The Number of Car Accidents in Washington, D.C. Continues to Rise

The Number of Car Accidents in Washington, D.C. Continues to RiseMany people visit or live in Washington, D.C. because of its beautiful buildings, diverse food options, employment opportunities, top-tier colleges and schools, and more. We think D.C. is a great city, but like many cities, it is plagued by car accidents – and the number of crashes just keeps rising.

According to an article published by The Washington Post, by the end of December 2023, close to 50 people had lost their lives in traffic collisions in Washington, D.C. This was a record for America’s capital city as it has not seen these numbers in almost two decades. As a result, advocates, doctors, and residents are concerned about the devastation that the city and communities are experiencing due to these rising traffic collisions across the city. They believe that the reason for these rising numbers is because there is “a lack of accountability for drivers who repeatedly disregard traffic rules.”

The District has tried to reduce accidents, but to no avail

About a decade ago, Washington, D.C. implemented  Vision Zero, a multi-state road safety project. While Vision Zero is still in place, it has not been as successful in  preventing injuries and fatalities from traffic collisions in the city. There have even been several policies implemented to “reduce speed limits, add traffic camera enforcement and restrict right turns on red lights,” but traffic-related deaths continue to climb.

The chairman of the D.C. council’s transportation committee, Charles Allen, stated, “Even one death on our roads is one too many. But the trend isn’t going down. It’s just getting worse.” He also mentioned that “People should be very frustrated that despite the city’s stated Vision Zero goals, D.C. simply is not prioritizing safety.”

Regardless of this upward trend in accidents, people “are hoping for more city action to slow drivers and reduce the rate of collisions.” These people are those who have been involved in a traffic-related accident, those who have lost someone to a traffic-related accident, and those who have treated someone who has been involved in a traffic-related accident. They are not giving up because they no longer want to watch people suffer with the overwhelming physical or emotional pain that these accidents are causing.

The various types of car accidents that frequently occur in the Nation’s capital

There are many different types of motor vehicle accidents that residents and visitors can find themselves in when they are out and about in the Nation’s capital, including:

  • Rear end collisions: A rear end collision occurs when a driver slams into the car in front of them. This type of accident may occur on a busy highway, in the downtown area, in a parking lot, and more. Most of the time, these accidents occur because a driver was not paying attention, resulting in them crashing into the car in front of them.
  • Head-on collisions: Head-on collisions are one of the most severe types of accidents that a person can experience. These types of accidents occur when a vehicle’s front-end strikes the front portion of another vehicle, which leads to great force and impact. Unfortunately, those involved in head-on collisions have a high chance of not surviving, and if they do, they will likely suffer several catastrophic injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, internal bleeding, organ damage, and more.
  • Side-impact accidents: A side-impact accident, also known as a T-bone accident, occurs when one vehicle crashes into the side of another vehicle. If there is a driver or passenger on the side where the impact happens, serious injuries or even death may occur. Vehicles involved in this type of accident usually have a lot of damage that is irreparable.
  • Hit-and-run accidents: If a driver flees the scene of a car accident, this is considered a hit-and-run accident. Hit-and-run accidents are against the law in Washington, D.C. However, they still tend to occur frequently. If you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident, it is important that you remain at the accident scene, explain to the responding officers what happened, and look around for witnesses who may have seen details of the driver who hit you. While these accidents can be extremely frustrating, a lawyer can assist you with determining what legal options may be available to you.
  • Intersection accidents: Intersections are very common places for car accidents. The reason for this is because there are several different cars at intersections waiting to make different maneuvers. As a result, it can be difficult to know who has the right of way or which way someone is planning to go. If a driver is not fully paying attention, fails to use a turn signal, or makes one simple mistake, it can cause a severe and devastating intersection accident quickly.
  • Rideshare accidents: Many people in the nation’s capital use rideshare services, such as Uber or Lyft. While you may completely trust your Uber or Lyft driver to get you from point A to point B in a safe manner, the reality is that accidents can still happen when using these services. If you find yourself in an Uber or Lyft accident, you will likely need help and guidance from an attorney who knows the ins and outs of what these types of cases involve.

Common causes of dangerous and deadly car accidents

After being involved in a car accident or learning that your loved one was in a car accident, you may be curious to know what may have caused the accident in the first place. This is a natural question that your lawyer will investigate to find out for you. Here are a few of the most common causes of car accidents, which could have played a factor in your case:

  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk or intoxicated driving
  • Speeding
  • Manufacturing or auto mechanic errors
  • Aggressive driving or road rage
  • Careless or reckless driving
  • Lack of experience or underage driving
  • Road conditions
  • Inclement weather

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