Each year, hundreds of Reno residents are involved in serious or even fatal crashes that change their lives forever. Reducing these crashes is possible, but only when we understand the top causes of Reno car crashes and what we can do, as safe drivers, to prevent them.
Speeding is not at all uncommon, which is frightening because it always increases the risk of a crash. Remember that you are still speeding and putting others at risk even if you’re driving 5 MPH over the speed limit.
Going over the speed limit does two things. First, it reduces your reaction times. The faster you’re going, the more following distance you need to drive safely. A car traveling 70mph moves at 102 feet per second. If you look at a billboard for 3 seconds, you’ll have traveled the length of a football field. For that reason, if you’re following too closely the driver in front of you hits the brakes, you may not have enough time to prevent a crash.
Additionally, speeding always increases the amount of damage caused in a crash. It’s simple physics, the force of impact = mass x acceleration. Each mile per hour you travel over the speed limit doesn’t just add to the damage in the crash, it multiplies it.
In Nevada, 1-in-4 fatal car crashes involve drugs or alcohol. In most places, DUIs usually occur in the evening. In Nevada, so-called “brunch hour” (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) DUIs are much more common, especially around Las Vegas and Reno. Not only that, but DUI arrests in 2021 are already 20% higher than they were at this time in 2019!
If you see an intoxicated driver swerving across the road, the best thing you can do is call law enforcement and report a suspected DUI. Ignoring an unsafe driver will only put more people at risk of being involved in a fatal crash.
2. Failure to Obey Signals
Failure to obey traffic signals is a combination of drivers not using turn signals and ignoring traffic signs, like red lights and stop signs. Crashes caused by a failure to obey signals are especially common at intersections. These wrecks tend to be more severe because they’re often t-bone collisions (also called side-impact).
Cars are designed to mitigate damage from the front and the rear, not the sides. In most cases, the car frame absorbs just 5% of the force from a side impact. That means the driver and their passengers often suffer more serious injuries. Not only that, but vehicles that are higher off the ground (like trucks and SUVs) are at a higher risk of rolling over when struck from the side, making these crashes especially deadly.
1. Following Too Closely
According to the Reno Police Department, car crashes in the city are usually caused by drivers following too closely. This could be drivers who either:
Are tailgating another vehicle
Merge in front of another vehicle and then hit the brakes.
The best way to avoid these types of crashes is to drive defensively. That means anticipating that other drivers will make mistakes and adjusting your driving accordingly. If a driver merges to close in front of you, be prepared to slow down. Likewise, if a driver is tailing you too closely, don’t be afraid to pull over and let them pass. By following these simple strategies, you can help alleviate symptoms of road rage and potentially prevent a serious wreck.
Personal Injury Lawyers at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. Are Here to Help
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you need a personal injury lawyer. The attorneys at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. can help you understand your legal rights and the steps you may take to pursue maximum compensation. We have successfully recovered millions of dollars in damages for our clients. Talk to us, and we can help you explore your options. Call us today at (775) 227-2280 to schedule a free case consultation or contact our office through our website.