Of the most common causes of car accidents, three are more personally preventable than the rest. Though we have some control over whether we drive in bad weather, sometimes we have no choice but to brave a bad road. And though mechanical failure is sometimes preventable with good maintenance, sometimes cars just break down. But three common causes of car accidents stand out as things the driver just shouldn’t do. These three are:
- Driving while impaired, either by drugs, alcohol, or while fatigued
- Driving while distracted, either by your cellphone or even just by other people in the car
- Reckless driving, be it going too fast, swerving in and out of traffic, or not heeding road signs
A story out of New Jersey illustrates that all three of these things can be interconnected, even if not necessarily at the same time. On March 21st, an off-duty New Jersey police officer drove the wrong way down a turnpike, striking a tractor trailer and killing his two passengers. He had eight previous citations, including a previous DUI and an instance where he was caught texting while driving in 2012.
Investigators are still determining whether or not the officer had been drinking while at a strip club with friends that evening, but all indications are that an indictment for driving under the influence is pending. The reckless driving is obvious in this case, and it isn’t too difficult to imagine he might not have noticed he was headed the wrong direction if he was again texting while driving like he had three years ago.
It’s frightening to realize just how vulnerable we are every time we get behind the wheel. When even off-duty police officers are taking part in the three most dangerous driving behaviors, there is no way to be certain our fellow drivers are doing even the bare minimum to be safe.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident due to negligent driving, please contact an attorney. As this story illustrates, individuals can accumulate multiple major driving infractions and still be allowed to get behind the wheel. It is only by using the power of the courts that we can compel people to do what is safe and keep dangerous drivers off the roads.