Last month, a 17-year-old driver died in a Syracuse car accident. He was driving east on South County Line Road in the afternoon when his car allegedly veered to the left of center and ran off the north side of the road. The young man crashed into a tree and died at the scene of the accident. His 17-year-old passenger was taken to a Syracuse hospital for treatment of his injuries. 

While we do not know the exact cause of the fatal Syracuse car accident, many accidents involving driving off the road and crashing into a telephone pole or tree are caused by driver negligence, such as distracted driving or impaired driving. There are many different causes of fatal Syracuse car accidents. Still, most car accidents involve some type of negligence on the part of the driver and the additional causes listed below.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the most common and deadly causes of car accidents in Syracuse and around the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around nine people in the United States die every day in over 1000 car accidents that involve distracted drivers. In 2018, over 2,800 people died in car accidents involving distracted drivers, according to the national highway traffic safety administration. Here in New York, the governor’s Traffic Safety Committee recently reported that distracted driving is the primary contributing factor for car accidents in New York state. 

Distracted driving remains a serious problem. Federal and local governments are continually attempting to make drivers more aware of the dangers of it. The more we become used to being on technology most of the day, the harder it is for people to put away their smartphones and electronic devices while driving. Even though many drivers are aware that distracted driving is dangerous, they continue to take time to check text messages or take their attention off the road for a few seconds, causing a devastating accident. Distracted driving includes all of the following actions:

  • Talking to other passengers
  • Trying to reach children in the back seat
  • Eating and drinking while driving
  • Texting or talking on a phone
  • Adjusting the radio or GPS of the vehicle
  • Handling a GPS
  • Checking a text message
  • Watching videos on a tablet or device
  • Driving while overly drowsy
  • “Zoning out” while driving

 

Defective Car Parts

When drivers purchase a vehicle, they expect that it will work safely. Unfortunately, defective car parts can cause devastating accidents. When a defective car part contributes to a Syracuse car accident, the victim may bring a lawsuit against the car manufacturer or retailer. Under New York law, negligent manufacturers, distributors, and retailers have a duty to design and sell reasonably safe vehicles. When a defective car part contributes to a victim’s injury, the manufacturer or retailer may be required to compensate the victim for all of his or her financial and emotional losses caused by the defective car part. 

Sometimes, there is an existing class-action lawsuit that an injured victim can join. For example, when one type of vehicle has known design defects with the brakes, and your accident involved the brakes on that model of the car not functioning correctly, you may be able to join that class-action lawsuit. If you suspect that a defective car part contributed to your injuries, it is worth discussing your case with a lawyer. Securing compensation for your injuries could change you and your family’s life for the better. 

 

Drunk and Impaired Driving

In New York, driving while under the influence (DUI) involves driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher. Driving under the influence of illegal controlled substances or prescription pain medication without a proper prescription is also illegal. When a drunk driver causes a car accident that results in someone else’s injury, he or she will likely face criminal charges. Additionally, the drunk driver’s victim can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the drunk driver to recover compensation for his or her injuries. 

In a personal injury lawsuit, the injured victim will need to prove that the drunk driver caused the accident “by a preponderance of the evidence.” This evidentiary standard is easier to prove than this burden of proof used in criminal cases: the defendant committed the crime “beyond a reasonable doubt.”  In some cases, the injured victim can sue the bar or restaurant that serves the drunk driver too much alcohol after he appeared to be drunk under New York’s dram shop liability laws. Additionally, if the drunk driver was working for his or her employer at the time of the accident, the victim may bring a lawsuit against the employer.

 

Aggressive Driving Accidents

As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, people are more stressed than they have been in a long time. Many New Yorkers have lost their jobs, had their hours cut, or even lost loved ones from COVID-19. The stress of the pandemic can lead people who would otherwise be safe drivers to drive aggressively. Aggressive driving includes any driving that endangers or is likely to endanger people or property. Aggressive driving can include speeding, racing, failure to signal, and weaving in and out of traffic lanes aggressively.

 

Severe Weather Conditions

Syracuse winters are long, and they can be dangerous for drivers. We often experience harsh winter storms, icy roads, and high winds. None of us can control the weather, but we all have a duty to drive reasonably safely under the winter weather conditions. This could include slowing down, pulling over, or generally being more cautious while driving during severe weather conditions. When a driver fails to use reasonable care when driving in dangerous weather conditions, he or she may be liable for the injuries caused by a resulting car accident.

 

Contact Our Experienced Lawyers Today

If you have been involved in a Syracuse car accident, the sooner you speak with an experienced lawyer, the better. Contact Stanley Law Offices today to schedule your free case evaluation.