Common Causes of Minnesota Auto Accidents

Last year, 455 people died and over 33,000 were injured in motor vehicle accidents on Minnesota highways. Approximately 1.2 million die each year nationwide in traffic crashes, and the World Health Organization predicts a 65% increase in automobile fatalities by 2020. When we look at the most common causes for auto accidents, we see that the average motorists' primary hazards are the drivers themselves.

Distracted driving

Even talking on cell phones with a hands free device can be distracting for the driver. Texting or checking Email while driving has become a dangerous habit, and as of August 2008 it is illegal to use any wireless communication device to read, compose, or send an electronic message while driving in Minnesota.

Other distractions such as changing the radio, eating, shaving, applying make-up, reading newspapers or maps, passenger distractions, looking at scenery, and rubbernecking are common diversions that can pull the drivers attention away from the road.

Driving under the influence

It is estimated that over 11,000 people have died as a result of drunk driving incidents in 2008. It is estimated that one person dies every 30 minutes from an alcohol related automobile collision.

In 2003, impaired drivers accounted for 30% of weekday and 53% of weekend auto fatalities nationwide.

Aggressive driving

Tail gaiting, frequent and unsafe lane changes, excessive honking and not allowing others to merge are dangerous driving habits that contribute to auto collisions. Aggressive driving is more prevalent in urban areas where traffic congestion and the proximity to other aggressive drivers tends to contribute to this risky behavior.

Speeding

Running red lights, racing, and speeding are common causes of traffic collisions. Not only does speeding reduce the time a driver has to react to a traffic situation, it also significantly increases the force of impact in a car crash. The energy released in an impact more than doubles when a collision occurs at 60mph rather than 40mph, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.

Driver fatigue

Auto accidents due to drivers suffering from fatigue usually occur at the early hours of the morning and in the middle of the afternoon. Fatigue can often affect the skills of the driver before the motorist even feels any symptoms. Those who work erratic shifts are very likely to suffer driver fatigue and fall asleep at the wheel because of their irregular sleep patterns.

You can protect yourself while you are driving by following the rules of the road and being a responsible and alert motorist. Doing so would give you the opportunity to avoid a potentially perilous driving situation - if you had the chance to see it coming. If you were the unfortunate victim of an auto accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the skilled attorneys at Hazelton Law Firm today, and we will review your case for free.