Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in Pennsylvania and around the country for people between 2 and 34 years of age. Most people killed on the nation’s roads each year die in accidents caused by some sort of human error. The most common cause of these crashes is reckless driving behavior such as exceeding posted speed limits, following other vehicles too closely or attempting unsafe passing maneuvers.

Impaired drivers are another major road hazard. According to figures from the Centers for Disease Control, almost one in three road users killed in the United States each year lose their lives in car crashes involving a driver influenced by drugs or alcohol. While few drivers would get behind the wheel after drinking heavily, a worrying number admit to driving while dangerously fatigued. This is especially concerning to road safety groups because drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as intoxicated driving.

While there is no sure way to avoid an accident, following traffic laws, maintaining safe distances and remaining vigilant at all times can reduce the risks of road travel substantially. Drivers should also pay attention to maintenance schedules, check that their tires are properly inflated on a regular basis and make sure that they and all of their passengers are securely restrained before setting off.

Identifying the cause of a traffic accident is an important step for an injured victim who wants to pursue civil remedies. When police reports provide no definitive answers, a personal injury attorney may conduct additional inquiries. Legal counsel could visit the accident scene hoping to find witnesses that the police failed to question, and they may also look for cameras mounted on homes or businesses that could have recorded the events.