Causes of Car Accidents in New London

September 25, 2019 | By Polito & Harrington LLC
Causes of Car Accidents in New London Accidents happen every day. From minor rear-end collisions to catastrophic pile-ups, car accidents are a leading cause of death in the United States. The good news is, most of these accidents are preventable. The bad news is, although these accidents are easy to prevent, traffic-related fatalities have seen an increase in the past few years. As a driver, knowing the dangers on the road can be the one thing that helps keep you safe from a catastrophic accident. If you have already been involved in an accident in the New London area you may want to speak with an experienced attorney in the area  

Distracted Driving

Technology is great. It can help us stay in touch, listen to music, and even tell us how to get from one place to another. But it's not so great when you try to do these things behind the wheel. Distracted driving is the leading cause of accidents in the United States. The most common culprit? Our phones.    Drivers can become distracted when they go to change the station or look down at the GPS to figure out where to turn. It only takes a few seconds for that distraction to become an accident. Because of the dangers that exist from distracted driving, many states have implemented laws to keep drivers off the phone. In New London, all drivers are prohibited from using a hand-held device while driving. For drivers under the age of 18, mobile devices of any kind are prohibited, even a hands-free device.   

Driving Under the Influence

It is never a good idea to get behind the wheel after drinking. Just one drink can affect your judgment, your ability to focus, and your reaction time. Sadly, drunk drivers injure approximately 800 people per day, and kill another 30.  Know how to recognize the signs of a drunk driver. If you see someone driving erratically or swerving between lanes, pull over and call 911. Always be aware of your surroundings and keep your distance if you believe someone is under the influence.    


Year after year speeding kills thousands of people. In 2017, speeding accounted for over a quarter of all traffic fatalities. Drivers take for granted how dangerous speeding actually is. Speeding reduces your reaction time and increases the amount of time it takes to stop. And it's not just driving over the speed limit that's dangerous. Driving too fast for the conditions can be just as fatal. Drivers should reduce their speed in the rain, snow, ice, or any circumstances that affect their ability to be safe on the road.   

How You Can Stay Safe on the Roads?

Sometimes it can feel like car accidents are out of our control. However, as a driver, there are steps that you can take to stay safe on the road, even when others drive carelessly. The number one thing you can do to prevent an accident is to know the dangers that exist on the road. Here are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of being involved in an accident:  

Stay Alert

Bad drivers are everywhere. That's why it's always important to be aware of your surroundings. Paying attention can save your life. Some basic tips to keep in mind include:
  • Always look both ways before crossing: Don't expect that other drivers will give you the right of way. Even if you are legally permitted to cross an intersection, always check both ways, even at a red light or at a one-way street. Collisions happen every day because drivers run red lights or drive the wrong way. 
  • Move over: If you see someone driving dangerously or following too close, move over to let them get by. Tailgating can be dangerous. Allowing the driver to pass can help prevent a rear-end collision. In the same regard, allow at least three seconds following distance between you and the driver ahead of you. If the other driver unexpectedly stops, you can cause an accident because you were following too close. 
  • Be prepared: It's always a good idea to check the traffic and weather before you hit the road. This will allow you to take a different route if needed. Running late is one of the most common reasons people speed. Don't put yourself in a situation where you'll be tempted. 

Don't Be Afraid to Change Your Route

As humans, it's easy to get into the same routine day after day. For most people, this means taking the same route to work or school every day. While this may be convenient, it may be increasing your chances of being in an accident. There are a few reasons you may want to consider changing your route. 
  • You feel unsafe: There are many reasons you may feel unsafe on your normal route. Does your trip take you through an unsafe area of town? Are there a lot of speeders on the road? Does the road itself feel unsafe? Even if it means adding a few minutes to your commute, changing your route when you feel unsafe is never a bad idea. 
  • You've become complacent: Do you ever get to work and wonder how you got there? You're not alone. We can get so ingrained into a routine that we go through the motions without even thinking. It's like our brain shuts off and goes to autopilot. This can be dangerous. Esurance reports that most accidents happen within 25 miles of home. We get so used to our surroundings that we take them for granted and get caught off guard when things change. You may not look both ways because "no one ever comes from that direction," or you may go a little faster because the road is always clear. When these circumstances change, you may not be prepared to respond. 

Buckle Up

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, accidents still happen, so buckle up. Whether you are going right around the corner or taking an interstate trip, wearing your seatbelt can save your life. According to the CDC, of the 23,714 traffic fatalities in 2016, over half of the teens and young adults killed were not wearing a seatbelt. In 2016, seatbelts saved 15,000 lives.   A car accident can scare you. When you are injured because of someone else's negligence, worrying about how you are going to pay your bills and get back to work can make it hard to focus on your recovery. After an accident, the last thing you should be worried about is money. If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney for more information about your rights.