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Six common causes of car accidents

In 2016, more than 40,000 people died in car accidents around the country. Traffic fatalities are on the rise, so New York drivers might be more likely to be involved in a deadly motor vehicle accident than in previous years. Many crashes have a few common causes. For example, drivers drifting out of their lanes causes up to one-third of all motor vehicle accidents.

Between 23 and 30 percent of accidents involve one car rear-ending another. This often happens because one driver is following another car too closely. Driving while sleepy accounts for 21 percent of deadly car accidents and 7 percent of all crashes. Experts say people do a poor job of gauging how tired they are before getting behind the wheel.

About 12 percent of crashes happen because a person has maneuvered a vehicle in a blind situation such as around a bus while 11 percent are caused by a person losing control of the vehicle. This includes the 2 percent of people who do not slow down when a road is wet and the 6 percent who maneuver too aggressively or take curves at a high speed. A rolling stop at a red light before turning right creates too much multitasking for a driver and leads to 6 percent of pedestrian deaths.

Nonfatal accidents can still be catastrophic for people who are badly injured. Usually, the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident is supposed to pay compensation to injured people. This may cover medical costs and the costs of a new vehicle or vehicle repair. However, some drivers may be uninsured or underinsured, or an insurer may simply not pay enough to cover an injured person's expenses. People injured in a car accident who find themselves in this situation may want to talk to an attorney.

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