When a motor vehicle accident occurs on a highway, serious injuries or fatalities can be the outcome. The high speed travelled by a vehicle on the highway (up to 120 km/h in some areas in British Columbia) contributes to the likelihood of losing control and being unable to avert an accident. On highways, we have very little reaction time to slow down or stop quickly when needed. Heavy vehicles take even longer to slow down, such as tractor-trailers that need more reaction time.
While speed is a key contributor, aggressive driving, road rage and reckless driving are reasons for highway accidents. Sometimes drivers change multiple lanes quickly from the left (passing) lane in order to get to the exit lane at the last minute. Tailgating and unsafe lane changes into small openings are another common problem on highways that other drivers are unable to anticipate in advance. Road rage raises the risk of accidents, including situations where a driver passes another only to pull in front and use their brakes. Further, passing on the right, cutting off other drivers and weaving through traffic involves driving in a manner that disregards the safety of others.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (including prescription drugs) or extreme fatigue (drowsy driving) is another cause of how many highway accidents occur as these can impair focus, judgment, response time and driver predictability. Further, when impaired drivers are out in the night, they have reduced visibility around them.
Inexperience and distracted driving increase the risk of highway accidents for all drivers. Teen drivers are more likely to be careless and forget to signal and check the blind spot before lane changes. Any driver distracted from the road also becomes more accident prone, especially by using a hand-held device such as a cell phone.
Topography and natural conditions like weather contribute to highways being dangerous in British Columbia. Many highways in BC are in remote and less inhabited areas where roads may be curvy, cross many mountain passes and go near water, and weather patterns can change quickly to become slippery. Snow, ice or rain can easily cause slick and dangerous surfaces that can make a vehicle spin out or control or skid while braking. Natural hazards can occur at any time, including high winds, rock falls, landslides, avalanches, floods, lightning storms, wildfires, and deer or moose trying to cross.
At Bronson Jones & Company LLP, we specialize in motor vehicle accident cases for personal injury victims. Our lawyers are highly skilled and experienced in BC highway accidents and we will thoroughly investigate your accident, using reconstruction experts if needed. Contact our personal injury lawyers in Vancouver or our other locations for your free consultation by calling 1-855-852-5100. We have thirteen offices across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.