Girardi | Keese

Many Possible Causes in Fatal South Los Angeles Car Accident

Yesterday, a car accident in South Los Angeles killed three people and seriously injured another. The accident occurred around 10:20 pm when a convertible ran into a light pole, causing the car to ignite.

Authorities are investigating the Los Angeles car accident and have determined that drunk driving was not a factor. Many other things could cause a car to run into a tree, including:

  • Weather conditions
  • Defective tires
  • Defective brakes
  • Other auto defects
  • Driving under the influence of drugs
  • Medical issues while driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Texting while driving
  • Swerving to avoid objects in the road
  • Drowsy driving

Accidents Caused By Drowsy Driving

The last factor -- drowsy driving -- is interesting given a recent study out of Virginia Tech Transportation Institute that found that distracted driving could play a role in nearly 20 percent of all car accidents.

For the study, participants agreed to have data acquisition systems fitted to their vehicles that tested a driver's drowsiness. Thirty-eight of the 232 total drivers studied were involved in fatigue-related crashes and near-crashes. As expected, younger drivers tended to be more fatigued while driving than older drivers.

The study was not broad enough to make a significant statement about drowsy driving, but it has led to additional studies that are expected to have similar results. Drowsy driving, it seems, is much more of a problem than originally thought. In fact, one in 24 adults admitted to the CDC that they fell asleep while driving within the month prior to the study.

Any number of factors could have contributed to the South LA accident and it could take days, even weeks, before investigators release the cause. If, for example, the accident was caused by an auto defect or a medical issue, there may have been very little the driver could have done to prevent the accident. Yet, it is still a good reminder to all of us to pay attention to our own driving and do all we can to avoid accidents caused by driver error such as drowsy driving and distracted driving.

Source: CBS Los Angeles, "Fiery Crash in South LA Kills 3, Injures 1," Apr. 17, 2013

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