The 5 Most Common Driving Mistakes that Cause Injury
Every single day in 2015, at least one person died in a Texas traffic accident. The slightly good news is that fewer people died in 2015 than died in 2014: Five fewer to be exact. Traffic accident deaths in 2014 were 3,536 and the death toll in 2015 was 3,531.
Also in 2015, 246,335 Texans reported they were injured in a traffic accident and 17,011 of them suffered injuries classified as serious. Almost all traffic accidents are caused by driver negligence. This means the accident could have been prevented and lives could have been saved. There are a few common driving mistakes that cause injury.
(1) Distracted Driving
Approximately 80% of all traffic accidents are caused by distracted drivers. In 2015 in Texas, 476 traffic accident deaths were attributed to distracted drivers. Some examples of distracted driving include:
- Texting while driving.
- Talking on the phone.
- Adjusting the radio.
- Fiddling with the GPS.
- Putting on make-up.
- Giving too much attention to a billboard along the highway.
(2) Drunk Driving
In 2015, a total of 960 people were killed in Texas car crashes that were the fault of a drunk driver. This accounted for 27% of all traffic deaths. More drunk driving crashes occur between 2:00 a.m. and 2:59 a.m. on Saturday morning than any other day or time of the week.
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(3) Crashes at Intersections
Intersections are not safe places even though many seem to be protected by traffic control devices. Not all drivers pay attention, particularly to yield signs. They plow right through and the conscientious driver, expecting the other one to follow the law, suffers when hit by an unyielding driver. Other drivers run through red lights, ignore stop signs and make improper left-hand turns. In 2015, 807 traffic deaths occurred at intersections.
(4) Driver Decision and Performance Errors
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), poor decisions and poor performance by drivers are a major cause of traffic accidents accounting for 94% of all national traffic accidents. Examples are:
- Driving too fast for road conditions.
- Driving too fast around curves.
- Inaccurately judging what another driver will do.
- Misjudging another driver’s speed.
- Driving while fatigued and falling asleep. This accounts for 7% of all accidents.
- Over compensation when faced with an obstacle.
(5) Driving an Improperly Maintained Vehicle
The NHTSA attributes 2% of all accidents to drivers failing to properly maintain their vehicle. This may not seem like much, but nationally, this was the cause of 44,000 accidents. The major types of vehicle maintenance neglect that results in injury causing accidents include, but are not limited to:
- Tire problems. This accounts for approximately 35% injury accidents in this category.
- Brake failures are responsible for 22% of accidents.
- Steering, suspension or transmission problems are also areas of maintenance owners neglect that cause injury accidents.