human error and car accidents

What Percentage of Car Accidents Are Caused by Human Error?

According to widespread research, most traffic accidents occur because of some type of human error. Indiana University conducted a groundbreaking study that found that human factors are the primary reason or contributory element in 93 percent of the accidents investigated.

The study also found that between 12 and 34 percent of the accidents occurred due to environmental factors (for instance, slick roads). By comparison, four to 13 percent occurred due to automobile factors (such as tire issues, brake failure, etc.). The three primary human factors that are most frequently cited in the study are:

  • Speeding
  • Inattentiveness
  • Improper lookout

Other accident studies have reported similar findings, and these studies have provided a lot of valuable information. Despite this, initiatives to reduce the incidence of such errors have only seen limited success.

Recognition Errors

Recognition errors refer to those errors that occur due to a motorist’s inability to identify, view, or recognize an issue or change in the conditions on the road. In case a driver is not attentive on the road, is distracted when behind the wheel, or is not appropriately observing conditions around them, it could lead to a recognition error causing an accident.

The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that a large number of fatal accidents take place due to recognition errors. Nearly 5.7 percent of fatal accidents happen because of distracted motorists.

Decision Errors

In case a motorist is attentively observing the roadway and conditions around them but fails to appropriately evaluate the safety of a particular choice, they could have made a decision error. Some common decision errors are as follows:

  • Driving at an excessive speed according to the weather conditions
  • Misjudging the actions of others
  • Undertaking illegal maneuvers
  • Miscalculating the distance between vehicles
  • Driving at high speeds around a curve

In many fatal accidents, the above are crucial factors. According to the III, almost 17 percent of fatal accidents occur due to driving at speeds that are excessive for specific conditions or driving above the speed limit. Over seven percent of fatal accidents occur due to the inability to yield the right-of-way. In comparison, the failure to adhere to traffic signs or signals causes four percent of deadly crashes.

Performance Errors

Performance errors occur due to actual physical mistakes on the part of drivers. It’s vital to note that these are distinct from decision errors that happen due to lapses in judgment.

Performance errors take place when a driver recognizes a hazard, appropriately assesses it but makes a mistake in their physical execution. Some examples of such errors are overcompensation and poor directional control.

Overcorrecting leads to 3.5 percent of fatal car accidents in the US, while the inability to remain in the proper lane leads to over seven percent of deadly crashes.

Drunk Driving

It is an unfortunate reality that many car crashes occur due to motorist impairment. If the person behind the wheel is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, they not only put themselves in harm’s way but are a considerable risk to passengers and other motorists on the road.

Distracted Driving

Today, we live in a high-tech world that offers countless distractions, especially when on the road. A distraction is any action that takes a driver’s hands off the wheel, attention away from the task of driving, or eyes of the road.

Drowsy Driving

A sad reality is that only a small percentage of the population gets the recommended number of hours of sleep each day. Consequently, fatigued motorists commonly operate vehicles on our roads.

Reckless Operation of Vehicles

There are various ways in which recklessness occurs on roads, such as drivers running red lights or stop signs. Drivers who do not yield the right-of-way to other motorists or pedestrians also engage in the reckless operation of vehicles.

Another example is motorists driving their vehicles at speeds over the legal limit or at a speed that is too excessive for specific road conditions. Motorists making hazardous lane changes also constitute reckless driving. Such flouting of the rules of the road and hazardous actions can pose a threat to others.

Contact Stone Crosby for Help with Your Alabama Car Crash Claim

If you or a loved one got injured in a car accident in Alabama, Stone Crosby is here to help. Contact our Daphne, AL attorneys today at (251) 626-6696 or message us online for a free consultation and case assessment.