In Omaha and nationwide, Americans love their cars and trucks. But for all the convenience and comfort that our cars provide, few events alter a person's life in an instant like a motor vehicle accident.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that an accident happens in this country roughly every 15 seconds. It follows that in 2016, police responded to more than 6.2 million traffic accidents nationwide, and that these crashes resulted in more than 2.4 million injuries and more than 37,000 deaths that year, according to the NHTSA.
Among the best ways to avoid getting into an accident is to understand the most common causes of motor vehicle crashes. Here is a summary:
Impaired Driving: Drinking or doing drugs before getting behind the wheel decreases the driver’s response time and decision-making abilities. Extremely inebriated drivers also may not be able to remain alert enough to operate their vehicles. It follows that about 28 percent of the people who died in car crashes in 2016 were involved in alcohol-related accidents.
Speeding: Roughly another third of the crashes tracked by the NHTSA were caused by drivers going over the speed limit. When authorities talk about speeding, they don’t just mean going over the posted speed limit. They also mean driving too fast for the current road conditions, which may include traffic congestion, road work, or inclement weather.
It can be impossible to predict how a car or truck will respond when that vehicle is going too fast. That’s why more than 10,000 people died in 2016 as a result of speed-related traffic accidents. Statistically, young male drivers are most likely to speed.
Distracted Driving: The chances of a driver taking his or her eyes off the road while behind the wheel have dramatically increased in recent years, most especially with the use of cell phones and mobile devices. To be sure, talking or texting on the phone while driving is dangerous, even deadly. This behavior directly contributed to more than 3,000 traffic accident deaths in 2016. But the NHTSA cautions that many thousands of people continue to use devices or engage in other distractions while driving, including eating and personal hygiene.
It is statistically most likely for drivers under age 24 to become involved in a distracted driving crash, and least likely for drivers who are over age 70.
A study conducted by State Farm in 2012 found that 48 percent of drivers between the ages of 18 and 29 accessed the Internet on a mobile device while they were driving, and at least a third of those used social media platforms while they were behind the wheel.
Some other common causes of car accidents in Omaha and nationwide include running red lights, failing to heed traffic signs and signals, and fatigue.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in or around Omaha, Nebraska, protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve. Call 402-371-4300 to schedule a case consultation with one of our experienced Omaha accident attorneys.