There are a lot of factors that can affect a motorist’s ability to drive safely, but one factor that does not receive the attention it deserves is stress level. It’s well understood that stress affects us negatively, and this extends to when we’re behind the wheel. If you’ve been injured by another driver’s negligence – regardless of the form it takes – an experienced Texas lawyer for car accident is standing by to help.
What’s In This Guide
- Driving Stress Statistics
- More about Aggressive Driving
- Your Accident Claim
- Seeking Fair Compensation
- How an Attorney Can Help
Driving Stress Statistics
According to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, stress plays a pivotal role in driving safety, and its effects aren’t good. Consider the following basics:
- The number of vehicles on our roads and the number of road trips we take are on the rise across the globe.
- Car accidents are overwhelmingly caused by driver negligence and error, which increases in direct relation to decreases in cognitive functioning.
- Because our cognitive abilities are so closely related to our mental state, the amount of stress a motorist experiences can directly affect his or her driving.
An article in The New Republic (TNR) explores the relationship between car accidents and pandemic-related stress. Consider the following 5 statistical points:
- One: Car traffic was down 20 percent in 2020, but fatal accidents rose significantly.
- Two: 2020 saw the largest hike in traffic fatalities in a century (National Safety Council, NSC).
- Three: While 36,680 people lost their lives in traffic accidents in 2020, the number in 2021 was even higher. Pandemic-related stress is presumed to play a role.
- Four: Stress is distracting, and distraction is one of the most dangerous forms of driver negligence. In 2019, 3,142 drivers were killed in accidents related to distraction (National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA).
- Five: Stress correlates closely with aggressive driving, and aggressive drivers are widely considered among the most dangerous on our roads. The Insurance Information Institute (III) shares that aggressive driving played a part in 56 percent of all traffic fatalities from 2003 to 2007 (with excessive speed – the hallmark of aggressive driving – as the primary factor).
More about Aggressive Driving
Aggressive driving is considered a manifestation of stress that’s poorly dealt with. Generally, aggressive driving plays out in a combination of dangerous driving practices behind the wheel. Common forms of aggressive driving include:
- Driving too close to a forward vehicle (tailgating)
- Changing lanes erratically or otherwise dangerously
- Driving on the road’s shoulder or anywhere other than on the road itself
- Passing illegally
- Changing speeds erratically
- Refusing to yield the right-of-way
- Not signaling one’s driving intentions
- Speeding excessively (either by ignoring the speed limit or by failing to adjust one’s speed downward in response to risk factors on the road)
- Racing other drivers
- Turning from the wrong lane or otherwise turning illegally
Road Zebra also shares information about aggressive driving, including:
- In 2021, more than 45 percent of the drivers polled reported that angry honking was the most frequent form of aggressive driving they saw on the roads.
- Nearly 40 percent of the drivers polled in 2021 cited obscene hand gestures as a common sign of aggressive driving.
- In 2020, 19.3 percent of those surveyed reported experiencing intense aggression behind the wheel in the preceding year, 5.5 percent reported experiencing similar aggression on a weekly basis, and 2.8 percent reported experiencing the same on a daily basis.
Stress affects our driving and makes our roadways more dangerous.
Your Accident Claim
You’ve been injured by a driver who is stressed out, but proving the relationship between stress and car accidents is not an easy matter. If the other driver’s stress manifested as negligence behind the wheel, evidence will back this up, and your dedicated car accident attorney has the legal skill and insight to gather all the available evidence in his or her concerted effort to build your strongest claim. This can include taking eyewitness testimony, hiring expert witnesses, and having accident models created – all of which can strengthen your claim and bolster your ability to obtain just compensation.
Seeking Fair Compensation
The losses – or legal damages – you experience as a result of the other driver’s negligence can be very difficult to overcome without the compensation to which you are entitled. Your car accident attorney will strive to ensure that your losses are well represented, including all the following:
- Property damage to your vehicle
- Your current and ongoing medical expenses
- The income you lose while off the job (and any losses in earning potential)
- Your physical and psychological pain and suffering
How an Attorney Can Help
When you work with an experienced car accident attorney, you help to protect your legal rights and your rightful compensation. Your attorney will skillfully take on all the following primary tasks:
- Composing your strongest claim
- Communicating with the insurance company so you don’t have to
- Helping you understand the car accident claims process so you can make well-informed decisions that support your best interests throughout
- Assertively advocating for your claim’s best possible resolution, and preparing for court (in the event that the insurance company refuses to negotiate a just settlement
It’s important to note that the insurance company will be watching for any opportunity to weaken your claim. This can be something as simple as twisting your words or reinterpreting a post on social media. It’s in your best interest to leave the insurance company to your savvy car accident attorney by taking a pass on making a statement and by staying away from social media while your claim is pending.
An Experienced Texas Car Accident Attorney Can Help
The trusted Texas car accident attorneys at The Patel Firm have the experience and drive to help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled and that you need to recover fully. We’re here for you, so please do not wait to contact or call us at 361-400-2036 for more information today.