The first and most important thing to understand about “car accidents” is that they are NOT accidents. People who cause crashes rarely intend to crash their car but the crash still happened because of a bad decision. It wasn’t for “no reason” and someone is always at fault.

That bad decision could be that a driver was driving too fast entering a turn and ended up going off the road. It could be that a driver was texting while driving and rear-ended another vehicle as a result. It could even be that a manufacturer let a vehicle off the assembly line with a dangerous defect (and vehicles are recalled for potentially deadly problems more often than you would think).

Thankfully, when people harm others, the innocent victims can get compensation through personal injury claims.

Duty of Care, and Why Mistakes Don’t Only Affect the People Who Make Them

In all of the examples above, someone made a decision that put other people at risk of injury. Everyone owes others a “duty of care,” which means that they have a legal responsibility to not put other people in harm’s way through their actions. When someone breaches that duty of care, they can be held liable for the harm they cause, even when what they did wasn’t technically illegal or considered a crime.

If you have been injured in a car crash because someone else made a bad decision, you deserve compensation for your damages. Contact Gary Bruce today for a free consultation to learn how.

Major Causes of Crashes, and How to Avoid Them

Rolling Right Turn on Red

In Georgia and Alabama, it is perfectly legal to turn right at a red light when there are no signs expressly prohibiting it, no other vehicles in the lane you are entering, and no pedestrians in the crosswalk.

Many drivers treat red lights as if they have the right-of-way because they are turning right, even when there is oncoming traffic or pedestrians crossing appropriately. This is not true. Drivers turning right on red must always cede right-of-way.

If you need to turn right and the light is red, you must come to complete stop and wait at least three seconds before turning right, even if you don’t see any oncoming traffic or pedestrians crossing in front of you. This is because drivers may be distracted and miss seeing oncoming vehicles or pedestrians.


Speed limits actually pre-date cars! As far back as 1652, New Amsterdam (now New York) set a speed limit for horse-drawn carriages and wagons. Even back then, they knew that excessive speeding was dangerous and could lead to problems.

Driving over the speed limit is extremely common and easy to do, but it is also dangerous and illegal for two main reasons: it makes it harder to control the vehicle and makes any crashes more severe than they would be at a lower speed.

Speed limits are not decided at random. They are determined by road engineers based on many factors, including the curve of the road, a driver’s line of sight, the number of intersections, the likelihood of pedestrians, and so on. A speed limit is how fast a driver can safely drive for the conditions of the road.

This is also why drivers can be pulled over and ticketed for speeding even when driving at or just under the speed limit when it is raining. The conditions of the road change when it rains, so the safe driving speed is slower than the posted speed limit.

It is important to drive at a speed that is safe for your circumstances, or you risk any number of events, including leaving the road, rolling the vehicle, or colliding with something or someone. Most importantly, the faster you are driving, the longer it will take to slow down or stop in an emergency if someone happens on the road.

Most drivers consider themselves far better drivers than they actually are—50% of all drivers consider themselves in the top 20% for skill and safety. The safest thing to do is not put yourself and others into a dangerous situation in the first place. Like my father always told me, “always be watching the other guy.”

Driving Distracted, Drowsy, or Drunk

A 2020 study reported that nearly all drivers (95.5%) believe that texting while driving is dangerous, but nearly one in every four drivers in the study (22.7%) admitted to texting while driving at least once in the 30 days preceding the study despite knowing it was dangerous.

Meanwhile, more than a third (37%) of drivers have fallen asleep while driving at least once, and 17.3% of people surveyed admitted to driving while “so tired that they had a hard time keeping their eyes open” in the 30 days preceding the study. Studies by the CDC have found that drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving, even when a driver is not literally falling asleep at the wheel.

Meanwhile, roughly a quarter of all fatal car wrecks in Georgia (24.9%) and Alabama (25.8%) in 2018 involved a drunk driver.

It should be clear that no matter how you are impaired or what is taking your attention away from the road, it is dangerous. Furthermore, these drivers know it is dangerous but are making a conscious choice to do it anyway.

It is amazing to me how many drivers I have dealt with over the years who refuse to admit their responsibility even when impaired.

To not break the law or your duty of care, you must do the following:

  • Never pick up your phone while driving. Instead, use hands-free calls or navigation.
  • Never drive after drinking. Instead, use a designated driver, call a taxi or rideshare, or use public transportation.
  • Pull over somewhere safe as soon as you begin to feel drowsy. Let a companion take over driving, or if that isn’t possible, take a short walk to wake yourself up, get in a 15-minute nap, or drink a coffee or other caffeinated beverage.

If You Were in a Wreck Because of Someone Else’s Bad Decision, Call Gary Bruce

We’ve seen how a single wreck can devastate someone’s life, and crashes like these are almost always entirely preventable. Our firm works to hold people accountable when they cause other people harm through bad decisions.

Contact us today for a free consultation, and we’ll help you determine if you have a case, how much you may be owed in compensation, and what your next steps should be. If you decide to move forward with our firm, we’ll do everything in our power to ensure you get the full compensation you deserve.