Individuals injured in a car accident caused by the reckless or negligent actions of another driver have the right to seek compensation for resulting losses. Longview, TX, car accident attorneys Randy Akin and Greg Burton have worked many car accident cases, and have come to recognize the most common causes of car accidents and accident fatalities.
Based on their own experience, along with data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), we can report on some of the top causes of car accident fatalities across the United States.
Speeding is continually a leading contributor to car accidents. As a vehicle’s speed increases, it becomes more difficult to control, and drivers are left with less reaction time to make decisions that can be crucial to avoiding an accident. In addition to increasing the likelihood of a car accident, speeding multiplies the impact of an accident, which makes fatalities more likely.
Based on data reported by the NHTSA, the number of car accident fatalities that involved speeding in 2016 was 10,111, or nearly a third of the 37,461 total car accident fatalities for the year.
Driving Under the Influence
Another leading cause of car accidents and accident fatalities is driving under the influence. Drugs and alcohol impair a person’s cognitive skills, slow down reaction times, and compromise hand/eye/foot coordination, all of which significantly increases the risk of an accident.
Despite the many warnings against driving under the influence, and the increasingly strict laws against this offense, impaired driving continues to be a common cause of car accidents. As the NHTSA reports, driving under the influence is also a leading contributor to accident fatalities. In 2016, 10,497 car accident fatalities involved DUI.
Distracted driving can have catastrophic and deadly consequences. Distracted driving can refer to any activity that takes a person’s hands off the wheel, takes their eyes off the road, or draws attention away from the task of driving. Texting and cell phone use are the most common types of distracted driving, but eating, typing an address into a GPS system, and talking to other passengers are all types of distraction that increase the risk of an accident.
Those in the Longview area who don’t think distracted driving is a big deal only need to look at accident statistics to see otherwise. In 2016 alone, there were 3,526 fatalities from distracted-related crashes. Experts suspect that there are many more crashes and fatalities related to distracted driving since this number only represents cases where drivers were willing to admit to distracted driving practices.
Driving while overly tired is a big concern. Like driving under the influence, drowsy driving slows down reaction time and impairs mental, cognitive, and physical functions. Although drowsy driving is not responsible for as many crashes as speeding, DUI, or distracted driving, it did account for 803 of the car accident fatalities in 2016.
Failure to Wear a Seatbelt
Failure to wear a seatbelt does not contribute to the likelihood of an accident in any way. However, it is important for our Longview clients to understand that it does greatly affect the damages in a car accident case. Nearly half, or 48 percent, of passengers killed in car accidents in 2016 were unrestrained at the time of the accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident, attorneys Randy Akin and Greg Burton can be greatly beneficial in helping you collect the compensation you may be due for accident damages. To find out more about your legal options, call (903) 297-8929 and schedule a legal consultation at your earliest convenience.