What are the deadliest types of recklessness behind the wheel? What driving behaviors cause the greatest number of fatalities on American roads? The reality is that the serious injuries and fatalities that are caused by reckless driving behavior are entirely preventable. Whether it is speeding, drunk driving, running red lights, or texting while driving, reckless driving behaviors boil down to a deadly serious decision that motorists have the legal liability for making. In Kansas, the concept of reckless disregard for human life and safety is called wanton conduct.
In 2015, there were approximately 6,243,000 automobile accidents in the United States. These caused 37,461 fatalities. Nationwide, the number of fatalities is rising in large part because of the rise in certain reckless driving behaviors. I personally believe that the cause of a majority of the auto accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases that we see are from texting, using mobile mapping devices and looking at cell phones while driving to dial a number, text someone or get instructions on where to exit or turn. Motorists are justifiably concerned and in January 2016, surveys indicated that 84% of motorists were concerned about distracted drivers and 58% were concerned with drivers operating motor vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The data backs up these concerns. Fatalities caused by drugged driving have risen steadily since 1993 when 1,716 cases were reported. In 2015, that number rose to 6,612. In 2015, 10,265 people died in alcohol related crashes. The CDC estimates that there is a DUI related fatality every 51 minutes and that approximately 31% of all US road fatalities involve alcohol. However, the most shocking statistic is that surveys conducted by the CDC indicate there are more than 111 million self-reported episodes of DUI each year. While this is significantly lower than any year since the question was first studied in 1993, it indicates that many motorists are not heeding the warnings regarding the dangers of drunk driving. Drunk driving is likely the second highest cause of car accidents.
While some technologies including ABS brakes, cameras, sensors, and smart computers have made driving safer, some technologies have made it more dangerous. Texting while driving is a considerable problem. While it is banned in 46 states, it's a behavior that many motorists still engage in. The National Safety Council estimates that talking or texting while driving an automobile causes 1.6 million automobile accidents, or nearly 25% of all automobile accidents that occur each year. These accidents result in over 330,000 injuries and the NSC believes that the problem is significantly underreported. A recent article in the Wichita Eagle had a sheriiff's deputy watch 14 cars going through an intersection and he reported that 11 of 14 were on their cell phone.
Speeding is another reckless driving behavior that claims a considerable number of lives each year. From 2005 to 2014, the NTSB estimated that speeding was a factor in causing 112,580 fatalities. That is roughly the same number of people who died in alcohol related crashes. Drivers of passenger vehicles were involved in 76.5% of speed related fatal accidents while motorcyclists were involved in 18.4% of accidents. The study shows a strong correlation between speeding and the risk of causing a fatal accident. The problem with speeding is that the speeding combined with looking down at a phone makes it much more dangerous.
Speeding is a form of aggressive driving, and is often coupled with other aggressive, reckless driving behaviors. In 2015, of the 48,613 drivers involved in fatality causing accidents, 18.1% of drivers were speeding at the time of their accident while 7.1% of drivers had failed to yield the right of way to other motorists. A further 5.4% operated their vehicle in an erratic or otherwise reckless manner. Of all behaviors, these forms of recklessness and other aggressive driving behaviors were factors in more than 60% of all deadly accidents.
Brad Pistotnik Law helps clients who are the victims of the recklessness of other drivers in Wichita, El Dorado, Pratt, Colby, Hays, Garden City, Satanta, Emporia, Liberal, Dodge City, Newton, Salina, McPherson, Kearney, Omaha, Springfield, Topeka, Kansas City, Coffeyville, and elsewhere in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Illinois. Whether the accident occurred on I-70, US 83, on city streets or country roads, our team pursues claims that help clients recover damages for personal injuries, property damage, pain and suffering, and the impact the accident has on their quality of life.
We are Brad Pistotnik Law. ® We are Abogado El Toro. ® Hire the real Brad. ® Call in the Bull. ® We are the Bull Attorneys! ™ Call us at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us 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. You can call from Western Kansas at 620-THE-BULL. Our main office location is at 10111 E. 21st St. N., Suite 204, Wichita Kansas 67206. Our Garden City office is located at 3102 E. Kansas Avenue, Suite 100, Garden City, Kansas 67846.