Brad Pistotnik Law
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How Big a Role Does Human Error Play in Automobile Accidents?

failure to report

How big a role does human error play in causing automobile accidents? Can these errors lead to a failure to report the accident to law enforcement? Human error is a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents. Data gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2015 showed that human error was a critical factor in causing 94% of accidents. Drivers who commit errors behind the wheel may fail to report the accident. That does not absolve them of civil liability for the personal injuries, property damage, etc. their errors cause.

Human Errors Behind the Wheel

Using data gathered in 2,189,000 motor vehicle accidents that occurred from 2005 to 2007, the NHTSA determined that human error was the critical reason in causing 2,046,000, or 94% of motor vehicle accidents during that period. By comparison, vehicle problems, environment, and unknown critical reasons were each identified as the critical factor in just 2% of accidents.

Driver related critical reasons for motor vehicle accidents included 845,000 recognition errors which include distracted driving and failure to monitor road/traffic conditions. Decision errors were identified in 684,000 accidents. These include driving too fast for conditions, failure to judge distances between vehicles, improper assessment of other vehicle's speed, etc. Performance errors including improper steering, overcompensation, loss of vehicle control were identified in 210,000 accidents. Non-Performance errors including falling asleep at the wheel were identified as the primary human error in 145,000 accidents. A further 162,000 "other" errors were also identified.

Failure to Report in Kansas

It is a crime to fail to report a motor vehicle accident in Kansas that causes more than $1000 in property damage, a fatality, or personal injuries. Ignorance of the law is not a defense and all motorists are required to abide by the reporting requirements established by state statutes.

Drivers may choose not to report an accident out of fear that they will be held liable because of the human errors they have committed, because they are intoxicated, or because they don't have insurance. The law does not consider these valid reasons for failing to report a motor vehicle accident in Kansas.

Failure to report and hit-and-run accidents are closely connected. AAA estimates that there is at least one hit-and-run accident every minute in the United States. In 2016, 2,049 fatalities were recorded in hit-and-run accidents. From 2009 to 2016, the number of hit-and-run accident fatalities rose by 60%. Since 2006, an average of 682,000 hit-and-run crashes have occurred each year. Regardless of the causes of these accidents, failure to report involvement in a fatal accident is a crime that can result in serious criminal penalties.

Brad Pistotnik Law is a Wichita law firm with car accident injury attorneys who represent clients in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Illinois. Our car accident attorneys can help you pursue compensation for injuries suffered in auto collisions in Kansas City, Colby, Pittsburg, Coffeyville, Wellington, Arkansas City, Winfield, Kingman, Pratt, Great Bend, Salina, Satanta, Newton, McPherson, El Dorado, Augusta, Manhattan, Junction City, Abilene, and others. The other driver's failure to report the accident does not absolve them of liability for the injuries, property damage, and wrongful deaths they cause. We always give free consultations and we answer the phone 24/7 and on weekends and holidays for free legal consultation. Call us at 1-800-241-BRAD or on our local line at 316-684-4400. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can call Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237. In Western Kansas you can call 620-THE-BULL.