Negligent and dangerous driving causes serious injuries, so get serious help.

When traveling in a motor vehicle, unexpected events can occur that may cause a crash. Although situations exist when the exact cause of an accident can’t be determined, there are certain circumstances known to increase the chances of a traffic accident. Having an awareness of the most common car accident causes could be helpful in avoiding an accident.

Reports published by the Texas Department of Transportation show that 3,399 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2012. This figure is an increase of over 10 percent compared with figures from 2011. In addition, over 230,000 people were injured in traffic accidents. It is sad to consider that many of these injuries and fatalities could have been prevented.

If you have questions regarding a car accident in which you or a loved one was injured, we can help. Call our office at 800-655-9728 to schedule an appointment to discuss your case and find out what kinds of compensation may be available to you.

What Are The Most Common Car Accident Causes?

The common causes of car accidents listed below are not only dangerous they are illegal. Drivers who engage in these types of behaviors while driving may not only be held financially responsible for damages and injuries but may also be held criminally responsible.

  • Drunk drivers: In Texas, preventing accidents caused by drunk drivers has become a top priority. Each year the penalties for those who drive while intoxicated get more and more severe, especially when it comes to repeat offenders. Unfortunately, there were still over 3,000 alcohol related motor vehicle accidents that resulted in 1,099 deaths on Texas roads in 2012.
  • Cell phones: Cell phones play a significant role in the number of distracted and reckless driving accidents. Drivers may be tempted to pay attention to cell phones, instead of driving. This behavior endangers everyone else on the road.
  • Text messaging: While still a relatively new hazard for drivers, texting while driving has fast become one of leading causes of car accidents, especially among younger drivers. Texas has not yet approved a state-wide ban on texting while driving, but one is expected in the near future.
  • Drugs: Drugs can be as dangerous as alcohol especially when a driver gets behind the wheel after using. It is always illegal to take drugs and drive and it can be very dangerous.
  • Speeding: A type of reckless driving, driving too fast for road or weather conditions is a common cause of automobile accidents. The risk of serious injury or fatality is higher in accidents caused by excessive speed.

Accidents happen for a variety of reasons and accident injuries vary greatly from case to case. Sometimes they are caused by events that are outside the control of any driver. The number of accidents and related injuries and deaths could be reduced greatly however, if drivers would drive responsibly.

Texting While Driving

Since 1996, texting has become more and more popular as a way to stay in contact with friends and family. Statistics show that as many as 204 million cell phone users world-wide text on a regular basis. The increase in popularity has created a difficult and dangerous problem – texting while driving. Car accidents caused by texting are becoming one of the most common car accident causes.

In Texas, over 3,000 crashes were directly related to cell phone use in 2011. A large number of these accidents were created when a driver was sending or reading a text message. In 361 of these accidents, the results were fatal. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be involved in a car crash than other drivers.

How Does Texting Cause Car Accidents?
Many people believe that texting while driving is not as big of a deal as other behaviors, such as drunk driving or speeding. While this may have been true in the 1990s, it is no longer the case. According to researchers, you divert up to 39 percent of your brain capacity when you pick up your cell phone to make a call or text a friend. Texting requires the driver to take his or her eyes off the road for extended periods of time, often for at least the distance of a football field.

A compounding factor in texting accidents is that a large proportion of these accidents involve teen drivers. Teens are generally the least experienced on the road and the most likely to text and drive. This has proven to be a lethal combination.

While many people, especially teens, do not believe that talking or texting while driving affects their ability to operate a vehicle, the numbers paint another picture:

  • Seventy-seven percent of young adults stated they are confident in their ability to text and drive.
  • Thirteen percent of all young adult drivers involved in crashes admit that they were texting while operating the vehicle.
  • Teens that text and drive spend about 10 percent of their driving time outside the proper lane.
  • In 2011, approximately 23 percent of all car accidents were attributable to cell phone use.

Texas Laws Regarding Texting While Driving
In 39 other states, texting while driving has been banned and cell phone use, even hands free, is being regulated and monitored by law enforcement. Texas residents have told the state’s legislators that they believe a ban on texting while driving is a smart idea; however, no acceptable statute has passed as of this date. No message or phone call is worth the life of another driver, the passenger in your own vehicle or even your own life.

Drunk Driving Accidents

The penalties for someone convicted of driving while intoxicated are serious. They are even more serious if that driver was the cause of an accident that resulted in an injury or death. Sadly, even with increased penalties, being hit by a drunk driver is still one of the most common car accident causes. Intoxicated drivers are known for distracted driving, speeding and other dangerous road behaviors.

Can Victims Get Compensation From Drunk Drivers?
Once investigators determine that drunk driving was the cause of an accident, the victim likely has several options in regard to collecting a financial settlement. The family of someone who was killed also has the right to seek monetary damages for the loss of their loved one. Your lawyer may pursue some of these options on your behalf if you were involved in a car accident:

Car insurance companies: Attorneys commonly file insurance claims with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If the claim for damages is greater than the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits, additional legal actions are often taken.
Uninsured motorists insurance: Sometimes uninsured drivers are involved in car accidents. What is a victim to do? Often coverage for this is included in the victim’s auto insurance policy. If the driver who caused the accident was uninsured or underinsured, a lawyer can investigate means of compensation available through the victim’s own insurance company.
Personal injury lawsuits: If a driver was found guilty of drunk driving and that offense was the cause of an accident, an attorney may file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages from the at-fault driver. In some cases it is possible to file a lawsuit against a third-party such as a restaurant, bar or individual if they provided the driver with alcohol.
Crime Victims’ Compensation Program (CVC): In qualifying cases, an injured victim may submit a claim for compensation to the CVC if he or she is unable to collect a settlement or insurance claim. The amount of compensation available is limited, and the funds received may have to be repaid if a personal injury award is made to the victim or his or her family.

Which Option Is Right For You?
Often, drunk driving accident victims feel overwhelmed by the physical and financial consequences of the accident. Insurance company policies can be complicated, and frequently the agents do not have the best interests of the injured party in mind.

Many times, victims of these kinds of accidents do not seek help because they believe that an attorney will be too expensive. While professional legal assistance is not free of charge, many attorneys are willing to work out an arrangement to collect their fees once the victimized person has received his or her compensation.

Cell Phones While Driving

It seems like everyone has a cell phone. It wasn’t that long ago when cell phones were a rarity. However, today, cell phones are extremely common and unfortunately, are a cause of accidents. Have you been injured in a car accident that was caused by a negligent driver? Cell phone car accidents can have very serious repercussions, but you do not have to suffer alone. Call a Dallas car accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident.

What’s A Cell Phone Car Accident?
When you think about car accidents caused by cell phones, you may think about texting and driving. While this does contribute to many accidents, it is not the only way in which a cell phone can contribute to an accident. Some other ways include:

  • Dialing a number while driving
  • Entering an address into a phone’s GPS system
  • Surfing Facebook or doing social media while driving
  • Texting and driving
  • Talking on the phone and not paying attention
  • Glancing at a smart phone map while driving

These are just some of the ways in which a cell phone can lead to distracted or negligent driving. Cell phones, particularly smart phones, have many useful purposes for drivers. However, the risks and dangers may outweigh the benefits of these pieces of modern technology. A Dallas car accident attorney may be able to help you seek financial compensation if you have been injured in a car accident caused by a mobile device.

An iPhone itself is not dangerous. However, using a cell phone while driving a vehicle can cause some of the following reckless behaviors:

  • Distracted driving
  • Multitasking
  • Failure to check for blind spots when changing lanes
  • Speeding
  • Turning without properly signaling
  • Abrupt stops or turns

Any of these behaviors cause serious accidents that leave other motorists injured or dead. It has been reported that distracted driving causes one in four accidents in Texas. Cell phone use is the front-runner cause of distracted driving.

Texas Laws Regarding Cell Phone Use
Currently, Texas has no statewide law that prohibits the use of cell phones while driving. However, there are several things that you should know about cell phones while driving in Texas:

  • No driver with a learning permit license is allowed to use a cell phone while driving.
  • Drivers under 19 are prohibited from using any kind of wireless device while driving.
  • School bus drivers are not allowed to use cell phones.
  • Cell phones are not allowed in school zones.
  • There are several counties that have their own prohibitions on cell phone use while driving.

If you or your family was involved in an accident and you know the driver was ignoring the law, you may be eligible for a monetary settlement. Cell phone car accidents can have very serious physical, monetary and emotional consequences. You do not have to face the situation alone because a Dallas car accident attorney is waiting to help you.