Crash Caused by Driver Swerving into Oncoming Trafficauto crash in Richland injures 76-year-old driver

An elderly Richland woman was injured in a three-vehicle crash on State Route 240 in Richland.

Troopers were on the  crash scene just after 7am Friday morning. A 20-year-old Kennewick man had been driving west on the highway when he hit a Subaru Outback near Duportail Street. He then spun headfirst into the oncoming traffic. The elderly victim had been heading east when she was struck by the man’s gold Chevy Classic.

The man causing the crash said that he’d noticed a truck weaving in and out of traffic. He said he was trying to avoid being hit when he swerved, not only clipping the Subaru, but crashing into the elderly woman’s car.

Fortunately, the driver and passenger in the Subaru did not have serious injuries. But elderly Richland driver was transported to a local medical center for treatment of her injuries.

The cause of the crash is under investigation and charges may be pending.

200 Million Drivers on the Road

In the news, we often see the word car and accident linked together. It’s little wonder with over 200 million drivers on the road in the United States!  You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t know someone who hasn’t been in a car accident. Accidents can run the gamut of minor to deadly.

With millions of crashes and road incidents happening every year for a variety of reasons, it’s alarming at the number of them caused by human error and choice. It’s a reminder that every driver needs not only do their part to stay safe, but be on the look-out for those who aren’t.

Driving a motor vehicle is both a defensive and offensive activity. Because of the sheer number of drivers on the road, any risky behavior behind the wheel is dangerous. But even considering human error, t’s important to recognize that not every accident is caused by poor driving behavior. Many external activities can also put motorists at risk, through no fault of their own.

Common Causes of Car Accidents

In 2016, the Huffington Post outlined some of the most common causes of car accidents in the country. While we may not constantly dwell on looming dangers, many commuters experience several of these things everyday in their travels.

Here are a few ways drivers find themselves at risk in a motor vehicle:

  1. Distracted Driving. With the age of digital technology at our fingertips, the greatest possible threat we may face on the road today is distraction. This can come from either inside our own car or the outside inattention and distraction of surrounding drivers. A phone call, incoming and out-going texts, a bite to eat, personal grooming, or even talking to another passenger can take a driver’s eyes and focus off the road ahead. And is a choice.
  2. Drunk Driving. Undeniably, driving under the influence of alcohol has been a leading cause of car accidents for decades. Massive social campaigns have sought to bring attention to this highly preventable activity. It has improved in the past quarter century, but still has room for improvement! And is a choice.
  3. Speeding. We’ve all done it from time to time. It’s exhilarating and thrilling, and may come as no surprise that speeding is the second most common cause of motor vehicle accidents. Speed limits are for the safety for all people.  And is a choice.
  4. Reckless Driving. Ironically, speeding also falls into this category as well. Changing lanes too quickly, going well over the speed limit, being aggressive with other drivers–all of these can cause needless accidents. And is a choice.
  5. Rain. It’s the universal weather condition that can create treacherous conditions on the road. Driving too fast or in torrential downpours can limit visibility and diminish optimal vehicle operation. It can also make surface conditions slick by bringing oil and lubricants to the surface after a dry season. Ordinary wet days should always mean driving with extra caution!
  6. Running red lights. A little obvious, right? But we see it all the time. Distractions, impulsivity, or even just plain carelessness can cause an accident. Remember–red means stop! And is a choice.
  7. Night Driving. Lack of visibility means extra caution and alertness is needed at night. Always uses full headlights on dark streets and roads.
  8. Design Defects. It happens occasionally–manufacturer’s recalls and notices alert consumers all the time about errors in their vehicle’s operation and functionality. It’s important to also keep “in the know” about your vehicle and any defects associated with its design and use.
  9. Tailgating. Give everyone some space. Following too close to the car in front of you is dangerous.  Deliberating hanging only a few feet back is asking for trouble! Slow drivers can be frustrating, but should never be a reason to turn aggressive and deadly. And is a choice. 
  10. Wrong-way Driving/Improper Turns. We all make mistakes from time to time. Heading into a wrong-way situation can be horribly ugly, if not, fatal. Staying alert and aware of signs, signals, and the flow of traffic is important, especially in unfamiliar areas. Always look out for other vehicles and obey the right-of-way laws when you are turning.
  11. Teenage Drivers. Experience comes with age. Naivete and inexperience can result in unsafe conditions and choices. Younger drivers are also more prone to lapse into distracted driving behaviors due to digital distractions.
  12. Drugs. Never drive under the influence of any drug–that includes illegal and legal ones. Even prescription medications can be a problem if people don’t recognize the signs of impairment. Side effects can effect neuro-sensory function–so make safe choices ahead of time.
  13. Potholes. Some cities are notorious for their potholes. Unfortunately, they can cause expensive damage to cars and cause accidents, especially if drivers swerve to miss them.
  14. Tire Blowouts. Getting a flat while driving can also cause you to swerve unexpectedly. Staying calm and firmly hold on to your wheel. Get your vehicle as far off the road as possible and call for help, if needed.
  15. Animal Crossings. The proverbial “deer in the headlights” can be a real thing on a dark night or in woody areas.
  16. Construction Sites. Sometimes a construction zone can be confusing. Signs, torn-up surfaces, and detours can cause mishaps. Slowing down and proceeding with caution is critical for safe passage.

Being an Offensive and Defensive Driver

76-year-old Richland driver

With so much going on around us all the time, we cannot ignore the risk we take every time we get behind the wheel. Multiple distractions and activities result in numerous causes of car crashes everyday; some of which, are the directly related to personal choices. No driver can be perfectly prepared for every possibility that comes along the road, but making sound decisions and always following the law can be a lifesaver!

So when it comes to safety odds, we must not only be offensive drivers, but defensive drivers as well! Anticipating potential driving hazards, as well as knowing the most common causes of car crashes and accidents and how to avoid them, will help.

Obeying the rules of the road is key to safely operating a motor vehicle.

Our Auto Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers Are Here to Help You

Not only can head-on crashes be devastating for those involved, like for the elderly woman in Richland, they can leave victims and families in a state of shock.

Seeking legal counsel may not be the first thing that someone with serious personal injuries does, but it may end up being one of the most important things they do.

If you or a loved one has been in a head-on collision in Washington or Idaho, contact Fielding Law Group today, for a free consultation on how our accident attorneys can help you get financial recovery for your physical, mental, and property damages. By working one-on-one with our clients, we are able to offer the best legal representation throughout the entire resolution process, to settle all personal injury claims. Our unparalleled abilities mean that you can concentrate on healing, while we make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Remember-Don’t let an accident wreck YOU!