Vehicular accident

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Description or Situation

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Overview

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A vehicle accident in summery encompasses an unfortunate situation involving the use of  machines and methods intended for transporting people or products for personal, recreational and business related purposes. While some accidents are limited to incurring nothing more than damage to vehicles or property other situations are far more dramatic regarding the outcome and or consequences. Vehicular accidents and crashes can result in the loss of life.

The human race is a diverse species which encompasses a wide range of intellect emotion and common sense, .... most of which can apply and acquire a license to operate motor a vehicle. This is essentially a privilege given by state and local authorities who place a degree of trust in each motorists to behave and operate their vehicles in a decent and respectful manor. Though this privilege comes with a degree of responsibility and is expected to accompany a measure of moralized behavior, ... there is no guarantee that motorists will not cause harm to others while driving. People ride and operate vehicles under the influence of many such inhibitors known to effect judgement and behavior.

In addition to driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol many people have emotional issues that effect their judgement as well. The roads on which we share and operate our vehicles can become a battle zone and involve a degree of risk. Characteristics associated with vehicular accidents can have disastrous effects changing the direction and future for the lives of victims and their families.

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The following is intended to confirm and aid those seeking information related to the effects and consequences associate with "vehicular accidents".

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What is a vehicular accident?

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A traffic collision, also known as a motor vehicle collision (MVC), traffic accident, motor vehicle accident, car accident, automobile accident, road traffic collision, road traffic accident, wreck, car crash, or car smash occurs when a vehicle collides with another vehicle, pedestrian, animal, road debris, or other stationary obstruction, such as a tree or utility pole. For the most part, ... these events are typically identified as accidents yet can have an array of causes that can be initiated as a result of intent, ... malice or inability to operate a vehicle correctly. [Source]

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What are the causes?

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A number of factors contribute to the risk of collision, including vehicle design, speed of operation, road design, road environment, and driver skill, impairment due to alcohol or drugs, and behavior, notably speeding and street racing. Worldwide, motor vehicle collisions lead to death and disability as well as financial costs to both society and the individuals involved.   [Source]

Over 95% of motor vehicle accidents involve some degree of driver behavior combined with one of the other three factors. Drivers always often blame road conditions, equipment failure or other drivers for those accidents. When the facts are truthfully presented, ... the behavior of the implicated driver is usually the primary cause. Most are the result of excessive speed or aggressive behavior.   [Source]

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Equipment Failure 

Manufacturers are required by law to design and engineer cars that meet a minimum safety standard. Computers, combined with companies' extensive research and development, have produced safe vehicles that are easy and safe to drive. The most cited types of equipment failure are loss of brakes, tire blowouts or tread separation, and steering/suspension failure. With the exception of the recent rash of Firestone light-truck tire failures, combined totals for all reported equipment failure accounts for less than 5% of all motor vehicle accidents.

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Brakes

Modern dual-circuit brake systems have made total brake failure an unlikely event. If one side of the circuit fails, the other side is usually sufficient to stop a vehicle. Disc brakes, found on the front wheels of virtually every modern vehicle, are significantly more effective than the older drum braking systems, which can fade when hot. ABS (Anti Blocker System) or anti-lock brakes prevent the wheels from locking up during emergency braking maneuvers, allowing modern vehicles to avoid many accidents that previously would have occurred.

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Tires

Today's radial tires are significantly safer than the bias-ply tires of 25 years ago. They still, however, need attention regularly. Under inflation, the most frequent cause of tire failure is considered the main culprit in the recent Firestone tire-failure fatalities. Uneven or worn-out tires are the next most serious problem and can also lead to tire failure. Uneven wear is caused by improperly balanced tires, or misaligned or broken suspensions. Remember, .... what keeps us connected to the roadway is our tires.

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Steering & Suspension

Our suspension keeps tires in contact with the roadway in a stable and predictable manner. The steering enables us to go around road obstacles and avoid potential accidents. Even a safe, well-trained driver is helpless in the event of a steering or suspension system failure. Such failures are catastrophic, especially at high speeds.

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Roadway  characteristics

Motorists often give blame to roadway design and or the lack of quality for accidents to occur. Now days civil engineers and other firms responsible for designing and building roads are constantly improving those designs with safety as a first priority so as to prevent such incidents. However, ... despite their gallant attempts motorists are still subject to older roads which are not modified to the changing codes. What's more is these older roads are often not subjected to a reasonable maintenance schedule which does result in the potential for vehicular accidents to occur. Older designs, lack of appropriate warning signs, no guard rails or faded line are all contributing factors which are known to cause vehicular accidents.

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Hazard Visibility

Permanent roadway hazards consist of intersections, merging lanes, bends, crests, school zones, and livestock or pedestrian crossings. Temporary hazards include road construction, parked or disabled vehicles, accidents, traffic jams, and wild animals (especially deer). Not paying attention to these types of hazards can result in a vehicle accident or crash.

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Roadway surfaces by design or revision over time

Roadway surfaces can be a cause for vehicular accidents. Uneven transitions from old pavement to new is one common cause for vehicle accidents. Another applies just the same for the shoulder of roads. Potholes can cause a vehicle to lose its grip and has a tendency to pull a vehicle abruptly to one side or the other. This often results in a spin out, ... especially on wet roads.  While some roads are abrasive and absorb water other roads are extremely slick and dangerous. It is in those situations when the roadway transitions from those two surface types that an accident is more likely to occur, .... especially on a curve or bend of a road.

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Behavioral Control Devices 

Motorists who are unaware of built-in obstacles that limit the ability of a vehicle to travel, including crash barrels, speed bumps, pedestrian islands, raised medians, high curbing, guard rails, and concrete barriers stand the chance of causing an accident. Obstacles as such exist in abundance throughout town and city limits even more so and are often a cause for such accidents to occur.

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Traffic Flow

Rural two-lane roadways are statistically the most dangerous because of a high incidence of deadly head-on collisions and the difficulty impatient drivers’ face while overtaking slower vehicles.

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Issues related to maintenance and construction

Roadway maintenance or a lack there of contributes to some motor vehicle accidents. Unfortunately maintenance schedules and procedures vary greatly from city to city and state to state, so nationwide standards don't exist. Below are outlined potential roadway maintenance issues to be aware of which are known to cause vehicular accidents.

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Debris on the roadway can be a problem, and is the responsibility of local highway departments.

Faded road signs and signs obscured by foliage, occasionally contribute to accidents. If you know of any offending signs, contact your local police department to see if they can get the problem remedied.

Potholes cause a small number of accidents (primarily tire & suspension failures), but the accidents usually occur at low speeds and don't cause many injuries. Call the police to get large dangerous holes attended to. Some Northern US cities have pothole complaint lines that are active during the winter and spring.

Roadway construction is a reason often mentioned for accidents. Again the blame usually rests on aggressive drivers who are unwilling to merge or slow down when approaching a construction zone. In most states, fines are doubled in work zones, making it expensive as well as unsafe to speed. Stop-and-go traffic requires thoughtful, alert driving to avoid a collision with the car in front of you. Too often we worry that someone will cut in front of us in a traffic jam. The real problem is that drivers forget about the vehicle directly in front, rear-ending it while looking in their rearview mirror or daydreaming. Leave plenty of room between your car and the one directly in front of you. Our 3 second rule applies to traffic jams as well. If a few people cut in front of you, let them.

Salting & Sanding »  Many wintertime accidents are blamed on inadequate salting or sanding of icy roadways, but as so often, the real culprit is usually excessive speed. And salting only works if the ambient temperature stays above the middle teens. Recent environmental concerns have curbed widespread salting in recent years so less effective materials like clay, sand, and soot have replaced it in some areas. The fact remains that if highways are icy, speed needs to be reduced whether the roadway is salted or not.

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Weather conditions

Inclement conditions can aggravate existing hazards and sometimes create new conditions to overcome such as with ice & snow.

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Accidents associated with driver behaviors

Humans tend to blame somebody or something else when a mistake or accident occurs. A recent European study concluded that 80% of drivers involved in motor vehicle accidents believed that the other party could have done something to prevent the accident. A minuscule 5% admitted that they were the only one at fault. Surveys consistently reveal that the majority consider themselves more skillful and safer than the average driver. Some mistakes occur when a driver becomes distracted, perhaps by a cell phone call or a spilled cup of coffee. Very few accidents result from an 'Act of God,' like a tree falling on a vehicle.

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Excessive speed 

The faster the speed of a vehicle, the greater the risk of an accident. The forces experienced by the human body in a collision increase exponentially as the speed increases. Smart Motorist recommends that drivers observe our 3 second rule in everyday traffic, no matter what your speed. Most people agree that going 100 mph is foolhardy and will lead to disaster. The problem is that exceeding the speed limit by only 5 mph in the wrong place can be just as dangerous. Traffic engineers and local governments have determined the maximum speeds allowable for safe travel on the nation's roadways. Speeding is a deliberate and calculated behavior where the driver knows the risk but ignores the danger. Fully 90% of all licensed drivers speed at some point in their driving career; 75% admit to committing this offense regularly.  [More]

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Bad drivers

Anyone and everyone behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. There is no discrimination regarding who is responsible for a vehicle accident regardless of their experience or expertise.This includes race car drivers, bus drivers, taxi drivers and certainly operators of big rigs who are well known for taking what they want while changing lanes. Many occupational drivers suffer from a number of intricacies associated with sleep deprivation or frustration with casual motorists. Accidents can be caused by anyone and any profession requiring the operation of a motor vehicle.  [More]

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Aggression and overconfident drivers

The most difficult area to change regarding the environment for motorists is aggressive driver behavior and selfish attitudes. According to studies conducted in 1995 by the automobile association at least 88% of participants reported that they were either victims or the aggressors of the following behaviors.  [More]

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Tailgating

Verbal abuse

Physical assault

Invincible mentality

Intimidation of any kind

Aggressive or rude gestures

Lights flashed at them because the other motorist was annoyed

Deliberate obstruction -- preventing them from moving their vehicle or transferring to alternate lanes.

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These behaviors are probably under-reported, since most people are not willing to admit to the more serious actions, even if no penalty exists.

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 The following characterizes aggressive driving as a traffic violation

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Excessive speed

Frequent or unsafe lane changes

Failure to signal

Tailgating

Failure to yield the right of way

Disregarding traffic controls

Impaired driving

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The majority of state and local law enforcement point out that there is a difference between aggressive driving and "road rage." Road Rage behaviors, such as using the vehicle as a weapon or physically assaulting a driver or their vehicle, are not aggressive driving. They are criminal offenses, and there are laws in place to address these violent crimes.

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Additional and relevant resources

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What are the effects?

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Road injuries resulted in 1.4 million deaths in 2013, up from 1.1 million deaths in 1990. About 68,000 of these occurred in children less than five years old. Almost all high-income countries have decreasing death rates, while the majority of low-income countries having increasing death rates due to traffic collisions. Middle-income countries have the highest rate with 20 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, 80% of all road fatalities by only 52% of all vehicles. While the death rate in Africa is the highest (24.1 per 100,000 inhabitants), the lowest rate is to be found in Europe (10.3).

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The following are resources providing information related to the effects of a vehicle accident or crash.

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[ 10 Most Common Car Accident Injuries ]

[ What happens to your body in a crash? ]

[ Post-traumatic Stress Reactions Following Motor Vehicle accidents ]

[ The Economic and Societal Impact Of Motor Vehicle crashes ]

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Videos

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Videos for this subject matter should be viewed with a prepared mind and gut. Footage of vehicle accidents vary  and can leave standing impressions of horror and disbelief. For that reason the content page offers a lighter version of accidents typically available for viewing on You Tube. Once the viewer has been redirected to the video below an array of extensive and violent videos can be accessed accordingly.

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[ WORST CAR CRASHES OF 2016!! ]

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  Find "Solutions to vehicular accidents

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References

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_collision

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pubs/812115.pdf

http://www.smartmotorist.com/traffic-and-safety-guideline/what-causes-car-accidents.html

Vehicular accident