Houston Auto Accident Attorney: Top 5 Causes of Accidents

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Work with a Houston auto attorney after a car accident to fight for the compensation you deserve.

Do you feel safe when you’re driving in Houston? Around 160 car accidents happen in Houston every day—that’s about one accident every eight minutes. As an auto accident attorney serving Houston and its surrounding areas, our team at Maida Law Firm has dealt with hundreds of car accident cases related to the top five causes of car accidents in the U.S.

A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that car accidents here in America are responsible for 37,000 deaths per year. What’s worse is that nearly 80 percent of car crashes are preventable by following traffic rules, being alert while driving, and taking proper safety precautions.

Learn more about these types of car accidents and how to avoid them so that you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe every time you step into your vehicle. If you have been the victim of a car accident caused by one of these factors, contact us to have an auto accident attorney in Houston review your case for free.

#1 of Car Accidents: Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is the leading cause of car accidents in the U.S. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving contributes to an estimated 25-50% of all motor vehicle crashes.

Distracted driving refers to any activity that takes attention away from driving. Texting or using a phone while driving is the number one reason for distracted driving. It is particularly dangerous as it requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention all at once.

However, distracted driving isn’t just limited to phone use. Other activities that count as distracted driving include:

  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Programming the navigation system
  • Adjusting the radio
  • Shaving
  • Putting on makeup
  • Talking to passengers

These distractions may seem insignificant, but they greatly increase the chances of a fatal accident. To ensure safety for themselves and others on the road, drivers should minimize distractions.

#2 of Car Accidents: Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is another common cause of car accidents and holds severe legal consequences, particularly in Texas. The deaths and injuries caused by drunk driving are completely preventable, making it even more crucial to avoid getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

As reported by the Centers for Disease Control, 29 people in the U.S. die in motor vehicle crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver every day. Consuming alcohol impairs the ability to safely operate a vehicle, affecting motor skills and reaction times.

If your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or higher, you are considered legally impaired in the U.S. Being arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence is certain when your BAC is at or over 0.08%. However, you can still face charges even if your BAC is above 0.00% at any level.

Unfortunately, the state of Texas has the highest number of drunk driving fatalities, with the TXDoT reporting 886 people killed in drunk driving accidents in 2019. Texas imposes stringent penalties for drunk driving, including substantial fines, license suspension, mandatory alcohol education programs, and even imprisonment.

#3 of Car Accidents: Speeding

Speeding is a prevalent cause of car accidents in the U.S. and significantly increases the likelihood and severity of crashes. Speeding can transform minor mishaps into catastrophic events, making it a risky behavior that should be avoided by all drivers. At higher speeds, drivers have less time to respond to unexpected events, and the vehicle takes a longer distance to come to a complete stop.

When a driver chooses to exceed the speed limit, they reduce their own ability to steer safely around curves or objects in the roadway. According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, each 5 mph increase over 50 mph doubles your chances of being involved in a fatal collision. This is largely attributed to the reduced reaction time and longer stopping distance that high speeds entail.

In Houston, the default speed limits are 30 MPH on urban streets and 70 MPH on federal and state highways, but many drivers choose to ignore these limits. Statistics show that speeding constitutes the most common cause of fatal and non-fatal traffic collisions in Houston.

#4 of Car Accidents: Aggressive or Reckless Driving

Aggressive or reckless driving is another serious cause of car accidents in the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that aggressive driving plays a role in two-thirds of all fatal crashes.

This behavior includes a variety of dangerous driving practices that disregard safety measures and traffic rules, demonstrating a lack of consideration for others on the road. Aggressive or reckless driving can include:

  • Tailgating
  • Changing lanes without signaling
  • Making erratic turns
  • Cutting off other drivers
  • Passing in a non-passing lane
  • Running red lights
  • Failing to stop at stop signs
  • Purposely intimidating other drivers
  • Racing other vehicles

Impatience with Houston’s notorious traffic can unfortunately push some drivers to resort to aggressive or reckless behavior, especially on the city’s busy main freeways. Frustration with slow-moving traffic, frequent stop-and-go, and congestion may lead drivers to take unnecessary risks, such as tailgating, lane weaving, or even road rage incidents, escalating the danger for all road users.

#5 of Car Accidents: Weather Conditions

Weather conditions, particularly inclement weather, are a common cause of car accidents. In Houston, where the primary weather concern is often heavy rain, the risks associated with driving can significantly increase.

Houston averages about 106 rainy days each year, providing ample opportunities for driving in slick, dangerous conditions. During the storm season, which generally runs from June to November, major rainfall events are frequent, with the city often experiencing severe downpours and torrential floods.

Rain not only reduces visibility but also makes the roads slick, resulting in slippery and dangerous conditions. Hydroplaning, a scenario where a vehicle loses traction and slides uncontrollably on the wet surface of a road, is a common occurrence in such conditions.

Houston drivers often fail to adjust their speed to match the adverse weather conditions, leading to a higher likelihood of accidents. During wet weather, drivers should be more vigilant, maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, and drive at a reduced speed to ensure safety.

Houston Auto Accident Attorney – On Your Side

If you’ve been involved in an accident in Houston due to any of the above factors or any other reason, seek the assistance of a seasoned Houston auto accident attorney at Maida Law Firm. We are equipped to help you navigate the complex legal landscape, providing a free case evaluation, and tirelessly fighting for your rights. Our primary aim is to ensure you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve. Contact our legal team today to get started.