We all face a host of dangers every time we get behind the wheel in Dallas or elsewhere in Texas. Some dangers are the result of other drivers. Some are the result of poor road conditions. Some are the result of hazardous weather conditions. Below is an overview of some of the common types and causes of auto accidents.
Common Types of Car Accidents
The Texas Department of Transportation (TDOT) puts together an annual traffic accident report. Based on the report for the year 2012, some of the common types of auto accidents in Texas include:
- Single-vehicle accidents: According to the TDOT report, 38.7% of traffic fatalities involved single vehicles that ran off the road. This might occur for a number of reasons, from problems with the vehicle, to drowsy or distracted driving, and more.
- Intersection accidents: There were 838 fatalities in accidents that occurred at intersections in 2012. Examples of intersection accidents include unsafe left-turn accidents, red light or stop sign running, and more.
- Head-on accidents: There were 533 fatalities in head-on collisions in 2012. Distracted or drowsy driving may also contribute to head-on collisions if one driver drifts into an oncoming lane.
- Rear-end accidents: While not specifically mentioned in the TDOT report, rear-end accidents can cause serious injury and disability as well. These accidents may occur if a driver isn’t paying attention to stopped or slowed traffic ahead. The rear driver is often at fault.
Common Causes or Contributing Factors in Accidents
Just as type of accident can vary, so too can the causes or contributing factors of those accidents. Statistics also help tell the tale of what caused auto accidents in Texas in 2012:
- Alcohol: Over 1,000 people (nearly 30% of traffic fatalities in the state) were killed in accidents involving a driver under the influence of alcohol. The day and hour that saw the most alcohol-related traffic accidents was Sunday morning between 2:00 AM and 2:59 AM; many were likely at social gatherings Saturday night.
- Driver distraction: Cell phones are a common source of distraction, especially when drivers use them to send and read text messages. It’s hard to pinpoint the number of accidents related to distracted driving because it may be underreported. Still, TDOT reports that in 2012 there were over 90,000 accidents involving distracted driving, which was about 25% of all crashes.
- Weather: Bad weather can contribute to accidents, especially if rain, snow or ice creates slick conditions causing vehicles to skid. Drivers should take necessary precautions in bad weather, such as driving slow and using their headlights.
- Road conditions: Potholes and other road hazards might cause or contribute to accidents. Drivers should be mindful when driving through construction zones or other areas where road conditions are known to be poor.
- Seatbelts: While seatbelts don’t actually cause accidents, failing to use one can worsen injuries. Nearly half of all accident fatalities in 2012 where seatbelt usage was applicable and known involved unrestrained individuals.
Discuss Your Options with a Lawyer
If a Texas auto accident has altered your life or that of a family member, the Law Office of Julie Johnson in Dallas can help with your case. Contact our office to set up a free consultation to review the circumstances of your case and whether another driver or other party might be liable for your accident. Call us at 214-290-8001.