Causes of Traffic Accidents in Austin

In February earlier this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a subsidiary of the US Department of Transportation, released a report called the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey detailing the most common causes of traffic accidents.

About the Report

The survey was conducted over two and a half years, from 2005 to 2007, and collected information available from on-scene data at 5,470 crashes that revealed information as to the cause or causes of the crash. The NHTSA gathered data from across the nation looking at driver, vehicle, and environment related information that could have contributed to the vehicular collision.

The Data: Car Accident Causes

Crashes are caused by a series of events including one or multiple failures on behalf of the driver, the automobile, the environment, or a number of other causes. The report details the critical reason, or the last failure in this chain of events before the crash. The critical reason in 94% of the studied crashes was attributed to driver-related causes, 2% to vehicle-related causes, 2% to environment-related causes, and 2% to unknown-related causes. An important stipulation outlined by the report dictates that “although the critical reason is an important part of the description of events leading up to the crash, it is not intended to be interpreted as the cause of the crash nor as the assignment of the fault to the driver, vehicle, or environment.”

Driver Related Causes

Driver-related critical reasons include errors in recognition (driver’s inattention, internal and external distractions, inadequate surveillance, etc.), decision (driving too fast for conditions or curve, false assumptions of others’ actions, illegal maneuver, misjudgment of gaps or speeds, etc.), performance (overcompensation, poor directional control, etc.), and non-performance (sleep and others).

Vehicle Related Causes

Vehicle-related critical reasons include malfunctioning of the tires or wheel, brakes, steering, suspension, transmission, engine or other/unknown. The study was only able to use externally visible information, thus contributing to the large other/unknown vehicular-related factors.

Environment Related Causes

Environment-related critical reasons include slick roads, glare, view obstructions, fog, rain, snow, road design, weather conditions, or other factors.

If you have been the victim of an auto accident call (512) 474-0222 soon to find out more about your rights and options. McMinn Law Firm offers free consultations with lawyers experienced with Austin car accident cases.