Causes of Car Accidents in San Jose
Every day accidents happen across the state. Driving requires an extremely high level of focus, attention cognition, and manual dexterity. Medical and scientific research tell us human performance errors are the most common cause of motor vehicle crashes. The results of a landmark study, conducted thirty years ago are still pertinent today. The Indiana Tri-Level Study showed human factors as probable causes in 92.6 percent of the accidents investigated.
Accidents Caused By Human Error
There are more than 27 million licensed drivers in California. This is over 2 million more than the 2019 total population of Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming combined. That’s a lot of cars on the road, and each one is bound by California’s Basic Speed Law, which states:
“You may never drive faster than is safe for current conditions. Regardless of the posted speed limit, your speed should depend on:
- The number and speed of other vehicles on the road
- Whether the road surface is smooth, rough, graveled, wet, dry, wide, or narrow
- Bicyclists or pedestrians on or crossing the roadway
- Whether it is raining, foggy, snowing, windy, or dusty”
Speeding as a cause of motor vehicle accidents is 100% preventable. Some drivers speed because they feel they will be late for work or an appointment, some because they feel they will not get caught, and some speed out of blatant disregard for the law. Regardless of the reason, when a speeding driver causes injury to an innocent person, he or she should be held financially liable for any damages.
The car accident attorneys at Bohn & Fletcher have successfully represented hundreds of clients in the San Jose and surrounding area who have been injured in car accidents. We have over 40 years of combined experience in this area of personal injury law, and the determination to help every client recover fair and just compensation.
According to California Vehicle Code Section 23103 reckless driving is “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” It is a misdemeanor and carries a penalty of not less than five days nor more than 90 days in jail, and a fine of not less than one hundred forty-five dollars ($145) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).
The National Sleep Foundation reports half of those surveyed report they have driven drowsy and approximately 20 percent admit that they have actually fallen asleep at the wheel in the previous year. An unfortunate example of driver fatigue was reported in January 2019 by NBC Bay Area news. California Highway Patrol indicated that the driver of a truck involved in a fatal accident admitted he may have fallen asleep before veering off Highway 101.
Data from the 2018 report from California’s Office Of Traffic Safety shows, despite statewide initiatives such as the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities increased 15.0 percent from the 2011-2015 five-year rolling average of 852 to the 2013-2017 five-year rolling average of 980.
Some of the most common reasons drivers become distracted are:
- GPS navigation systems
- Eating and drinking while driving
- Talking to passengers
- Dealing with small children
- Having a pet in the vehicle
Other causes of accidents caused by human error include:
- Driving the wrong way
- Being unfamiliar with the roadways
Accidents Caused by Environmental Issues
The Federal Highway’s Road Weather Management Program reveals some interesting metrics based on a 10-year average of data collected between 2007-2016. While one would think everyone will slow down while driving during inclement weather conditions, obviously, not everyone does.
- On average, there are over 5,891,000 vehicle crashes each year
- Almost 21 percent of these crashes – nearly 1,235,000 – are weather-related
- On average, nearly 5,000 people are killed and over 418,000 people are injured in weather-related crashes each year
- 70 percent on wet pavement
- 46 percent of most weather-related crashes happen during rainfall
- Only 3 percent of accidents happen in the fog
Newscasts like this one from CBS news in January 2019 are far too common in San Jose. Although drivers should realize they need to slow down in adverse weather conditions, some don’t.
While the rainy season here in San Jose is relatively short, rain-related dangers are a major contributor to motor vehicle accidents. One of the most problematic side effects of wet pavement is an oily slick on the roadways following a period of rain. Other dangers include:
- Losing control of the vehicle
- Losing traction when driving through standing water
We can’t do anything about the weather, but our skilled attorneys, Robert Bohn Jr., and Ram Fletcher, have an impressive history of success helping clients who were injured in motor vehicle accidents in San Jose and surrounding areas.
At Bohn & Fletcher, we have confidence in our ability to secure the maximum possible financial compensation for our clients, and the resources to provide the highest quality representation.
Accidents Caused by Vehicle Defects or Poor Maintenance
Injuries caused by automobile defects in design or manufacturing can result in serious and debilitating injuries. If the accident involves a commercial vehicle the importance of regular maintenance cannot be stressed enough. Some of the areas of concern are:
- Defective brakes
- Worn or defective tires
- Defective windshield wipers
- Broken headlights or turn signals
- Defective or broken steering wheel
Protect Your Interests and Call Our San Jose Car Crash Attorneys Today
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years in California. This is a complicated area of the law, and there are extenuating circumstances when the injury was not discovered immediately, or when the incident may have been the fault of a city or state entity.
If a car accident changed your life, contact the car accident attorneys at Bohn & Fletcher or call us today at (408) 279-4222. We believe strongly in holding accountable those responsible for causing harm.