Many factors contribute to the thousands of car accidents that occur each day in the U.S. However, the top causes in Kansas City are as follows:
Any activity that distracts your attention from the road is incredibly dangerous, even if only for a few seconds. Distractions while driving can be broken down into these three categories:
- Visual distractions: Cause you to look away from the road.
- Manual distractions: Requires you to take a hand off the steering wheel.
- Cognitive distractions: Anything that causes you to lose focus on the task of driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2019 there were over 3,100 lives lost due to distracted driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about eight people are killed in crashes involving a distracted driver each day. Common types of distractions include cell phone use, eating, daydreaming, speaking to passengers, using GPS, changing the music, etc.
Drunk driving accidents are responsible for the fatalities of about 28 people each day, according to the NHTSA. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, even a prescription medication, can dramatically impair a driver’s judgment and decision-making. In fact, drivers are seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than sober drivers when they have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of over 0.10.
Drowsy driving accidents were responsible for close to 700 deaths in 2019, and the NHTSA estimates that 91,000 police-reported collisions in 2017 involved fatigued drivers. While driving while tired isn’t expressly against the law, drowsy driving can look similar to driving impaired since motorists may exhibit similar conduct—for example, crossing into the opposite lane, weaving, running stop signs or red lights, etc.
Speeding was responsible for 9,478 fatalities in 2019. A driver is considered speeding when traveling at speeds above the posted limit, but also when it is a speed too dangerous for current road conditions, even if the driver is following the law. At higher speeds, there is a greater chance of losing control of the vehicle, being unable to stop in time to avoid a crash, protection equipment (e.g., seat belts) failing, plus the severity of a collision drastically increases.
Aggressive drivers drive in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger others. These motorists do not exhibit driving behaviors with their safety or the safety of others in mind. For instance, tailgating, speeding, erratic lane changes or weaving, failing to obey traffic signals or signs, failing to yield the right-of-way, making illegal turns, racing, etc. All of which can easily contribute to an accident.
When driver error is not to blame, the physical condition of the road can be a prominent factor in a collision. Examples include missing or confusing road signs, construction zones, debris, missing barriers/guardrails, potholes, poor roadside lighting, badly worn surfaces, faded lines, road design issues, and others. When combined with dangerous weather, such as rain, snow, or heavy winds, particularly devastating accidents can occur. In some cases involving an unsafe road condition, a government agency may be liable for this type of accident.