According to new data published by the National Safety Council, car accident-related deaths in Georgia increased by one-third between 2014 and 2016. This drastic jump is the fifth-highest increase in the country and is largely attributed to three major causes: speeding, distracted driving, and intoxication.
Whatever the cause, serious car accidents can take a devastating physical, emotional, and financial toll on victims and their families. While injured parties are able to collect compensation for their losses, the process of filing a claim can be difficult. If you or a loved one was involved in a car crash and suffered an injury or sustained damage to your vehicle, it is critical to contact an experienced Macon car accident lawyer who can help you collect the compensation you deserve.
Although the National Safety Council attributed many crashes to distracted driving in general, they also stated that cell phone use, in particular, may be related to the drastic increase in traffic-related fatalities. Injuries resulting from car accidents caused by distracted driving tend to be particularly severe because distracted drivers do not have their eyes on the road, and so are usually traveling at high speeds when they collide with another vehicle and rarely have time to brake or swerve out of the way.
For this reason, distracted driving leads to extremely serious car accidents, including multi-car pileups, head-on collisions, side-impact crashes, and rear-end accidents.
Because multi-vehicle crashes involve a high number of impacts, they usually result in serious and even deadly injuries, such as damage to the spine and neck and head trauma. Many of these injuries are exacerbated because emergency responders often have a difficult time reaching injured parties who may be trapped in their vehicles.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine who was primarily at fault in causing this type of crash because in most cases, more than one person actually contributed to the accident. For example, if one driver was texting and failed to see that the person in front of them had braked and collided with the car, he or she could be held responsible for that person’s injuries. However, if the car behind the driver who was texting was tailgating and crashed into the second car when it collided with the first victim, he or she may also bear some responsibility for the injuries of both parties.
Head-on car crashes are another serious type of car accident that occurs at an alarming rate across the state of Georgia. While many people believe that these types of accidents only occur when a driver improperly passes another vehicle on a two-lane road, in reality, almost all head-on car accidents are the result of one person accidentally drifting into a neighboring lane. Like multi-car pileups, these types of accidents are almost always caused by distracted driving, which could include falling asleep at the wheel or driving while intoxicated. However, there are other factors that can and do contribute
to head-on car accidents, such as:
- Poor visibility
- Poor road conditions, including potholes or the presence of road debris
- Unexpected mechanical problems caused by a vehicle defect
- An attempt to avoid an object in the road, including construction equipment, spilled cargo, and branches or fallen trees
Regardless of the cause of the accident, head-on collisions usually lead to extremely serious and often life-threatening injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries, which are usually the result of a person’s head coming into contact with another object, such as a window, dashboard, or steering wheel
- Spinal cord damage, which can cause both temporary and permanent paralysis
- Crushed and severely broken bones, which often require multiple surgeries and the placement of rods and metal screws to realign the bones. In severe cases, a limb may need to be amputated
- Organ damage, which if left untreated, can lead to internal bleeding.
These kinds of serious injuries are not only painful and potentially permanently debilitating but also expensive to treat, so it is critical that injured parties who were involved in an accident caused by someone else’s negligent behavior seek compensation from the at-fault parties.
Side-impact crashes, which are more commonly known as T-bone accidents, are another common and extremely dangerous type of car crash. They are usually caused by one of a few specific actions, including:
- Failing to yield the right of way in an intersection
- Making an improper or illegal turn
- Ignoring traffic signals.
Side-impact crashes are usually the result of at least one person’s negligent or reckless decision-making and often involve distracted driving, driving while inebriated, driving aggressively, or speeding.
Injuries sustained in T-bone crashes tend to be severe because they often involve collapsed ceilings and crushed doors, which can leave occupants trapped and unable to receive medical aid. Furthermore, in many side-impact accidents, the victim’s vehicle is knocked off course and into other cars, increasing the likelihood of injury. Some of the most common injuries associated with side-impact crashes include:
- Dislocated and broken shoulders
- Hearing loss
- Head trauma
- Femur fractures
- Rib and pelvic fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
Some of these injuries can leave victims permanently paralyzed or forced to struggle with memory loss and chronic pain for the rest of their lives.
Rear-End Car Accidents
Like the previously mentioned types of car crashes, rear-end accidents are usually caused by one driver who – because he or she is not paying attention to the road – collides with the vehicle in front of him or her. Victims of these types of crashes are more likely to suffer from spine or neck injuries.
For example, many of those who are rear-ended suffer from whiplash, which is caused by the force of an impact causing the head to snap forward, which stretches the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck. Injured parties may also suffer from chest injuries, including broken sternums or ribs, as a result of coming into contact with the airbag, seat belt, or steering wheel.