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Key factors in car accidents, according to the data

While car accidents in Colorado can happen for all manner of reasons, a quick study of the national data shows that some key factors show up time and time again. Knowing what these factors are can help people understand why crashes happen and how to avoid them.

For example, in more than one third of the accidents—36 percent—the vehicles involved were at intersections. They were either trying to drive through these intersections or attempting to turn from one road onto another. This high percentage shows that drivers need to be especially careful when approaching intersections, whether they plan to turn or not.

The data also showed that a high number of cars simply went off the edge of the street or roadway, with this happening about 22 percent of the time. The reasons behind that were not specifically stated for every crash, though the crashes could have had to do with drivers who fell asleep at the wheel, drivers who were distracted by their phones, and things of this nature.

Similarly, 11 percent of the accidents showed that vehicles drifted out of their lanes. They could have crossed into oncoming traffic or into the lanes on either side that were already occupied by other vehicles moving in the same direction—as would happen on a two-lane interstate, for example.

Surprisingly, more than 10 percent of the cars involved in the accidents were stopped when they were hit. This is something that can happen, for example, when a rear-end collision occurs at a stoplight.

If you were involved in a crash, no matter how it happened, you need to know what legal options you have.

Source: NHTSA, "National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey" accessed Jan. 14, 2015

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