The Top Three Causes of Vehicle Collisions in Texas
The Texas Department of Transportation (TDOT) recently released a report covering the causes of car accidents across the state, including the number of accidents each situation caused. Driving can be incredibly dangerous, and car accidents rarely end with no damage or injuries. That is why we at The Lenahan Law Firm compiled the top three causes, so that you would know what to be on the lookout for while driving throughout our state.
Improper Turns or Lane Changes
Turning, particularly at major intersections in Dallas, can easily lead to serious accidents, especially if a vehicle is moving at high speeds or a driver is careless. In the most recent year for which statistics are available, Texas drivers who were improperly turning or changing lanes caused over 54,800 vehicle accidents, according to TDOT. Included in that 54,800 are smaller categories such as: failure to yield during a left turn, cut corners during a left turn, wide right turns, turns into the wrong lane, and turning when it is unsafe.
If you are making a turn, are at an intersection, or need to change lanes, be sure to always use your signals, even if you think there’s no one else on the road with you. You should also check your blind spots, as there may be a car next to you that you did not previously notice or a motorcycle rider.
Unfortunately, you can’t control how other drivers respond to you. On a busy highway, for example, if you signal that you are going to switch lanes, it is up to the other drivers to see your signaling and give you space. Some negligent drivers will see your signals, and try to block you or change their speed the moment you begin to drive into the other lane, causing an accident. That is why you should always do your best to check your mirrors consistently and be ready to quickly respond to aggressive drivers.
Distracted Driving/Driver Inattention
Distracted driving cases have been on the rise over the past decade as cell phones and other devices, such as GPS, have become increasingly popular. In fact, according to the report, distracted driving caused close to 12,500 accidents and driver inattention contributed to an astonishing 84,000 accidents. These two numbers combined results in almost 100,000 accidents a year.
When driving, keep your phone on silent or turn it off altogether. If you are a parent or guardian who is worried about your teenager, download a safe driving app onto their phone. Some app cans sense when they are in a car and automatically set the phone on silent and only allow calls for preset individuals.
While you can keep yourself from becoming distracted by implementing safe practices, you cannot control how other drivers behave. You should always drive defensively, checking your mirrors every few seconds and keeping an eye on surrounding vehicles. If a nearby car is moving erratically, by speeding then slowing down or veering out of their lane road, then the driver may be distracted. You should do your best to avoid getting too close to the car and allow them to pass if it is safe and legal to do so.
Improperly Controlled Speed
The number one cause of traffic accidents in Texas is improperly controlled speed. In the report, there are three speed related areas: failure to control speed, speeding over the legal limit, and unsafe speeds. When each of these categories is added together, it comes out to an incredible 166,000 accidents caused by drivers failing to control their speed.
When you are on the road, you should always follow the speed limit. Several factors determine these limits, including how narrow the roadway is, whether it is a residential street, the steepness of hills, and if the road is straight or curved. Traffic authorities impose these limit to ensure every driver is maintaining a safe, stable speed at all times. Not following the speed limit puts yourself and those around you in danger.
If you notice a car near you that is having difficulty controlling their speed, either by going over the limit, starting and stopping an excessive amount, or by driving far too slowly, do your best to give them a wide birth. The driver may stop suddenly, causing an accident, or speed up far too quickly, hitting another vehicle. Only pass a slow driver if it is legal and safe to do so and allow speeding drivers to pass you if possible. While they are breaking the law and should be held responsible, nothing is more important than your health and safety.
If you or a loved one where involved in a car accident that was not your fault, you need one of the best legal teams in Texas on your side, fighting for your right to fair and proper compensation. Call The Lenahan Law Firm at (214) 295-1008 and discuss your case with a Dallas car accident attorney.