In the US, at least 6 million car accidents are experienced each year.
And at least 2.3 million people suffer injuries or disabilities every year. This equates to about 6000 people every day.
Even worse, at least 37,000 people die in road accidents every year.
According to Allstate’s best drivers report, Dallas falls in the bottom 15% of cities for safe driving records. This report is based on the company’s analysis of 200 major cities.
While the average US driver is likely to experience an accident once every 10.5 years, the study found that an average Dallas driver experiences some sort of collision every 7 years.
In this article, we will highlight the main causes of accidents not only in Texas but also in other US states and major cities.
- Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is one of the top causes of accidents in the US. Data shows that 25-50% of all auto vehicle crashes are related to distracted driving. For instance, the National Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2016, 9% of all fatal crashes were directly related to driver distraction.
Reports indicate that at least 85% of cellular phone users use their phones while driving.
While driving, it’s important that you avoid texting, making calls, updating a social media feed or even emailing. This is because such activities slow down your reaction time increasing the risk for accidents.
Other common distractions include eating, applying makeup, daydreaming, dealing with kids or pets while driving or even listening to music.
- Alcohol and Drug Factors
In 2016, at least 10,000 people in the US lost their lives to drunk driving. Of these, 1,438 people came from Texas.
Driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs is a top cause of accidents globally. It doesn’t matter the amount of alcohol consumed, drugs will affect your ability to make sound judgments, concentrate, and react quickly to situations.
If you’re intoxicated, don’t risk your life and that of other road users while you can easily use public transport or even take an uber!
- Highway Construction
Constructions are popular on US highways and Texas is not an exception. While these constructions are meant to make our highways better, safer, and less congested, they often take years to complete.
The construction activities may act as distractors posing serious threats to commuters. In 2017, the Texas Department of Transportation reported 2721 and 2953 crashes in Tarrant County and Dallas County work zones respectively.
When a highway is under construction, is poorly designed or maintained, many factors can make such roads dangerous for commuters;
- Constantly- changing intersections.
- Blind curves
- Excessive hills
- Signs with poor visibility
- Poorly designed bridges, etc.
The situation becomes even worse during bad weather, and rush hours.
- Unsafe Travel Speeds
Speeding is another common cause of road accidents in the US.
Apart from being illegal, driving over the speed limit vastly increases the risk of losing control of the vehicle and slows your reaction time. Driving at high speeds also increases the impact force, increasing the risk of structural damage to vehicles and injuries to passengers.
Reckless driving such as changing lanes too quickly and dangerous maneuvers can lead to horrible accidents. It’s important that you stay calm, mind other road users and remain within legal driving speed limits to avoid needless accidents that can be avoided.
- Rain and Poor Weather
Rain and poor weather still remains one of the causes of accidents not only in the USA but worldwide.
While we can’t entirely avoid rains, try to avoid slippery road conditions caused by heavy rains. If the rain interferes with your visibility, it’s important that you pull over until the storm has passed.
Poor car maintenance such as tires not providing a firm grip on the road can amplify rain-related driving accidents. Teens and inexperienced drivers can panic in harsh weather conditions. It’s therefore important that you understand the road conditions, traffic as well as the safe speed limits during rainy conditions.
What to Do After An Accident In Texas
If you’re involved in a car accident in Texas or any other state, you should get a police report which will help in your insurance compensation claims.
If the accident happened in the northern Dallas Metropolitan area, then you can easily access Plano police reports online. The Plano Police Department is the largest law enforcement agency in the northern Dallas Metropolitan area.
Serving more than 270,000 people, this department uses the statewide CRIS system to record accidents and make them available online. To obtain this report, you will need to part with $6 and provide personal information such as your name, the time of the crash, location of the accident, your phone number as well as the involved parties.
Armed with this report, (which will contain details of the crash) you can now approach your insurance company for claims.
While a police report doesn’t guarantee you will be compensated, it serves as a basis from which car accident attorneys begin their independent investigation. The report is also used as part of the evidence passed over to your insurance company to establish fault.
Final Words On Major Causes of Accidents
As you’ve seen, most of these causes of accidents can be avoided. Remember that, you’re responsible for your actions while on the road. Committing driving-related offense will not only land you in jail but may also cost your life and that of other road users.
In case of an accident, however, it’s in your best interest to obtain a detailed police report which will confirm that an accident actually occurred and serve as a basis for further investigation.