Car Accidents Are on the Rise in TexasEven though vehicles today are safer than ever, the rate at which those vehicles are involved in crashes and the rate at which people die in crashes is increasing. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the number of vehicle miles traveled on U.S. roads in 2016 increased by 2.2 percent and resulted in a fatality rate of 1.18 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, an increase of 2.6 percent from 2015. The department also found that distracted driving and drowsy driving fatalities declined, while deaths related to other reckless behaviors—including speeding, alcohol impairment, and not wearing seat belts—continued to increase. Motorcyclist and pedestrian deaths accounted for more than a third of the year-to-year increase. Texas is not immune from this national increase. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the number of deaths per vehicle mile increased in 2016 by 3.59 percent over 2016, and the total number of traffic fatalities increased from 3,578 deaths in 2015 to 3,773 deaths in 2016. Despite these frightening numbers, you don’t have to face the consequences of a traffic accident alone. If you were injured by a car accident in the Houston area, including Klein, you need to consult with a Klein personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible to explore your options. For a free case evaluation to see if the law entitles you to compensation for your injuries, contact the lawyers of Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, at (281) 664-6500, or send us an email through our online contact form.
Common Car Accidents We SeeSome of the most common types of car accidents we see include:
- Rear-end collisions: Rear-end collisions occur when one car crashes into a car in front of it. Distracted driving often causes these accidents, since the reason for many rear-end crashes is that a car has come to a stop and the driver of the car behind it has not realized this until it is too late.
- Side-impact crashes: Side-impact crashes occur when one vehicle broadsides another vehicle at a 90-degree angle. These types of accidents are strongly associated with intersections, as drivers running red lights or stop signs commonly cause them.
- Head-on collisions: Head-on collisions take place when the front of one vehicle strikes an object, often an oncoming vehicle. If this is the case, and one or both of the vehicles was traveling at a high rate of speed, head-on collisions can often prove fatal.
- Vehicle rollovers: A vehicle rollover, as its name implies, takes place when a vehicle rolls over onto its side or upside down. These accidents are often caused by drivers who attempt to take turns too fast. While any vehicle can roll over, rollovers are more commonly associated with SUVs due to their higher centers of gravity.
Tips for Avoiding Car AccidentsPut your phone down. Distracted driving is one of the main culprits behind every type of car accident. In the time it takes you to look down at a text message, the car in front of you may have stopped and you could crash into the back of it.
- Drive with your hands in the 9 and 3 o’clock positions. Instead of driving with one hand at the 12 o’clock position or both hands on the bottom of the steering wheel, this position facilitates maximum vehicle control when you need to make quick maneuvers to avoid potential accidents.
- Keep an eye on your blind spots—and stay out of others’. Instead of relying solely on your mirrors, actually turn around look behind you when you need to change lanes or merge onto a highway so that you don’t miss a vehicle hiding in your blind spot. Also, stay out of other drivers’ blind spots, especially those of large trucks.
- Look far ahead. Keep a close eye on the car in front of you, but also pay attention to what’s going on even farther in front of you so that you have plenty of time to react to changes in the traffic.
- Judge the safety of other drivers by the state of their cars. If a car’s body damage, bald tires, or cracked windows indicate an inattentive owner, this could easily suggest an inattentive driver, too.
Where Do Accidents Most Commonly Take Place?We’ve all heard the old adage that most accidents occur close to home. In fact, nearly 70 percent of all car accidents occur within 10 miles of home. A few more specific places where accidents are most likely to occur include:
- Intersections: Any location where two directions of traffic come together are naturally going to prove more accident-prone. This is especially true in an unregulated intersection, or one with only a stop or yield sign to regulate traffic flow. As noted above, intersections are common locations for side-impact crashes.
- Stoplights: Although stoplights do a good job of regulating traffic at intersections, they can also cause problems. Rear-end collisions are common at stoplights because many drivers fail to stop in time for a vehicle that is sitting at a stoplight in front of them. A sufficiently forceful rear-end accident can cause a chain reaction of other rear-end accidents among the other cars lined up at the light.
- Busy two-lane roads: Roads in non-residential areas that have moderate to high-speed limits are prime places for head-on collisions. One lane traveling in each direction leaves little margin of error if a vehicle drifts over the center line into the oncoming lane. Head-on accidents can also take place when one vehicle tries to pass another one on a two-lane road and hits oncoming cars.
- Rural highways: Even though fewer vehicles travel rural areas, rural highways are often the site of single-vehicle accidents. Driving in sparsely populated areas can often lead to driver inattention. Spotty or poor roadway maintenance and occasional road debris can also increase the odds of single-vehicle crashes.
- Parking lots: Although few high-speed accidents occur in parking lots, they are prime locations for fender-benders because few or no traffic rules control parking lot driving behavior. This is particularly true in busy parking lots. Pedestrian accidents are also common in parking lots because they tend to appear without warning.
Do You Need to Hire a Car Accident Attorney?For more serious accidents and injuries, you may find that you want an attorney by your side representing your interests since your insurance company most certainly has a team of attorneys looking out for its interests. Your attorney already knows the personal injury laws and procedural rules and can handle all of the complex legal legwork for you to get you the right compensation for your injuries. Below are a few questions you should ask yourself when deciding whether to hire an attorney. If the answer to one or more of them is “yes,” then you might have found your answer.
- Are your injuries serious? If your injury necessitated hospital care, surgery, physical therapy, rehabilitation, chiropractic work, cosmetic surgery, or orthopedics, then you probably need to evaluate your case with a personal injury attorney, especially if any of these treatments caused you to lose wages.
- Do you believe your injury was caused by someone else? If another person’s negligence caused your injury, then you probably want to have a personal injury attorney look at your case. Proving legal fault involves applying certain standards to the evidence. To strengthen your claims, consult a lawyer as soon as possible to obtain and preserve important evidence.
- Is the insurance company disputing the liability of its insured? Even when an accident is clearly the fault of the other party, insurance companies often try to dispute liability by making people believe that they don’t have valid claims or that their claim is worth less than it actually is. If liability is at issue, then you’ll want to consult an attorney.
- Is your insurance company refusing to pay or offering an unreasonably low amount? Similar to the ways in which insurance companies try to convince people that they don’t have valid claims, they will also use tactics to try to avoid paying the claims of injured people. These tactics may include unreasonable delays in your claims process, refusing to pay you even though liability is not in dispute, or making unreasonably low offers despite your extensive injuries.
- Are you comfortable with the law and the settlement process? If you choose to handle your accident on your own, you will need a good understanding of the legal underpinnings of your claims and the settlement process, which will often require familiarity with both statutory and case law. If you don’t think you are up to that challenge, you’ll want to hand it over to a professional.
Did a Klein, Texas, Car Accident Injure You? The Attorneys of Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, Are Here to HelpIf you were injured in a car accident in Klein, consult a Klein personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible to explore your options. For a free case evaluation to see if Texas law might entitle you to compensation for your injuries, contact the lawyers of Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, at 281-664-6500, or send us an email through our online contact form. Remember, you pay nothing at the time we take your case, and you pay us nothing unless and until we’ve won financial recovery for your damages.
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