In Focus: Common Causes of Car Accidents
All drivers in Texas have a duty of care to operate their vehicles safely and avoid causing injuries to others. Nonetheless, thousands of individuals are injured in car accidents in the state each year. If you have been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. In the meantime, this article is a brief discussion of driver errors that cause car accidents.
Common Driver Errors
Although external factors such as road and weather conditions can contribute to car accidents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the majority of accidents are caused by driver errors, such as:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Driver fatigue
Because one in five crashes in Texas involve distracted driving, the use of cell phones for talking or texting while driving is illegal. At the same time, drivers can also become distracted by talking to other passengers, eating, drinking, or using onboard technology such as satellite radios or GPS devices. The National Safety Council finds that multi-tasking while operating a motor vehicle is not possible, let alone a good idea.
The fact is that people’s brains are not capable of performing two important tasks at the same time. Drivers who switch their attention between onboard technological devices or smartphones and driving are at a high risk of becoming distracted and are incapable of anticipating and reacting to hazards posed by other vehicles or road conditions.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not only dangerous, it is illegal. Nonetheless, the NHTSA finds that DUI accounts for about 40 percent of the car accident fatalities in the U.S each year. It goes without saying that driving under the influence has an adverse effect on reaction time, vision and depth perception, usually with catastrophic consequences.
Those who drive for long periods of time and cover long distances, such as salespeople, truck drivers, delivery workers, or taxi and rideshare drivers are prone to becoming fatigued, which leads to slower reaction times. Fatigued drivers are also more likely to run red lights and stop signs or fall asleep at the wheel, which could result in a head-on collision.
Posted speed limits are not arbitrary as roads and highways are designed to be traveled safely at certain speeds. In any event, speeding vehicles are harder to control, take longer to stop, or are unable to stop quickly enough to avoid obstacles, other drivers or pedestrians.
Although drivers have a duty of care not to injure others by driving in a safe manner and obeying traffic laws, car accidents are common in Texas. By pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, you can obtain meaningful compensation and move ahead on the road to recovery. Contact attorney Phil Baker today to schedule a consultation.
Posted in: Personal Injury