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Drowsy driving, loss of control among causes of car accidents

Louisiana drivers and their passengers might be more likely to be in a fatal car accident than in previous years. The fatality rate for motor vehicle accidents climbed 8 percent in 2015 around the country, and in 2016, more than 40,000 people died in U.S. car crashes.

Many of these accidents have common causes. For example, cars straying out of their lanes or off the road, often due to distraction, causes 33 percent of crashes. Not all rear-end crashes are minor accidents, and many of them happen when one car runs into the back of another. Motorists who run through red lights, turn despite their views being blocked by large vehicles or make other errors related to driving blind causes 12 percent of crashes.

Around 50 percent of drivers believe themselves to be in the top 20 percent of the most skilled and safest drivers. This could account for the fact that 11 percent of crashes happen because of a loss of control including failure to slow down on wet roads, taking curves too fast and failing to react in time to an obstacle or another driver's behavior. More than 20 percent of fatal crashes happen because of a driver falling asleep, and a rolling turn at a red light while turning right accounts for 6 percent of all pedestrian deaths. More than 20 percent of those deaths are children.

Car accidents do not have to be fatal to have devastating consequences for those involved. Serious injuries can mean a long period of rehabilitation for passengers and other drivers, and they may also lose income from missing work. The insurance company of the driver who caused the accident may try to pay less compensation than needed to cover these expenses. Injured people in this situation might want to have an attorney handle the negotiations and file a lawsuit if necessary.

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