Traffic accidents happen every day for many reasons. Regardless of the cause, good people make honest mistakes and have occasional lapses in their judgement.
Here at Lawson Legal, we do not believe that a single incident defines a person or that one mistake should ruin your life.
The Western Australia Road Safety Commission’s recent report regarding fatalities appears to show statistics that are similar to the figures from the same time last year.
We do find the fact that the number of fatal vehicle crashes is not soaring a positive statistic. However, if you are involved in a car crash that does or does not include fatalities, there is a strong likelihood that you would benefit from experienced legal counsel.
What Causes Most Auto Accidents in Western Australia?
According to the most recent statistics from the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE), several actions correlate to traffic accidents. These causes include:
- Speeding – Driving at an excessive rate of speed is the number one cause of vehicle crashes. Because your reaction time is shorter whilst driving at a high rate of speed, the likelihood of a crash increase accordingly
- Alcohol Consumption – Driving while under the influence of alcohol is the second most frequent cause of accidents. Drinking impairs judgement, decision-making ability, reaction time, and concentration. Operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level over 0.5 is against the law in Australia.
- Driver Fatigue – When a driver is experiencing extreme fatigue, they are more likely to have a car crash. Fatigue is the third most common cause of accidents in Australia. While fatigue can happen to anyone at any time, a driver on the road between the hours of 10:00 pm until dawn are four times more likely to have a fatal car accident than at any other time.
- Distraction/Inattention – The fourth most frequent cause of vehicle crashes is driver distraction or inattention. Even though this is not a new problem that leads to accidents, the prominence of smartphones has upped the rate of crashes due to not paying attention to the road. A driver focusing on their phone is four times more likely to have an accident. It is worth noting other factors such as adjusting controls, eating, drinking, and actions of other passengers also distract drivers.
If I Crash My Car, What Should I Do?
There are several important steps to take immediately after a car crash. However, keep in mind that you should never admit that you are at fault or apologise for the accident. Police will determine where the blame lies, and you will not help your case should you go to court.
If you crash your car you should immediately:
- Stop your car right away and turn on your hazard lights
- Check yourself and passengers for any apparent injuries and call for assistance if someone is injured
- If it is safe to leave your car, exit the vehicle and keep your car between you and other traffic
- Should another car be involved, check to see if the driver or their passengers need medical assistance
- Stay at the scene until emergency services arrive
- If another vehicle or vehicles are involved, exchange names, addresses, contact information, and insurance companies
When Must I Call the Police?
According to the Western Australia police, you must contact the police if you are a part of a crash that includes one or more of the following circumstances.
- The car crash caused bodily injury to one or more persons involved
- The total amount of the damaged property (to all those involved) exceeds $3,000
- The owner of the damaged property is not present at the scene of the accident
How Can We Help?
At Lawson Legal, we understand your predicament as well as what is at stake for you as well as your loved ones. We are available to you 24 hours a day and seven days a week for your emergency legal needs.
If you or someone you know needs legal advice following a car crash, regardless of the circumstances, feel free to contact us.