600
  • Up to one year in jail (with a possible sentence of probation)
  • Driver’s license suspension for 90 days

The penalties become increasingly harsher for subsequent offenses and higher BAC levels. These can include:

  • Mandatory jail time
  • Lengthy driver’s license revocation
  • Increased fines
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle, which requires a breath test before starting the car

If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, your first priority is to ensure your safety and the safety of others involved. Seek medical attention immediately if you have sustained any injuries. Next, contact law enforcement to report the accident.

The aftermath of a DUI accident can be complex, leaving you with physical injuries, emotional trauma, and potentially significant financial losses. An experienced Alabama car accident attorney at Maloney-Lyons, LLC can be a valuable asset in navigating the legal process.

Our Alabama car crash attorneys will help you:

  • Investigate the accident and gather evidence to prove the drunk driver’s negligence.
  • Negotiate with insurance companies to obtain fair compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
  • File a lawsuit against the drunk driver if necessary.

At Maloney-Lyons, LLC, we understand the devastating impact of drunk driving accidents. Our dedicated team of Alabama personal injury lawyers is committed to holding drunk drivers accountable for their actions and helping victims recover the compensation they deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case and explore your legal options.

Speeding and Reckless Driving

Speeding and reckless driving are also among the major causes of car accidents in Alabama. These dangerous behaviors significantly increase the likelihood of a collision and the severity of injuries sustained in an accident.

Speeding

Exceeding posted speed limits is a leading cause of car wrecks nationwide, and Alabama is no exception. Speeding, an act of aggressive driving, gives drivers less time to react to unexpected situations, such as a sudden stop or a vehicle merging into their lane. The faster a vehicle travels, the greater the force of impact in a collision. This translates to a higher risk of serious injuries or fatalities for occupants of all vehicles involved.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is also one of the leading causes of car accidents in Alabama. It goes beyond simply exceeding the speed limit. Reckless driving encompasses a range of dangerous behaviors that demonstrate a willful disregard for the safety of others on the road. Examples include:

  • Weaving in and out of traffic: Changing lanes and ignoring traffic controls can easily lead to collisions with other vehicles.
  • Tailgating: Following too closely behind another vehicle leaves little room for error and increases the risk of a rear-end collision.
  • Running red traffic lights or stop signs: Disregarding traffic lights is among the major causes of car accidents in Alabama. When drivers deliberately disregard traffic signs, they can create a significant risk of car crashes.
  • Drowsy driving: Drowsy drivers recklessly contribute significantly to car crashes in Alabama. A lot of accidents happen because the driver’s drowsiness has made it difficult for them to concentrate on driving. Hence, they might make mistakes while driving and cause fatal crashes. Sleepy drivers may struggle to navigate corners and react to changing traffic signs, significantly raising the risks of a devastating car wreck.
  • Inexperienced driving: Inexperienced drivers are a major contributor to car accident cases across the United States, and Alabama is no exception. While the freedom of getting behind the wheel can be exciting for new drivers, their lack of experience can lead to dangerous situations on the road. They may struggle to anticipate the actions of other drivers or misread traffic flow, increasing the chance of a car crash. Additionally, inexperienced drivers may be tempted to exceed speed limits, leading to serious crashes.

If you’ve suffered injuries in an Alabama motor vehicle accident caused by speeding or reckless driving, Maloney-Lyons, LLC can help. Our experienced attorneys understand the complexities of car accident cases and are dedicated to holding reckless drivers accountable for their actions. We will thoroughly investigate the accident, gather evidence of speeding or reckless driving, and fight to secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.

Weather Conditions

While Alabama enjoys pleasant weather for much of the year, it’s important to remember that road conditions can change quickly. Unforeseen weather events can turn seemingly safe roads into hazardous obstacles.

Here are some common weather conditions that significantly increase the risk of car wrecks in Alabama:

Rain

Alabama experiences a fair amount of rainfall throughout the year, with the wettest months being December through March. Rain affects road surfaces, reducing traction and making it easier for vehicles to lose control, especially around curves and at higher speeds.

Heavy downpours can also lead to flash floods and submerged roadways, creating dangerous driving situations, which increases the chances of an automobile accident.

Reduced Visibility

Rainstorms and fog are common culprits behind reduced visibility on Alabama’s roads. Limited visibility makes it challenging for drivers to see potential hazards such as stopped vehicles, pedestrians, or oncoming traffic, significantly increasing the risk of traffic accidents.

Strong Winds

Alabama experiences occasional high winds, particularly during spring and summer thunderstorms. Strong winds can push vehicles around, especially those with high centers of gravity, like SUVs and trucks. This can be particularly dangerous on bridges and open stretches of highway.

Hail

While less frequent than rain, hailstorms can create treacherous driving conditions. Hailstones can obscure vision and damage windshields, making it difficult to navigate safely. Additionally, the accumulation of hail on roadways can create a slippery surface, similar to black ice. This can lead to fatal crashes.

Heatstroke and Fatigue

Alabama’s summers are notoriously hot and humid. These conditions can lead to heatstroke and fatigue in drivers, impairing judgment and overall awareness and causing slower reaction times. Drowsy driving is a significant contributor to serious accidents, and the intense heat can exacerbate this risk.

Sudden Downpours

Alabama is prone to sudden and intense storms, particularly during the spring and summer months. These quick bursts of rain can make it challenging for drivers to adjust their speed and driving behavior in time, leading to hydroplaning and loss of control.

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence during poor weather conditions, contact Maloney-Lyons, LLC for a free consultation. Our experienced Alabama automobile accident lawyers can help you navigate the legal complexities of your case and fight for the compensation you deserve.

Failure to Obey Traffic Laws

Traffic signs play a crucial role in maintaining order and safety on Alabama’s roadways. These signals, which include red traffic lights, yellow lights, green lights, and stop signs, provide clear instructions to drivers, dictating when to stop, proceed with caution, or safely navigate intersections. Unfortunately, far too many drivers ignoring these signals is a frequent cause of fatal accidents in the state.

There are several ways drivers can fail to obey traffic signs:

Running Red Lights

This blatant disregard for a clear stop signal is a major contributor to car accidents. Drivers may misjudge the time it takes to clear an intersection, become impatient, or be distracted, leading to a collision with vehicles crossing or those already proceeding through the intersection on a green light.

Disobeying Stop Signs

Similar to red lights, stop signs require drivers to come to a complete halt before proceeding. Rolling through a stop sign or failing to stop altogether significantly increases the risk of a broadside collision with vehicles entering the intersection from another direction.

Ignoring Yellow Lights

While not a direct stop signal, a yellow light serves as a warning that the red light is imminent. Many drivers, however, misinterpret a yellow light as a chance to accelerate through the intersection, leading to accidents with vehicles that have already begun crossing based on a green light.

Misinterpreting Traffic Light Signals

Failing to understand complex combinations of light signals, particularly in high-traffic areas, can lead to collisions as drivers make unexpected maneuvers.

Distraction-Related Signal Disobedience

Texting, talking on the phone, adjusting the radio, or simply daydreaming can all divert a driver’s attention from traffic signs. This inattentiveness can result in missing red lights or stop signs entirely, leading to catastrophic accidents.

The consequences of failing to obey traffic signals can be severe. These accidents often involve high-impact collisions, resulting in:

  • Serious Injuries: Broken bones, whiplash, head trauma, and spinal cord injuries are just some of the potential consequences of crashes caused by disobeying traffic laws.
  • Fatalities: Disobeying traffic signs can have tragic outcomes, especially in high-speed collisions.
  • Property Damage: Vehicles involved in such accidents often sustain significant damage, leading to costly repairs or even total loss.

If you’ve been involved in an auto accident in Alabama where another driver’s failure to obey a traffic signal was the cause, it’s crucial to seek legal counsel. An experienced Alabama auto accident attorney at our law firm can help you navigate the complexities of your case, investigate accidents, gather evidence, and fight for the compensation you deserve for your injuries, lost wages, and property damage.

Contact an Alabama Car Accident Attorney

Have you been injured in an Alabama car accident? Don’t wait to seek legal help. The statute of limitations on car accident cases in Alabama is only two years. You need to seek legal help immediately after a car accident in order to be able to seek full compensation for your injuries.

Contact an experienced car accident attorney at Maloney-Lyons, LLC, by calling 251-225-6105 or reach out to us online for a free case evaluation. Our experienced Alabama car accident lawyers are dedicated to protecting your rights and fighting for the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries.

During your no-obligation consultation, our Alabama car accident attorneys will listen attentively to the details of your accident, assess your legal options, and answer any questions you may have. We are committed to providing you with compassionate legal guidance and support throughout the entire process.