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The Insurance Information Institute reports that in 2017, there were 6,452,000 vehicle accidents in the United States. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 32,056 of those accidents were in Dallas, Texas alone. While roads present drivers with a wide range of hazards, here are the most common causes of car accidents:
1. Distracted Driving
In the United States, nine people die in distracted driving accidents every day. Distracted driving can be broken down into three major categories:
- Visual: Taking your eyes off the road
- Manual: Removing your hands from the wheel
- Cognitive: Allowing your mind to wander from driving
The most common cause of distracted driving is cellphone usage, with eating while driving coming in at a close second.
2. Aggressive Driving
The next most common cause of car wrecks is aggressive driving. The following behaviors fall under the category of aggressive driving:
- Tailgating/Following too closely
- Failure to use proper turn signals
- Changing speeds erratically
- Failure to adjust speed to account for road conditions
- Making an illegal turn
- Failure to follow laws concerning safety vehicles
- Failure to yield to traffic
A person convicted of aggressive driving can get their license revoked and face steep fines. In extreme cases, an aggressive driver may even face decades of jail time.
3. Driving While Intoxicated
Drugs and alcohol slow people’s reflexes and hinder their ability to make rational judgments. Driving while under the influence doubles the chances of a person getting into a car crash. The penalties for a DUI are hefty fines and possibly jail time if the person convicted of the DUI accident caused injury or death.
4. Driver Fatigue
According to the National Highway Safety Administration, falling asleep behind the wheel accounted for 795 car accident related deaths in 2017. Fatigue is a common problem for bus drivers and semi truck drivers since their hours are generally long and last well into the night. In order to combat this problem, the National Highway Safety Administration has passed several laws concerning how long a driver of a commercial vehicle may drive.
5. Mechanical Failures
Car mechanical failures are another major cause of vehicle accidents. Mechanical failures restrict a driver’s ability to effectively communicate with other drivers, control their car, and maintain clear visibility.
In these cases, fault of the accident changes depending on the circumstances that led to the mechanical failure. If a vehicle owner knew about the problem but did nothing to fix it, the responsibility falls on the driver. If they did take their car to a mechanic but the mechanic failed to fix the problem, the liability falls on the mechanic. If the car failed due to a manufacturing defect, then the responsibility of the accident falls on the manufacturer.
6. Poor Road Conditions
Bad weather such as snow and rain increases the likelihood of getting into an accident. Sudden braking can cause someone to lose control of their vehicle, leading to a tailspin or hydroplaning. This often results in the driver crashing into another vehicle.
If you were the victim of a car accident, contact Hernandez Law Group, P.C. We’ll help you gather evidence, deal with the insurance companies, and litigate your case to get you the compensation you deserve. Juan Hernandez is one of only 2% Texas attorneys who have been board-certified to practice personal injury law. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our professional and experienced legal team.