Human Error Behind 94% of Texas Vehicle Crashes
November 1, 2016 -
Texas has more than its fair share of car, truck and bus crashes and it appears that the main problem is the person behind the wheel. It’s not just other drivers and their passengers that are being killed and maimed on Texas roads but pedestrians innocently using city sidewalls, bicycle riders, skateboard riders, mobility scooter users and motorcyclists, all of whom are very vulnerable when negligent drivers veer out of control towards them.
Dallas attorneys have recently been reported using the term “The Three Deadly D’s” to describe some of the most common causes of Texas highway accidents. These are:
- Distracted driving
The attorneys have pointed out that 94% of traffic accidents that personal injury attorney have to deal with in Texas are due to human error. However, despite the 3 D’s being very important, the Texas Department of Transport (TxDOT), which puts out annual statistics of vehicle crashes in the state, only agrees with one of these being the top three causes of accidents on the roads. That’s distracted driving which, according to 2015 statistics, accounted for the second highest number of vehicle crashes in Texas.
The biggest villain remains speeding. In 2014, there were over 125,000 crashes in Texas which were identified as having been caused by speeding. Over 10,000 of these resulted in either a fatality or an injury so serious that it left the victim incapacitated. The fact that speed controls, warnings, citations and arrests have failed to stem the rise in speeding related accidents is alarming, to say the least.
Of the accidents caused by distracted driving, the use of modern electronic devices, especially cell phones and appliances like them, has catapulted this problem into the limelight. Over 82,000 crashes occurred in 2014 due to distracted driving, according to the TxDOT. Most states across the country either ban the use of handheld devices while driving altogether or at least only permit hands free devices, but the laws are very hard to enforce. Unless a driver is seen clearly by a witness using a device when actually having an accident, there is often only circumstantial evidence in many cases of distracted driving.
The third main cause of vehicle accidents, at least according to the TxDOT, is a failure to maintain lane. This means that the driver has crossed over their lane either into the path of an oncoming vehicle or has swerved or crashed into the side of a vehicle they are overtaking. The 2014 data show that over 32,000 crashes were due to a driver failing to maintain their own lane.
There are other reasons why drivers make mistakes when driving and end up causing others to die or be seriously injured through no fault of their own. Back to the Three Deadly Ds! The other Ds that the attorneys in Dallas thought important were DUI (driving under the influence) and drowsiness. However, the DOT data shows that DUI is still well down the list and only caused around 5,000 crashes, a similar number to crashes caused by drivers who were too fatigued to drive, the other “D”, drowsiness.
Worse than drunken driving and drowsiness were failure to yield at an intersection, failure to stop at a stop sign or red light, an unsafe lane change and following too closely (sometimes called tail gating).
Whatever the cause, all of these factors are totally preventable. Drivers do not need to go too fast for the conditions, answer or use their cell phone while driving, follow another vehicle too closely or drink and drive. They do not need to hurt other vehicle occupants, pedestrians, bicyclists or anybody else either.
When you are injured through no fault of your own, it’s not just the injuries that are hard to deal with. It’s unlikely that you ever expected to get hurt and it’s quite possible that you have insufficient insurance for a very serious injury. Hospital bills and the costs of medical treatment can soon get out of control, yet you need all that attention to recover. Lost wages or income of any sort can soon mean a deep hole in your bank account and you could even lose your job.
It’s not right for you to suffer because of driver error and outright negligence. You should contact Juan Reyna “JR” an experienced personal injury attorney at the J Reyna Law Firm in San Antonio if you were injured anywhere in Texas through no fault of your own. You need a compassionate and experienced personal injury attorney to help you recover compensation which you deserve and put your life back on track.