The top ten causes of car accidents listed below are based on the cases we have handled since 2015. The order is not particularly precise, however, we listed distracted driving as #1 because it is the principal reason why accidents in the Kansas City Metro have been steadily rising in number over the last several years.
Because we have found that motor vehicle crashes have been more violent resulting in more serious injury over the last several years, we have tagged each cause with a safety suggestion. Stay safe and well.
1. Distracted Driving
The Missouri Department of Transportation estimates that distracted drivers cause 80 percent of all accidents. While we are all aware of the dangers of texting and driving, there are so many other things that can distract us when we are behind the wheel. Many drivers are guilty of using their phones, as well as eating, smoking, applying makeup, reading, adjusting the temperature or music settings, and many other things while on the road.
When drivers are moving too fast, they canâ€™t always react to issues promptly. A sudden brake light from a car up ahead can cause a speeder to slam into the back end of another motorist. In fact, speeding is the second leading cause of accidents, behind only distracted driving. Following the speed limit laws or getting out of the way of those who donâ€™t wish to follow those laws could save lives.
3. Reckless Driving
Much like speeding, when someone is cutting in and out of traffic or displaying other reckless behavior, they immediately increase the risk of an accident occurring. This type of aggressive driving can cause problems with reaction times and lead to major accidents, especially on conjected roadways.
4. Running Red Lights
Stoplights are put in place for a reason. Since most of us aren’t expecting someone to run a red light, these types of accidents often come as a surprise to everyone on the road, which can lead to multi-car accidents. Many people who are pulled over or part of an accident involving running a red light say that they were in a hurry to get to work, a meeting, or an important appointment. However, there are no valid reasons for risking your own life and the lives of others on the road.
5. Running Stop Signs
Much like the previous cause, running stop signs can cause an array of problems for other drivers on the road. It is essential to come to a complete stop at all stop signs to make sure that you are clear to continue without hitting another automobile. When one person runs a stop sign, many other drivers and passengers, as well as pedestrians, could be at risk of injury.
6. Drunk Driving
Drunk driving is another leading cause of accidents in the Kansas City area, especially in areas with active nightlife scenes. With the push for the use of taxis, Ubers, and Lyfts, we have seen a decrease in drunk driving accidents, but people are still getting behind the wheel after a night of drinking and causing dangerous accidents. Drunk driving accidents are generally caused by poor reaction times, increased risky behavior while driving, or nodding off behind the wheel.
7. Poor Weather Conditions
Weather conditions play a significant role in automobile accidents. Fog, heavy rain, high winds, snow, and ice are all problematic driving conditions. Inexperienced and unprepared drivers are more likely to cause accidents in poor weather conditions. When visibility is low or roads are slick, major pile-up accidents become more likely as well.
8. Unsafe Lane Changes
Everyone has been cut off by another driver. Not only is this situation incredibly frustrating, but it can also be hazardous, especially if it causes a bunch of other motorists to slam on their brakes. In some cases, these unsafe lane changes are unintentional as a driver veers from their lane into another, which could lead to an accident with the vehicle already in that spot on the road.
Using turn signals is another vital way to keep roadways safe. When drivers donâ€™t use turn signals and wait until the lane is clear, other drivers arenâ€™t expecting them to enter the lane. This can cause a serious accident very quickly.
9. Improper Turns
A mistake that seems silly off the road can have severe consequences on the road. For example, have you ever left a restroom in a restaurant or movie theater and turned the wrong way to go back to your set? While you might feel embarrassed, there are no consequences other than the fact that you might miss an extra few seconds of the movie you are watching, or your food might start to cool while you are away.
Take this same mistake to the road, and there could be very dangerous consequences. Turning down a one-way street or turning on the wrong side of a median can lead to head-on collisions with other drivers. For this reason, when a driver is unfamiliar with an area, they need to be hyperaware of all signage to ensure that they arenâ€™t making a mistake that could have severe consequences for themselves or someone else.
10. Night Driving Hazards
Driving at night poses a whole new set of challenges for drivers. Visibility is more limited. Obstacles and roadway hazards are much more difficult to see. For some drivers, night blindness, halos, and glares from the lights can make driving scary and dangerous, even in well-lit areas or those with streetlights.
When other motorists donâ€™t have their headlights and taillights on, it can be hard to see them in the dark. This is another risk factor of night driving that isnâ€™t generally an issue when it is light outside unless there are weather conditions at play.
Driving at night requires special attention from drivers, and in some circumstances, drivers are groggy or tired behind the wheel during dark hours, which can lead to additional dangers.
To learn more about the types of car accident cases that we cover, visit our website today.
A Word About Lead Attorney Doug Horn
During the course of his legal career, which includes participating in hundreds of accident investigations, Lead Attorney Doug Horn has gained elevated insights into the driving behaviors that cause vehicular collisions.
Over the last 10 years, Horn has used his legal experience to devote a significant amount of his work to the advancement of driver safety, particularly in the areas of teen driver protection, distracted driving prevention, and traffic fatality reduction.
Through his driving safety platform, Drive By Example, Horn is continuing to keep driving safety high on the public conscience. You can help bolster his efforts in teen driver safety by joining his Facebook group, Protecting Teen Drivers in Missouri.