The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has never ceased in creating and implementing programs and designing educational campaigns that will continuously remind drivers of the necessity of observing road safety rules to keep accidents minor and at a minimum. This is because no less than 90% of the more than five million motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. (every year) are due to driver’s fault, like speeding, reckless driving, drunk driving, which is the number one cause of car accidents, and distracted driving, which greatly involves teenage and young adult drivers. This, somehow, points to the alarming possibility that, no matter how careful one may drive, if another driver acts negligently or carelessly, then an accident may just occur.
Drivers, however, are not the only ones guilty of acts of negligence, for there are also factors or other causes of accidents that are outside of a driver’s control. These include cars with manufacturing defects or low-quality car parts, and defective roads and highways. Often, these other factors present greater dangers for these may not be immediately obvious, being discovered only after having caused tragic road mishaps.
According to the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, LTD, dangerous conditions on the road are often responsible for accidents. They may be the fault of the state or a municipality responsible for road design, maintenance, and signage, a construction company that has left the pavement littered with obstacles or debris, or a truck that has left blown out tire treads or fallen cargo on the pavement. These are some of the more common road conditions that cause highway accidents:
- Faulty road design
- Hazardous road construction area
- Objects or debris on the road
- Potholes or cracked, uneven pavement
- Lack of a level shoulder
- Missing guardrails
- Standing water
- Detached tire treads
- Snow and ice, especially black ice
- Lack of lane dividers or pavement markings, especially on winding roads
The dangerous effects of a defectively-designed highway or a poorly-maintained street is definitely more extensive than car manufacturing defects as the former directly affects more (if not all) motorists. States, municipalities and cities are the ones responsible in the construction and maintenance of roads. States, however, have immunity from any form of liability (despite injuries during an accident), which is based on the rule that, so long as they follow approved construction plans, then they are exempt from paying any claims by an accident victim.
The chance of a victim in winning the court’s approval to claim for damages, therefore, depends on the ability and competence of the personal injury lawyer, on whom rests the burden to prove that the risk of accident should have been foreseen or discovered by the state. Personal injury lawyers know very well how important it is for victims to hold those who cause accidents liable for their injuries.