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The domino theory of car accidents

In trying to understand why accidents happen and how they can be avoided, it's important to consider that many accidents have multiple causes. It's not always one thing that goes wrong. Instead, it's a series of things.

This is known as the domino theory, as each step leads to the next or at least compounds upon it. When enough dominos fall, an accident is all but inevitable.

For instance, imagine that a driver is going down the street at five miles per hour over the speed limit. That's not a huge mistake, but speeding does cause accidents, so it's one domino. On its own, it may not lead to a crash, but it can do so when compounded with other issues.

Say that the speeding driver is also out at night. On top of that, they had one drink at dinner. They may not be over the legal limit, but they can feel it. As they drive, the glare from the headlights of another car inhibits their vision. Then their phone buzzes. They look away to pick it up and see who the text is from. They don't plan to read the text, but they want to read the push notification.

As they do so, their car drifts into the oncoming lane and causes a head-on crash.

All of these little events increased the risk. They may have been able to avoid the crash with just one influence present, but everything built up to a critical point.

If you get injured in a car accident, you need to know if you have a right to financial compensation.

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