The top 5 causes of of motor vehicle accidents result in thousands of deaths each year across Kansas and the Midwest. 2015 was a terrifying year for American motorists. Data released by the National Safety Council showed an 8% increase in traffic fatalities. This was the largest single-year increase in motor vehicle accident fatalities in more than 50 years. According to the NSC, 38,300 people were killed, and 4.4 million suffered significant injuries.
There are nearly 6 million motor vehicle accidents in the US each year. 6% of these result in a fatality, while 27% result in an injury. Nearly 72% result in significant property damage. These causes of these fatalities and injuries range from distracted drivers and speed to alcohol and substance abuse. When it comes to the dangers of the road, the following are the most frequently cited causes of motor vehicle accidents.
1. Speed - The NTSB estimates that speed is a factor in approximately 30% of all traffic fatalities. In 2013, 9,600 people died as the result of a speeding motorist. When a driver chooses to speed, their reaction time is reduced, and the likelihood they will cause a motor vehicle accident considerably increases.
2. Alcohol - In 2014, 9,967 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents caused by a drunk driver. Drivers under the influence of alcohol cause 31% of all vehicular fatalities. From a strictly financial perspective, drunk drivers cause $44 billion in damage to property and people each year.
3. Distracted Driving - The CDC estimates that 8 people are killed, and 1,161 are seriously injured by distracted drivers every day of the year. Motorists talking on cell phones, eating food, reading billboards, or talking with friends pose one of the greatest risks to safety on the road.
4. Drowsy Driving - Sleepy drivers are one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents. In 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated the drowsy drivers caused 72,000 crashes that resulted in 44,000 injuries and 800 deaths.
5. Reckless Driving - Tailgating, changing lanes without signaling, "road rage," running red lights, etc. are all forms of reckless driving. Combined, these forms of reckless behavior account for 33% of motor vehicle accident fatalities and injuries.
Determining the Cause(s) of Your Crash
No two motor vehicle accidents are the same. There may be a combination of factors that lead to an accident. This is why a thorough investigation is required after any accident that results in an injury or fatality.
The police will conduct an initial investigation at the scene of the accident, but you may need to hire an independent investigator to dig deeper into the details. While causative factors such as alcohol impairment or speed may be readily apparent, other factors such as talking while on a cell phone, falling asleep at the wheel, etc. might require a little coaxing from the debris.
Your motor vehicle accident attorney can help you hire an investigator who can dig into the details to determine the precise chain of actions and events that led to the crash. Insurance companies regularly deny claims in complicated crashes and attempt to blame other factors than driver error for the accident. Proving the cause the accident can often times be the most important part in being able to make a recovery for the injuries you sustained.
Whether your motor vehicle accident occurred in Wichita, Garden City, Dodge City, or Liberal, Colby, Hays, Great Bend, Pratt, Hutchinson Wellington, or Winfield you can reach Brad Pistotnik Law 24-hours a day, 365 days a year by calling 800-241-BRAD or 316-684-4400. You can also reach Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237. Our firm has lawyers licensed in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri and Illinois which means we can pursue your case wherever the accident occurred.