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What Percentage of Car Accidents Are Caused by Human Error?

drowsy driving accident

It likely comes as no surprise to you that the majority of car accidents are linked to some type of human error. People worry about an increase in car accidents when we move to a driverless car model, but in fact, this move could actually prevent accidents and save millions of dollars.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may wonder who’s to blame. Is it the driver, road signs, or a defective component? Chances are good that blame can be traced back to one or both of the drivers. To discuss your accident and your legal options with our personal injury team, call Pack Law Group at 540-586-7225.

What the Statistics Say

When you look at car accident statistics, you’ll find that many sources say that between 90% and 93% of car accidents are traced back to human error. Almost all of these citations go back to a 1979 study that claimed human errors and deficiencies cause up to 93% of crashes. However, subsequent research has backed up this number, indicating that it is a reliable statistic. While numbers may have dropped some over the years with the addition of safety features like blind spot detectors, lane change assistance, and rearview cameras, human nature is still human nature.

One of the most notable sources for this number is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which conducted an extensive study into crash investigation, coding, and avoidance. If you parse out the numbers from the study, they also find that driver error is the deciding factor in 93% of crashes.

In general, traffic accident numbers have been on the rise in recent years. While numbers for some types of accidents have declined, including drowsy driving fatalities and fatalities caused by distracted driving, other dangerous driver behaviors have increased.

Common Errors Leading to Car Accidents

What does “human error” mean and which driver behaviors are most often linked to car accidents? While statistics vary between regions of the country, the same types of errors crop up again and again. Many car accidents are linked to behaviors like:

  • Distracted driving
    • Texting and driving
    • Eating or drinking
    • Talking to others in the vehicle
    • Using GPS or other in-vehicle tools
  • Fatigued driving
  • Driving while impaired
  • Speeding above the posted speed limit or too fast for conditions
  • Unsafe behavior around motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians
  • Failure to use turn signals
  • Ignoring road signs and safety guidance

What This Means for Car Accident Victims

This information can be helpful for car accident victims. After a crash, the liable driver often tries to deflect blame. They may claim that they did hit the brakes, but the brakes failed. They may claim that they used their turn signal, but it did not light up and indicate their turn.

Of course, these issues can happen. Vehicles are not flawless, and manufacturing or repair errors can cause crashes. However, in the majority of cases, these excuses aren’t true. It comes down to human error or misjudgment.

This may make it easier for the victim of a crash to get the compensation they deserve from the liable party. While a crash involving defective parts may involve suits against the driver, the vehicle manufacturer, and the repair facility, an accident involving driver negligence can often be settled exclusively with the driver’s insurance provider.

Information on driver error is also valuable for all drivers. Too often, experienced drivers become complacent and believe that their years of accident-free driving mean that their judgment is perfect. However, judgment errors can happen to anyone at any time. Knowing what the most common human errors are can help drivers stay attentive and avoid errors that can cause crashes and cost them thousands of dollars.

Get Help with Your Car Accident Claim

Have you been hurt in a car accident? If you aren’t sure what your next step is, the team at Pack Law Group is here to help. We know how a car accident can derail your life and challenge your ability to provide for yourself. You have options. Discuss your case in greater detail by setting up a consultation with our team today. Call us at 540-586-7225 or reach out online to get started.

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