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What Are The Common Causes of Car Accidents in Houston?

Understanding Common Causes and Avoiding Collisions

Houston is known for its vibrant culture, booming economy, and well, its traffic.  Driving through the many freeways and busy streets can be difficult, leading to a high number of car accidents each year. Our car accident lawyer in Houston will help you understand the reasons behind these accidents and give you tips to drive more safely in Houston.

Whether you’re a seasoned Houston driver or a newcomer to the city’s unique roadways, understanding the common causes of car accidents is crucial. By recognizing these red flags, you can significantly reduce your risk of becoming involved in a collision and ensure a safer driving experience for yourself and others.

Quick Summary: 

  • Car accidents occur when vehicles collide with each other or objects, causing damage, injuries, or even death.  Houston’s busy freeways and streets contribute to a significant number of car accidents each year.
  • Major causes include distracted driving, speeding, running red lights, drunk driving, poor weather conditions, reckless driving, failing to yield, inexperienced drivers, vehicle defects, and poor road conditions.
  • To avoid accidents, drivers should stay focused, follow speed limits, obey traffic signals, avoid driving under the influence, be cautious in bad weather, avoid aggressive driving, use turn signals, maintain a safe distance, regularly maintain their vehicles, be extra careful in construction zones, learn defensive driving, plan routes, and avoid driving when tired.
  • In Houston, car accident claims must generally be filed within two years of the accident date, with some exceptions.

A little knowledge can go a long way, especially on the road. By understanding the common causes of Houston car accidents, you’re taking a proactive step towards protecting yourself, your loved ones, and your finances. 

What are Car Accidents? 

Car accidents happen when vehicles crash into each other or hit objects like trees, buildings, or pedestrians. These accidents can occur for many reasons, such as driver mistakes, bad road conditions, broken car parts, or bad weather. Car accidents can be minor, with little damage, or very serious, causing major injuries or even death. They usually result in damage to cars and property, injuries to the people involved, and sometimes legal trouble for those responsible.

What Causes Car Accidents in Houston? 

Houston’s busy roads can be dangerous, and it’s important to know what causes car accidents so you can avoid them. Here are some common causes of car accidents in Houston:

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving happens when drivers do something that takes their attention away from the road. This can include texting, talking on the phone, eating, or even changing the radio station. When drivers are not focused, they can easily miss important signs or sudden changes in traffic, leading to accidents.

Speeding

Speeding is when drivers go faster than the speed limit. Speed limits are set to keep everyone safe, and driving too fast makes it harder to stop quickly if something unexpected happens. Speeding can cause serious accidents because it reduces the driver’s reaction time and makes crashes more severe.

Running Red Lights and Stop Signs

Some drivers ignore red lights and stop signs, thinking they can quickly get through an intersection without stopping. This is very dangerous because other drivers and pedestrians expect cars to stop. Running red lights and stop signs can lead to collisions that cause serious injuries.

Drunk Driving

Drinking alcohol and then driving is illegal and extremely dangerous. Alcohol impairs a driver’s ability to think clearly, react quickly, and control the vehicle. Drunk driving is a major cause of accidents and can result in severe injuries or fatalities.

Poor Weather Conditions

Bad weather, like heavy rain, fog, or storms, can make driving difficult. Wet or icy roads are slippery, making it harder for drivers to control their cars. Reduced visibility during fog or heavy rain also makes it challenging to see other vehicles and road signs, leading to accidents.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving includes behaviors like aggressive driving, tailgating (following too closely), and weaving in and out of traffic. These actions are dangerous because they increase the chances of making mistakes and causing accidents.

Failing to Yield

Yielding means letting another car go first, usually at intersections or when merging into traffic. Some drivers fail to yield when they should, causing crashes. It’s important to pay attention to road signs and signals to know when to yield.

Inexperienced Drivers

New drivers may not have the experience needed to handle all driving situations. They might make mistakes like misjudging distances, not checking blind spots, or panicking in heavy traffic. These errors can lead to accidents.

Vehicle Defects

Sometimes, accidents happen because of problems with the car itself. Faulty brakes, tire blowouts, or steering issues can cause a driver to lose control. Regular maintenance and safety checks can help prevent these problems.

Road Conditions

Poor road conditions, such as potholes, uneven surfaces, or debris on the road, can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles. Construction zones can also be hazardous if drivers are not careful.

Understanding these common causes can help you be more aware of the risks and take steps to drive safely. Always stay focused, follow traffic laws, and be mindful of road conditions to reduce the chances of getting into an accident.

How Can I Avoid Car Accidents?

Driving in Houston can be challenging because of the busy roads and heavy traffic. However, there are several things you can do to avoid car accidents and stay safe. Here are some important tips:

Stay Focused on the Road

Always keep your attention on driving. Avoid distractions like texting, talking on the phone, eating, or adjusting the radio. If you need to do something that takes your focus away from driving, pull over to a safe spot first.

Follow Speed Limits

Follow the posted speed limits, as they are set for your safety and help prevent accidents. Driving too fast makes it harder to stop quickly and worsens crashes. Adjust your speed for road and weather conditions, even if it means going slower than the speed limit.

Obey Traffic Signals and Signs

Always stop at red lights and stop signs. Pay attention to yield signs and let other cars go when it’s their turn. Following these rules helps prevent collisions at intersections, which are common places for accidents.

Never Drive Under the Influence

Never drive if you have been drinking alcohol or using drugs, as they impair your ability to drive safely. If you plan to drink, arrange for a designated driver, call a taxi, or use a ride-sharing service.

Be Cautious in Bad Weather

In rain, fog, or storms, slow down and be extra careful, using your headlights to see better and increasing the distance from the car in front. If the weather is very bad, consider pulling over and waiting until it improves.

Avoid Aggressive Driving

Stay calm and patient on the road. Don’t tailgate (follow too closely), weave in and out of traffic, or speed. Aggressive driving increases the risk of accidents and can make other drivers nervous, leading to mistakes.

Use Your Turn Signals

Always use your turn signals when changing lanes or making turns. This lets other drivers know what you’re doing and helps prevent accidents. Check your blind spots before you make a move to ensure it’s safe.

Keep a Safe Distance

Maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you. This gives you enough time to stop if the other car suddenly brakes. A good rule is to stay at least three seconds behind the car in front of you; increase this distance in bad weather or heavy traffic.

Regularly Maintain Your Vehicle

Keep your car in good condition by having regular maintenance checks. Ensure your brakes, tires, lights, and other critical parts are working properly. Well-maintained cars are less likely to have mechanical failures that can cause accidents.

Be Extra Careful in Construction Zones

Slow down and pay close attention in construction zones. Follow any posted signs or instructions from workers. Construction zones can have unexpected lane changes, workers on the road, and debris, so it’s important to be cautious.

Learn Defensive Driving

Defensive driving means being aware of other drivers and anticipating potential problems. Always be prepared for unexpected actions from other drivers, such as sudden stops or lane changes. Stay alert and be ready to react to avoid accidents.

Plan Your Route

Before you start driving, plan your route and know where you’re going. Use a GPS or map to avoid getting lost or making sudden, unsafe turns. If you’re unfamiliar with an area, give yourself extra time to reach your destination.

Avoid Driving When Tired

Don’t drive if you’re feeling very tired. Fatigue can slow your reaction time and impair your judgment, similar to the effects of alcohol. If you’re tired, take a break or ask someone else to drive.

By following these tips, you can reduce your risk of getting into a car accident in Houston. Always stay focused, drive responsibly, and be aware of your surroundings to keep yourself and others safe on the road.

Is There a Time Limit in Filing a Car Accident? 

Yes, there is a time limit for filing a car accident claim in Houston, known as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim, including car accidents, is generally two years from the date of the accident. This means you have two years to file a lawsuit if you were injured in a car accident.

Here are some important details about the statute of limitations:

Personal Injury Claims

If you were injured in a car accident, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. This applies to seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related damages.

Property Damage Claims

If you are only seeking compensation for damage to your vehicle or other property, you also have two years from the date of the accident to file a property damage claim.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are some exceptions to the two-year rule:

  • If the injured person is a minor, the statute of limitations may be extended until the minor turns 18.
  • If the injured person is mentally incapacitated, the statute of limitations may be extended.
  • If the defendant (the person being sued) leaves the state of Texas for a certain period, the time they are out of state may not count towards the two-year limit.

Government Claims

If your car accident involved a government vehicle or occurred due to the actions of a government employee, you may have to follow a different process and shorter deadlines. For example, claims against city or county governments often require you to file a notice of claim within six months of the accident.

File your claim as soon as possible to avoid missing the deadline, as waiting can make it harder to gather evidence and find witnesses. If you’re unsure about deadlines or need help, consult a car accident lawyer in Houston for guidance and assistance with the legal process.

Call Our Car Accident Lawyer in Houston Today! 

Understanding the common causes of car accidents in Houston is essential for staying safe on the road. By being aware of the dangers of distracted driving, speeding, running red lights, and other risky behaviors, you can take proactive steps to protect yourself and others. Always stay focused, obey traffic laws, and drive defensively. 

Wadler Law, a personal injury lawyer in Houston, is here to help you. We can help you identify common causes of accidents. We can equip you with strategies and ensure you are well informed. If you require other legal guidance in other areas such as catastrophic injury, premises liability, construction sites accidents, and more. ,  

Safe driving is not just about protecting yourself; it’s about ensuring the safety of everyone on the road. By following these guidelines and being mindful of common accident causes, you can contribute to making Houston’s roads safer for everyone. Call us now to know more and for a free consultation. 

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