Despite new advances in vehicle technology, such as backup cameras, adaptive headlights, and forward collision systems (FCS), car accidents still happen. An estimate of 38,300 people were killed on the roads in 2015, and 4.4 million accident victims sustained injuries that required a visit to a medical professional. Whether an accident is minor or severe, accidents can drastically change a person’s life. They can result in a loss of wages, pain and suffering, or permanent disabilities, to name a few. Just because traffic accidents are common doesn’t mean familiarizing yourself with the facts should be brushed aside. This is especially true if you’re in a time of need and find that you should consult an auto accident attorney for your injuries.
There are two categories of the causes of traffic accidents. The first being the fault of human error, and the second class being everything else.
Common Causes of Car Accidents Due to Driver Error
Most traffic accidents don’t necessarily have to do with knowing how to drive a vehicle, but more so which decisions the driver makes behind the wheel. In fact, 90% of all road accidents are caused by human error.
At one point or another, a number of drivers will find themselves guilty of committing some of the most common causes of traffic accidents. However, heightening awareness for these causes can further educate and hopefully influence drivers to be more cautious on the road.
Start taking preventative measures by keeping these events in mind the next time you start driving:
- Distracted driving. One of the top causes of car accidents can be blamed on distracted driving. Despite popular opinion, the brain is incapable of focusing on more than one task at a time. This means that when a driver is texting, talking on the phone, grooming, reading, or even eating while driving, the brain is switching between tasks and unable to consistently focus on what’s ahead.
- Drunk driving. Drunk driving is responsible for an average of 27 deaths per day. But, thanks to recent educational efforts, deaths related to drunk driving have lessened.
- Speeding. Running late to work, keeping up with traffic, or simply unintentionally driving over the speed limit are of the top causes of speeding-related accidents.
- Running red lights and stop signs. Approximately 40% of car accidents occur at intersections with the cause being running a red light or a stop sign. It’s not worth avoiding the one to two minute (or less) wait to risk injuring or even killing yourself or others.
- Reckless driving. Switching lanes too quickly, blatantly disregarding the safety and/or property of others, and purposely failing to abide by cautionary measures are only some characteristics of reckless driving.
- Aggressive driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) characterizes aggressive driving as a combination of moving traffic offenses that endanger other drivers and/or property. Further, 66% of accidents are caused by aggressive drivers.
- Fatigue. Sleepiness, drowsiness, or downright exhaustion can impair driver abilities to competently respond, react, or discern conditions on the road.
Common Causes of Car Accidents Unrelated to Human Error
Sometimes the safest, most defensive drivers fall victim to car accidents, but not by way of their own error. Other factors have a great influence, such as:
- Weather conditions. Slippery roads from rain, snow, or ice affect traction in tires, in turn causing vehicles to slide off the road or hit other objects or vehicles. Fog, water levels, and wind speed may also contribute to weather-related accidents.
- Road conditions. Poorly maintained roadways increase the risk of a popped tire and influence a driver’s ability to brake adequately.
- Vehicle defects. Cars consist of hundreds upon hundreds of parts that keep them running safely and smoothly. But with that many parts, it is not uncommon for them to go haywire and malfunction.
Reach Out to Our Auto Accident Attorneys in Indianapolis
Unfortunately, even with substantial awareness and education, thousands of individuals fall victim to traffic accidents. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries from a car accident, contact the car accident lawyers at Wilson Kehoe Winingham at 317-920-6400 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.