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Diatribe: GUEST POST! It’s Your Fault: How We Only Have Ourselves to Blame When it Comes to Car Accidents and Injuries.


Human error is the leading cause of all auto accidents in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Not rain, or sleet, or sprinting cats or flaming boulders from the sky. The decisions drivers make behind the wheel are the root cause of terrible collisions that cause thousands of dollars in property damage and serious, life-altering injuries. Our Deptford car accident attorneys see clients every day victimized by other motorists who just weren’t paying enough attention on the road. And what are drivers forgetting to do while they’re reaching for cell phones, reading or digging for loose change?

In what adds up to 750 billion instances a year, drivers are neglecting to use their turn signals. That’s right; research from the Society of Automotive Engineers released earlier this year says drivers forget to use those blinking lights half the time when changing lanes and nearly 25 percent of time when making turns. Those actions, or lack of them, cause nearly 2 million accidents every year – twice the number of those caused by distracted driving.

If you’re going to spend $30,000 on an automobile, at least have the decency to use all the safety features. It’s not just considerate, it’s the law.

Vehicle equipment like turn signals and headlights are indeed safety features – make no mistake. Using them isn’t just a fun way to pass the time; they alert other motorists to oncoming traffic and the intended direction of other vehicles. Where a car is turning shouldn’t be a multiple choice question or a sudden surprise. A motorist who whips a vehicle into a lane without warning and causes an accident is probably at-fault for the collision. That opens the floodgates for the insurance company to raise the driver’s premiums and might lead to a costly personal injury lawsuit. The Bloomfield car accident lawyers at my firm have no issues with pursuing an at-fault driver’s policy for every dime our client deserves for their injuries.

Driving is one of the most dangerous activities an average person undertakes in a day – it’s not easy. That’s why every state in the nation requires everyone wanting to operate a car legally to have a license to do so.

Operating a motor vehicle is a privilege, not a right.

The NHTSA estimates that every motorist faces about 200 different driving decisions per mile. That’s a staggering number. Missing even one opportunity can be the catalyst for a catastrophic series of events adding up to the kind of injuries that change careers and alter life paths. No one wants to look back after a significant auto accident and see the clinching moment as changing the song on their iPod. I don’t care how much you hate that track, it can wait.

Richard P. Console Jr. is the managing partner of Console & Hollawell P.C. Since 1994, the firm’s Brick personal injury attorneys have helped more than 5,000 accident victims obtain compensation for their damages.

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