In 2017, one person was killed in a car accident every 2 hours in Texas. Death was not the only common occurrence on Texas roads; one person suffered an injury every two minutes in a car accident. With a crash occurring every 59 seconds somewhere in the state, knowing the most common causes of car accidents will help you drive proactively and keep you and your loved ones from becoming a statistic.
The following causes of Texas car accidents are based on 2017 figures. Each event listed below is a contributing factor and could be combined with another event for a complete accident. Though these accidents are contributing factors, other instances might have influenced their occurrence. These instances include driving under the influence of drug or alcohol, distracted driving, and mechanical failure.
The 5 Most Common Causes of Texas Car Accidents in 2017
Speeding was a contributing factor in 139,131 car accidents in Texas, 500 of which were fatal. Speeding is dangerous because it decreases the time a driver has to react to traffic patterns, making a collision more likely. High speeds also increase the force exerted on another car during an accident.
Also known as distracted driving, driver inattention played a significant role in 89,037 accidents, 294 of which were fatal. Distracted driving happens for numerous reasons. Changing radio stations, texting or emailing, or eating while driving are some of the most common forms of distracted driving. A recent national study estimated that about 69 million drivers use their phones behind the wheel each day.
Failed to Drive in Single Lane
The term “failure to drive in single lane” describes any time a vehicle drifts into another lane or off the road. While this type of accident may involve a car completely leaving the road, it frequently describes accidents caused by a car colliding with a vehicle in a nearby lane. This behavior caused 37,488 accidents, 605 of them fatal.
Failure to Yield Right of Way at Left Turns & Stop Signs
When traffic does not flow as expected, accidents happen. Drivers failing to yield the right of way during left turns caused a total of 31,986 accidents, 130 of which were fatal. Drivers who failed to yield the right of way at stop signs caused 26,790 accidents with 114 of them fatal. Intersections might be confusing, but it’s every driver’s job to know the order in which traffic is supposed to flow. Following turn signals, traffic signs, and paying attention to the order of cars at the intersection are the best ways to avoid a right-of-way accident.
Followed Too Closely
Tailgaters annoy everyone, but they are more than just a nuisance. These aggressive drivers caused 26,790 accidents in 2017. Of these accidents, 114 of them were fatal. Following a car too closely is especially frustrating because it's easy to prevent. There is plenty of room on highways, so drivers should utilize all of it instead of trying to push traffic along by tailgating. Distance between cars matters and keeping it could prevent your next accident!
What Makes Car Accidents in Texas Dangerous?
There are over 550,000 car accidents in Texas each year; the state has not had a day free of traffic fatalities since 2000. Drivers cause accidents by allowing poor driving habits to persist or by making poor decisions. For instance, drunk driving is one of the deadliest events on Texas roadways, killing 1,024 people in 2017—or 28 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state. Of the people killed in all Texas collisions, 40 percent were not wearing seatbelts. With these facts in mind, it’s easy to see that lives could be saved with better caution and awareness.
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