Driver Errors May Cause up to 90% of Car Accidents in Oklahoma
Despite having a relatively low population of about 3.9 million residents, there were close to 70,000 crashes in Oklahoma alone in 2014. These crashes caused hundreds of deaths and more than 22,000 injuries, about 10% of which were classified by the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office as being “incapacitating” to the victim. While traffic laws and government initiatives have helped to improve Oklahoma road safety over the past few decades, the leading cause of car accidents is all but impossible to eliminate – at least until we finally get those self-driving cars. Here, our Oklahoma City car accident lawyers examine why preventable car accidents happen so frequently.
Common Types of Driving Mistakes that Cause Crashes and Collisions
Some car accidents are caused by factors that are almost entirely beyond human control, or at least, beyond the driver’s control. Humans have no power over the weather, and drivers often have no way of knowing that the road or their vehicle suffers from a defect until it is already too late. Even cautious drivers can do little to predict or counteract safety issues like high winds, driving rain, potholes, fallen branches, defective airbags, or other vehicle defects.
While factors like these are inarguably to blame for a small number of crashes, the vast majority of accidents are caused by human error. Though there are slight variations in the data depending on where you look, most sources agree that driver mistakes are responsible for approximately 90% of car accidents. To provide just a few examples, consider the following sources (which span nearly 30 years):
- 1979 – A study known as the Tri-Level Study of the Causes of Traffic Accidents (which you can read for yourself in the National Transportation Library archives) determines that human errors are to blame for somewhere between 90% and 93% of the accidents reviewed by the researchers.
- 2001 – More than two decades later – plenty of time for major improvements in vehicle design and traffic laws – another study finds that human error was a direct cause of, or contributing factor to, nearly every single crash analyzed: a shocking 99%.
- 2008 – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) releases a survey calling human error a “critical reason” for about 93% of accidents.
Cars are complex machines, and when you add in factors like inexperience and confusing road design, the mistakes a driver can make are virtually without end. Some examples of driver mistakes that cause serious crashes include:
- Driving too fast for safety in inclement weather.
- Driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.
- Failing to check rearview and/or side view mirrors.
- Failing to yield the right-of-way.
- Getting distracted by text messages, passengers, food, phone calls, or smartphone apps.
- Running red lights.
- Speeding excessively.
Proving a Car Accident Claim in Oklahoma: Elements of Negligence
Oklahoma is a fault car insurance state. This means you will have to prove that the other driver was negligent, and was at fault for the accident, in order to receive any compensation. This can prove to be a difficult task, particularly in cases where the accident scenario was very complex, or – as often occurs – where the other driver’s insurance company disputes the policyholder’s fault and denies liability.
Proving negligence isn’t always easy, but you can rely on our skilled and aggressive Oklahoma City car accident attorneys to stand firmly behind you. We are tough, persistent negotiators and will seek the greatest compensation possible while protecting you from falling prey to bad faith insurance tactics.
In the context of personal injury, “negligence” means that a person did not take adequate precautions to avoid or reduce the risk of a foreseeable, preventable accident. There are four elements of negligence that must be proven in order for you to receive accident compensation:
- Duty of care. All motorists have a duty of care to all other drivers.
- Breach of duty. Breach of duty is failure to meet the duty of care, such as speeding, running red lights, or other examples listed in the previous section.
- Causation. The accident must have been caused by the other driver’s actions, or failures to act.
- Damages. The victim must have sustained damages, such as medical bills.
Schedule a Free Legal Consultation with Our Norman Auto Accident Injury Lawyers
As study after study has proven, nearly all car accidents in the United States are caused by human errors. If you were injured in a car accident, there is a chance that the other driver may have been at fault for the crash or collision. If so, the experienced Oklahoma City accident lawyers of Hasbrook & Hasbrook may be able to help you recover compensation.
Call our law offices right away at (405) 698-3040 for a free legal consultation regarding your claim. We serve accident victims who were injured in Oklahoma City, Norman, Edmond, Moore, El Reno, Tuttle Guthrie, and other cities and towns throughout the Oklahoma City area.