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Posted in Car Accidents on March 11, 2016   |  by Gary Burger

The Rules of the Road

Drivers who violate safety rules injure and kill people. We are all trained to follow the Rules of the Road and to operate motor vehicles safely. However, when that does not occur people are easily injured. Typically, the rule violations are excessive speed, failure to keep a careful lookout, failure to yield the right of way and violations of traffic signals. Drivers must use the “highest degree of care” or what “a very careful person” would do under the same circumstances.

People violate the Rules of the Road in many different ways, and all of those violations are dangerous. In 2013, 757 people were killed in Missouri traffic accidents. Despite laws requiring them, only 80% of Missourians wear seatbelts. As a result, 6 out of 10 vehicle occupants killed in Missouri traffic accidents in 2013 were unbuckled. Further, despite impaired driving laws, 30% of Missouri traffic fatalities in 2013 involved a substance impaired driver. The leading cause of fatal car crashes, other than substance impairment, is speeding and improper lane usage. And – don’t drive inTEXTicated!

In the United States:

  • Over 37,000 people die in road crashes each year
  • An additional 2.35 million are injured or disabled
  • Over 1,600 children under 15 years of age die each year
  • Nearly 8,000 people are killed in crashes involving drivers 16-20
  • Road crashes cost the U.S. $230.6 billion per year, or an average of $820 per person
  • 3 million accident claims per year

When you are in a car accident, you only have a claim for personal injuries if the other driver was negligent, or caused injury to you. If the accident was your fault, no one else should pay you for your injuries, unless you had medical payment benefits or some other benefits through your insurance. If the other driver broke the rules of the road, drove unsafely and carelessly and injured you or a passenger, you do have a claim. Those claims usually divide into property damage and personal injury claims. Usually, you should handle your property damage claim yourself as you never want a lawyer to take a fee out of the money recovered for your vehicle-- you are already not going to get full value for your vehicle damage. Typically, people have high loans on vehicles and insurance companies pay wholesale or other reduced costs to pay for property damage.