The 7 Most Common Causes of Car Accidents on Texas Roads

Car Accidents on Texas Roads explained by Dallas Car Accident Injury Attorney, Tim O’Hare

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Every 59 seconds, a car accident occurs on Texas roads. The latest car accident statistics published by the Texas Department of Transportation reveal that 3,639 people were killed in car accidents in Texas in 2018. There was not a day in 2018 where at least one person wasn’t killed in a car accident in Texas. Let that sink in. Every single day, someone is killed in a car accident in Texas.

According to TxDOT, in the same year, nearly 15,000 people suffered a serious, incapacitating injury in a car accident. Although car accidents happen every day, none of us get in our cars and expect or plan to be in an accident.

Perhaps what is most tragic about these car accident statistics is that many accidents that claim innocent lives are entirely preventable. Take a look at these facts from 2018.

  • 43.06 percent of all people killed in vehicles were reported as not wearing their seatbelt.
  • 418 motorcyclists were killed in 2018; 49 percent of those were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash.
  • 940 people were killed in accidents involving drunk driving, accounting for 26 percent of all car accident fatalities in 2018.
  • 398 people were killed in car crashes involving distracted driving

These statistics are staggering. But when we understand these common causes of car accidents, and make changes in our personal habits in order to avoid a preventable accident, each of us has the potential to save a life, possibly our own. 
Nationwide, the seven most common causes of accidents are:

  1. Distracted driving, including (but not limited to) texting while driving, putting on makeup or reading.
  2. Drunk driving.
  3. Ignoring speed limits. 
  4. Reckless driving, including driving over the speed limit, changing lanes too quickly, or aggressive driving.
  5. Driving in bad weather, including dense fog, excessive rain or high winds.
  6. Failure to stop at a red light.
  7. Nighttime driving that results in reduced visibility.

According to statewide data and statistics from TXDOT, here are the seven leading causes of all Texas auto accidents:

  • Failure to control speed
  • Distracted driving/driver inattention
  • Unsafe lane change
  • Failure to stay in a single lane
  • Failure to yield
  • Speeding
  • Following too closely

Common causes of fatal car accidents in Texas include:

  • Speeding
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Faulty evasive action
  • Failure to yield
  • Distracted driving
  • Failure to obey stop signs
  • Fatigued driving or falling asleep at the wheel

See more statistics from TxDOT here.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these common causes of car accidents in Texas. 

Speeding. Most drivers willingly admit that they are guilty of driving over the speed limit from time to time. Do you realize that the faster you drive, the slower your response time to avoid any problems that may arise on the road in front of you? Speed limits are put into place not to be restrictive but as a preventive measure to help save lives. 

Distracted driving. Talking or texting on your cell phone, putting on makeup, reading, eating or adjusting the radio — each of these actions can take your attention from the road. Even drawing your eyes from the road for a split second can have serious or deadly consequences. 

Failure to stay in a single lane. Driving in between lanes, whether intentionally or accidentally, can cause other drivers to react suddenly, possibly resulting in an accident. When driving, stay in your lane and avoid any unnecessary or improper lane changes. 

Failure to yield. Any time you do not have the right of way, such as when turning left across oncoming traffic, you must yield to oncoming traffic. The other drivers may not see you, or may not have adequate time to stop if you pull out in front of them. When turning left, be sure to allow plenty of distance between yourself and the nearest oncoming vehicle in order to avoid a crash.

Reckless or aggressive driving. Drivers who are in a hurry or frustrated with others on the road may drive aggressively, failing to maintain safe driving habits. Speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, or taking other careless or aggressive actions can be dangerous and deadly. Be sure to keep yourself in check any time you are on the road to avoid any unsafe driving behaviors.

Driving while fatigued. Did you know that when you drive while you are sleepy it has the same impact on your driving as if you were driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Drowsy drivers have a slower reaction time and are generally less observant. Falling asleep at the wheel could mean losing complete control of your vehicle, running off the road, into another vehicle, or into oncoming traffic. 

Drunk driving. Sadly, this will likely always be a problem on roadways in Texas and across the country. Even if you are not legally drunk, drinking any alcohol before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle could have deadly consequences. 

Drugged driving. Whether under the influence of illegal or prescription medication, drugs of any sort can impair a driver’s ability to follow the rules of the road and make quick reactions when necessary. 

Though the fatality rate on Texas roadways decreased slightly (2.36 percent) from 2017 to 2018, any death on Texas roads is one too many. Each of us can do our part to make Texas roads more safe by following driving laws, and eliminating factors such as distracted driving and drunk driving. 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, seek the help of a qualified and experienced Dallas car accident attorney at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare. Call us today for a free case evaluation.

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