Common Causes of Car Accidents
Driving may seem like second nature to most of us, but the truth is that getting behind the wheel of a car is one of the most dangerous activities that you undertake each time you step outside your front door. Car accidents are one of the most common causes of death for Americans under the age of 50, and their rate of frequency has been on the rise in recent years.
Car Accidents and Fatalities Are on the Rise
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than 35,000 people were killed in traffic crashes in 2015, which was a 7.2% increase from the prior year. The state of Kentucky currently has over 3.8 million registered vehicles, and there were more than 165,000 reported collisions in 2016 alone. Those crashes resulted in over 25,000 injuries and 763 deaths. Both total collisions and fatalities in Kentucky were up nearly 10% from the prior year.
Most Common Causes of Car Accidents
Even though vehicles have more safety features than ever, we have more vehicles on the road as well as some dangerous habits that are leading to negative outcomes. Fortunately, most car accidents could be avoided if drivers obeyed traffic laws to avoid causing harm to others. Some of the most common causes of car accidents include:
- Speeding. Speeding is one of the most common causes of auto crashes. In the decade between 2006 and 2015, speeding was named as the cause of 30% of all car accidents in the U.S., and nearly half (48%) of speed-related deaths in 2015 were on roads with a speed limit over 55 mph.
- Aggressive Driving. Different forms of aggressive driving, such as following too closely, failure to yield, improper passing, weaving in traffic, and vehicle not under proper control, are other ways a driver could cause a dangerous car crash. In Kentucky alone, these types of violations were the cause of more than 45,000 collisions and 370 deaths in 2016.
- DUI. The CDC reports that 28 people die each day on America’s roads due to drunk driving. Of the car crashes in Kentucky last year, either alcohol or drugs were listed as the cause of 15.83% of the total, or almost 6,000 collisions statewide.
- Distracted Driving. Distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of car crashes worldwide. When drivers stare at cell phones, text, eat, or do anything other than pay attention to the road while driving, it can have deadly results. The CDC reports that distracted driving is responsible for more than 1,000 injuries and approximately 9 deaths each day. Kentucky reported 7,668 collisions and 18 fatalities last year due to distracted driving.
- Drowsy Driving. According to a study by the American Automobile Association (AAA), driving while tired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. A fatigued driver has slower reaction times, less awareness, and impaired judgment. Between 2005-2009, there were an estimated 83,000 drowsy driving-related car crashes in the U.S., and Kentucky reported over 2,300 drowsy driving-related crashes last year alone.
- Weather. Weather itself may be unavoidable, but some weather-related accidents could be avoided if drivers yielded to the dangerous conditions. When there are ice, snow, and high wind conditions, it’s the responsibility of the drivers on the road to slow down and use more caution. Between 2005-2014, there were more than 1.2 million weather-related car crashes in the U.S., injuring over 400,000 people and claiming more than 5,800 lives. Kentucky alone had over 5,300 crashes last year that were ruled “too fast for conditions.”
- Red Light Accidents. It’s never fun to have to sit at a red light or wait your turn through a four-way stop, but it’s the law. When someone breaks that law by disregarding traffic rules or signals, the results can be catastrophic. Last year, more than 4,400 collisions occurred in this state because drivers disregarded traffic controls.
Get Help From a Qualified Kentucky Auto Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love have been injured in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you have the right to make a claim for full and fair damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you pursue damages for medical care, lost wages, vehicle damage, and pain and suffering. Contact the Law Office of Lanna Martin Kilgore, PLLC at (270) 846-3700 to speak with a qualified Kentucky car accident attorney about the specifics of your case.