Common Reasons Behind Most Texas Car Wrecks
Motor vehicle accidents are the single most frequent cause of personal injury in Texas and across the United States, resulting in nearly a quarter of a million visits to the emergency room every year in Texas alone. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, a number of factors regularly contribute to the high number of collisions.
Driving While Distracted or Inattentive
One of the top three causes of vehicle crashes in Texas and nationwide, distracted driving has increased dramatically over the last two decades, as larger numbers of motorists use mobile and handheld devices while behind the wheel. According to the Texas DOT, distracted driving and failure to pay attention to the road lead to more than 100,000 accidents in Texas annually. It’s not just cellphones and tablets, either, that are the culprits. Many drivers use handheld music or GPS devices, taking their eyes off the road to change the channel or get directions. Other ways that drivers lose their focus on the roadway:
- Eating or drinking beverages while trying to drive;
- Applying makeup, using an electric razor, or otherwise tending to personal grooming while in traffic;
- Dealing with unruly or misbehaving children in the back seat, or with infants or toddlers in a car seat;
- Attempting to pick up dropped items on the floor of the car;
- Adjusting the radio, stereo, or other dashboard instruments; and
- Turning to others in the car while carrying on a conversation.
While you can control the extent to which you are distracted yourself, the only thing you can do about other drivers who are distracted is to drive defensively, monitoring your mirrors on a regular basis and keeping a safe distance between the cars in front of and behind you.
As the pace of life escalates, and people try to cram more activities into the same amount of time, more motorists are in a hurry, frequently exceeding the posted speed limit. The DOT report indicates that more than 160,000 crashes every year involve driving over the legal speed limit, driving at unsafe speeds for the given conditions, or failing to control vehicle speed.
Careless or Improper Lane Changes or Turns
Texas DOT statistics indicate that more than 50,000 motor vehicle accidents every year happen because a driver makes an illegal turn or changes lanes without looking. The causes of such accidents include:
- Turning left into the path of a vehicle that has the right of way,
- Failing to yield to a vehicle that has the left-turn signal,
- Cutting the corner on a left turn,
- Sweeping left before making a right turn,
- Turning into the wrong lane, and
- Turning when there’s too much traffic.
Though not yet one of the most frequent causes of car and truck collisions, aggressive driving is becoming far more common across Texas. Lower gas prices have put more vehicles on the roadways, and the following types of behavior have become more prevalent:
- Drivers running stop lights or stop signs, or rolling through a sign;
- Weaving in and out of traffic on multilane roads;
- Impatient drivers passing on the shoulder or on the right;
- Unsafe lane changes;
- Face or hand gestures, or gunning an engine; and
- Excessive honking or flashing of lights.
Contact the Proven Motor-Vehicle-Accident Lawyers at Bailey & Galyen
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we know that the injuries suffered in a car wreck can change everything. We offer a free initial consultation to anyone hurt in a motor vehicle accident. For an appointment with an experienced personal injury attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at 844-402-2992. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.