National and state government reports tell us that there were 205,532 motor vehicle accidents in Indiana in 2014 that caused injury or property damage, and 821 fatal traffic accidents in Indiana in 2015, of which 178 involved drunk driving.
At Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC, our car accident and truck accident attorneys assist the people harmed in accidents like these. We work to ensure that those who are responsible for motor vehicle accidents are held accountable, and the innocent victims are properly compensated for their losses.
Part of our work for car and truck accident clients is to investigate how the crashes happened and why. Based on our experience, which as a law firm dates to 1999, as well as information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) and other sources, we have developed a list of the most common reasons car accidents occur in Indiana.
What Are the Main Causes of Car Wrecks in Indiana?
Here are our five most likely reasons that car wrecks occur in Indiana:
#1: Unsafe Driving in Indiana
Most collisions are caused by unsafe driving. These accidents happen because one driver did something that was unsafe. The most common types of unsafe driving behavior that are cited in car crashes are following too closely and failing to yield the right of way.
An investigation by WRTV 6 in Indianapolis cited statistics that said rear-end crashes caused by following too closely were by far the most common accident on Indiana roads. Indiana state troopers told WRTV that so many drivers tailgated the cars ahead of them that there is little police can do about it until a crash occurs.
The most recent Indiana Criminal Justice Institute Crash Facts report says unsafe driving also includes:
- Unsafe backing in Indiana
- Driving too fast for weather conditions in Indiana
- Unsafe lane movement in Indiana
- Disregarding traffic signs and signals in Indiana
- Improper turning in Indiana
- Improper lane usage in Indiana
- Unsafe speed in Indiana
- Driving left of center in Indiana
- Improper passing in Indiana
- Driving wrong direction on a one-way street in Indiana
If another driver is cited for any of these common accident causes in a crash in which you were injured, then you may have a legal right to seek compensation for your injuries and other losses.
#2: Distracted Driving in Indiana
With the advent of cell phones and other personal electronic devices in the last two decades, more people have divided attention behind the wheel. This is particularly true of young drivers, among whom 71 percent say they have engaged in texting while driving, according to the NHTSA.
The ICJI says 5,527 collisions in Indiana in 2014, including eight fatalities, were caused by distracted driving.
Most distracted driving crashes in Indiana were blamed on an “unspecified distraction”, while nearly 400 were attributed to the use of a cell phone or other electronic device.
Anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the task of driving is a potentially dangerous distraction. This includes:
- Adjusting a radio, CD player, or other music player
- Talking to passengers
- Dealing with pets
- Eating and drinking
- Reading, including maps
- Using a navigation system
- Watching a video.
If a driver fails to brake before a crash, it may be an indication that the driver was distracted. If distracted driving is suspected, our attorneys can obtain the cell phone records of the at-fault driver to determine whether the driver was using the phone at the time the crash occurred.
#3: Driver Impairment
Driving while impaired remains the cause of nearly one third of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the U.S.
Thousands of drivers are found to be intoxicated after accidents each year in Indiana. Each of those crashes was preventable.
Drivers also may be impaired by lack of adequate sleep. Drowsy driving or falling asleep at the wheel was cited as the primary contributing factor in 1,399 collisions in Indiana in 2014, five of which were fatal. In addition, 706 drivers in crashes were impaired by illness.
#4: Commercial Trucks in Indiana
Large commercial trucks such as tractor-trailers, semis, tanker trucks and flatbeds cause many serious accidents on Indiana roads.
An ICJI report about commercial motor vehicles says 8 percent of the 205,532 collisions reported in Indiana in 2014 involved large trucks. When a commercial truck and a passenger car collide, it is usually the occupants of the smaller vehicle who suffer more severe injuries. There were 147 people killed in truck and bus collisions in Indiana in 2014. Nearly 90 percent of the victims were occupants of cars and other smaller vehicles.
#5: Other Factors in Indiana
Many thousands of car accidents are not any one person’s fault. The 2014 Indiana Crash Facts report says the primary contributing factors in 24,485 crashes were environmental factors such as bad weather or a slick highway.
Even responsible drivers crash in inclement weather such as a driving rain. But careless drivers may contribute to a crash by driving too fast for weather conditions.
Environmental factors may also include poor road conditions or an obstruction in the road. The local or state government agency responsible for maintaining the roadway where a crash has occurred may be liable for a road hazard that causes an accident.
Vehicle equipment failures also may cause injuries or deaths. Sometimes vehicle failure is due to faulty components or systems, such as tires, airbags, brakes, or steering. A tire blowout, for example, can cause a driver to lose control and the vehicle to hit another. A manufacturer may issue a recall and repair defective parts when numerous accidents are blamed on a particular vehicle component, such as airbags. Manufacturers should provide adequate warning of defects. If the defect causes harm, the manufacturer may be liable through a product liability lawsuit.
Contact Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC About an Indiana Car Accident
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident caused by another’s carelessness or disregard for safety, you may have a legal right to seek repayment for the costs and losses the crash has caused. The dedicated attorneys at Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC investigate Indiana car accidents on behalf of drivers, passengers and others injured through no fault of their own.
Contact us for a free legal consultation about your options for pursuing a claim with the assistance of Craig, Kelley and Faultless car accident lawyers.
Still researching? Here are a few car accident resources to help you get the information you need: