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The most common causes of car accidents in Houston
Texas has over 180,000 miles of lanes for interstate highways alone. Because of the sheer number of motorists traveling throughout the state of Texas each day, there are an unbelievable number of vehicle accidents every hour. There is a reportable motor vehicle accident every 57 seconds in the state of Texas — based upon current statistics. Approximately 18,000 people were injured in automobile crashes in the state of Texas in one year alone. There are numerous causes of motor vehicle accidents. Here are some of the most common causes of traffic accidents in Texas that our Houston accident lawyers see:
You can barely drive down the street in your neighborhood without seeing another driver looking at their cell phone instead of the roadway. The sudden rise of the smartphone, which has enabled instant communication by text, email, and videoconference as well as instantaneous internet access, has become a significant contributor to Houston car crashes. Even though there are laws in Texas about texting and driving, phone usage is still a significant cause of many motor vehicle accidents. Distractions can also include such things as conversations with passengers, tending to children, putting on makeup, or even changing the radio station. Anything that takes the driver’s eyes off the roadway for even a second has the potential for causing catastrophic injuries. It only takes a fraction of the second for a distraction to lead to a collision
Driving too fast for conditions or above the posted speed limit is a factor in many Houston area car accidents. Coupled with traffic congestion, and in some cases increased highway speed limits, excess speed contributes to numerous wrongful death car crashes. Loss of control of the vehicle, particularly with inclement weather is often accompanied by traveling too fast for conditions or past the speed limit.
Approximately one in three fatal car accidents in Houston involves a drunk driver. Despite significant criminal penalties, the possibility of exemplary or punitive damages, and an ongoing Texas campaign to educate drivers of the risks of drinking and driving, the problem persists. There can be as little as .08 level of alcohol in your bloodstream to be legally intoxicated as far as driving is concerned in the state of Texas. Minors violate the law with any degree of alcohol in the blood. Not only can you lose your driver’s license and potentially your freedom by driving drunk, but the cost of a DWI is also much higher than most understand.
Violations of traffic laws
In almost every automobile collision, someone violated a statute designed to protect Texan drivers. Often, there are multiple violations by a single driver. These can be such things as drinking and driving, speeding, running a stop sign, failure to yield the right-of-way, and other acts of negligence. If the traffic law was designed to protect innocent motorists and a violation was a cause of the crash, an automobile accident attorney may seek a finding of negligence per se in a personal injury lawsuit against the offending driver.
Failure to maintain a proper lookout
Just as distracted driving can lead to catastrophic injuries, failure to maintain a proper lookout contributes to many traffic accidents. Everyday situations involving failure to keep a proper lookout include: running a red light, failing to yield the right-of-way leading to the T-bone accident, and of course, the rear-end car accident.
Following too closely
The single most significant factor in rear-end accidents usually involves the combination of following too closely and failing to maintain a proper lookout. In Houston’s interstates, particularly during commuting time, it is tough for motorists to maintain an assured clear distance between the vehicle ahead of them. In this situation, extra caution is required to avoid a rear-end collision.
Disregarding traffic signals and signs
Whether it is a red light a driver runs, a missed stop sign, or even trying to make the light, disregarding traffic signals is a massive problem for Houston drivers. Accidents at intersections are particularly dangerous if any of the vehicles are traveling above 30 mph at the time of the crash. Disregarding a stop sign or a red light frequently happens by choice, but it can also be caused by distraction or inattention.
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