Sharing the road with a negligent driver is a stressful and dangerous experience. When that negligent driver causes an accident, you may be facing months of dealing with their insurer as they dispute liability.
In many car accident lawsuits, disputes over who was at fault comes down to the question of negligence. Sometimes negligence is obvious, as is the case with motorists who are driving faster than the posted speed limit or who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is not always the case, though.
When liability is a point of contention, your attorney can help you determine whether the at-fault driver was engaging in negligent behaviors that are not as easily identifiable. At Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law, we frequently work with car accident victims who have been harmed by these five surprising examples of negligent driving.
Our Top 5 Surprising Examples of Negligent Driving
While you likely already know that speeding, running red lights, and failing to follow traffic signs all fall under the umbrella of negligent driving, you might be less familiar with other forms of negligent driving behaviors.
Driving Too Fast for Conditions
Did you know that traveling at the speed limit can sometimes be considered negligent driving? Adverse driving conditions can severely limit your ability to see other drivers, slow down, come to a complete stop, and make evasive driving maneuvers.
You should always decrease your speed in the following scenarios:
- The first 10 to 20 minutes after it starts raining when roads are at their most slippery
- During heavy rain, when visibility is limited
- When roads are icy or covered in snow
- At night when visibility is not as clear as during the day
- When traffic is stop-and-go
The above situations all call for reducing your speed to less than the posted speed limit. A good rule of thumb is to reduce your speed by approximately 1/3 when traveling on wet or slick roads, or when you encounter situations in which driving conditions are anything less than ideal.
Speed limits are only set for ideal driving conditions, so if you were hit by a driver who was traveling the speed limit in a storm or when visibility was otherwise limited, you may be owed compensation for your injuries.
Drinking Non-Alcoholic Beverages
The prevalence of drive-thru coffee shops and fast-food restaurants has contributed to the widespread acceptance of eating and drinking behind the wheel. However, just because something is normalized does not mean it is safe. Although we often associate the phrase “drinking and driving” with the consumption of alcoholic beverages before getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, drinking non-alcoholic beverages while at the wheel can also be exceptionally dangerous.
Anything that pulls your attention away from the task of driving can be a form of distracted driving, which falls under the broader umbrella of negligent driving. Enjoying an iced coffee or bottle of water while at the wheel might seem innocent enough, but may ultimately be considered negligent because of the following behaviors:
- Removing your hands from the wheel to pick up a cup
- Unwrapping a straw or trying to place it correctly through a lid
- Removing and replacing a twist cap
This is not to undercut the importance of staying well-hydrated or having enough caffeine to stay awake, especially when on a road trip or traveling long distances for work. However, Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law strongly recommends enjoying your drinks while safely parked or inside an establishment before heading back out on the road.
Proving that another driver caused an accident because they were too distracted by their beverage can be a challenge, though. At our law firm, we thoroughly investigate every accident to determine the cause. We can help prove the cause of your accident by relying on witness statements, dash cams, security footage, and more.
Failing To Perform Vehicle Upkeep
Driver negligence can also occur off the road. All Mississippi motorists are responsible for the care and upkeep of their vehicles, and when they fail to perform regular maintenance, they could be putting you and everyone else at risk for a serious accident.
We often look at vehicle maintenance records to determine whether the failure to complete any of the following maintenance contributed to your accident:
- Regular oil changes
- Replacing worn-down tires
- Tire rotations
- Replacing or repairing broken headlights, brake lights, turn signals, or parking lights
- Transmission fluid changes
A vehicle cannot run for months or years without regular upkeep and maintenance. A driver’s failure to keep up with regular vehicle maintenance is considered negligence and may make them liable for all resulting damages in an auto accident.
Following Too Close
When you think of a driver following too closely, do you picture a vehicle so close to your rear bumper that you can hardly see its headlights? While that is one form of driving too close (also called tailgating), you might be unaware that vehicles may be too close to you even when they do not appear to be.
Drivers in Biloxi, MS may have a narrow view of what constitutes following too close. This is partially because very few drivers follow the three-second rule. While not an actual law on the books in Mississippi, the three-second rule will help you maintain a safe following distance from other drivers by maintaining at least three seconds of travel time between your front bumper and the rear of the vehicle in front of you.
To test the three-second rule, simply pick a stationary object, begin counting when the vehicle in front of you clears that object, and then stop counting once your vehicle reaches that point. You might be surprised to learn that three seconds of travel time can constitute a significant gap between vehicles.
Anyone not following the three-second rule is maintaining a following distance that is much too close. Following too close does not leave sufficient time to apply the brakes and come to a full and complete stop. If you were rear-ended because another driver was following too close, you were the victim of a negligent driving accident.
Road rage comes in multiple forms, including speeding, cutting off other drivers, and weaving in and out of traffic. It is easy to spot this type of road rage driver, and there is often no question about liability when a driver causes an accident by cutting off others or slamming on their brakes.
But what other road rage behaviors might also be considered a form of negligent driving?
- Making rude gestures
- Making intense eye contact
- Matching your speed
- Refusing to let others merge or pass
A driver exhibiting aggressive, angry behavior behind the wheel is much more likely to cause an accident than someone who is otherwise paying attention to the road and remaining calm. If the other driver was yelling or making rude gestures at you before causing an accident, they may be considered at fault for your accident and, therefore, liable for all resulting damages.
Were You Injured by a Negligent Driver?
Being involved in a car accident is a physically, emotionally, and financially traumatizing event. If a negligent driver caused your accident, you could be owed compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, auto repairs, and more.
At Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law, we treat every client with the care and respect their case deserves. You can learn more about our legal representation by calling our law office or filling out our convenient online form to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
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