What Are the Top 10 Causes of Traffic Collisions in Texas

Total car crash accident in the city.

Car crashes happen on a daily basis in Texas, leaving victims to deal with serious injuries, deep emotional trauma, and property damage. Many of these collisions are wholly preventable if drivers had simply paid attention and taken seriously their responsibility to drive safely.

The attorneys at Fleming Law, P.C., take our responsibility to represent you seriously. We are ready to do everything in our power to seek justice if we were hurt due to someone else’s reckless or negligent actions.

To better understand how a collision happens and to shed some light on the serious problem of car accidents in Texas, we’ve provided a list of the Top 10 causes of traffic collisions in the state. By analyzing the trends and understanding the dangers that Texas drivers face on our roads and highways every day, you could be able to avoid a serious injury crash.

What Are the Top 10 Causes of Traffic Collisions in Texas

If you’ve already been hurt in a crash, know that legal help is available to you. It is normal to wonder what your rights are following an accident. You are likely concerned about how you’ll pay your medical bills and other expenses while you recover. Our attorneys are equipped to help you understand your rights and legal options. We’ll be here to answer any questions you may have.

Fleming Law, P.C., represents clients all over the greater Houston area. Call us or fill out an online contact form to schedule a free consultation to have our legal team review your case and help you understand your rights and legal options.

The Top 10 Causes of Traffic Collisions in Texas

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) divides its crash contributing factors report into rural crashes and urban crashes. TxDOT defines a rural area as roads in all areas of less than 5,000 population.

Statewide, the top 10 causes of rural crashes included:

  1. Failure to Control Speed — 139,131 total crashes, including 500 fatal crashes, 2,896 suspected severe injury crashes, 13,992 non-incapacitating injury crashes, 29,368 possible injury crashes, 88,443 non-injury crashes, and 3,932 unknown injury crashes.
  2. Driver Inattention — 89,037 total crashes, including 294 fatal crashes, 2,043 suspected severe injury crashes, 9,414 non-incapacitating injury crashes, 16,981 possible injury crashes, 56,884 non-injury crashes, and 3,421 unknown injury crashes.
  3. Failure to Drive in Single Lane — 37,488 total crashes, including 605 fatal crashes, 1,461 suspected severe injury crashes, 4,184 non-incapacitating injury crashes, 5,036 possible injury crashes, 22,123 non-injury crashes, and 4,079 unknown injury crashes.
  4. Unsafe Lane Change — 37,439 total crashes, including 55 fatal crashes, 447 suspected severe injury crashes, 2,282 non-incapacitating injury crashes, 4,821 possible injury crashes, 29,684 non-injury crashes, and 150 unknown injury crashes.
  5. Failure to Yield Turning Left — 31,986 total crashes, including 120 fatal crashes, 975 suspected severe injury crashes, 4,950 non-incapacitating injury crashes, 7,626 possible injury crashes, 18,226 non-injury crashes, and 89 unknown injury crashes.
  6. Failure to Yield at Stop Sign — 26,790 total crashes, including 114 fatal crashes, 766 suspected severe injury crashes, 3,557 non-incapacitating injury crashes, 6,018 possible injury crashes, 16,239 non-injury crashes, and 96 unknown injury crashes.
  7. Following Too Closely — 24,963 total crashes, including 16 fatal crashes, 363 suspected severe injury crashes, 2,309 non-incapacitating injury crashes, 5,863 possible injury crashes, 16,296 non-injury crashes, and 116 unknown injury crashes.
  8. Unsafe Speed — 23,793 total crashes, including 437 fatal crashes, 1,398 suspected severe injury crashes, 3,630 non-incapacitating injury crashes, 3,252 possible injury crashes, 13,656 non-injury crashes, and 1,420 unknown injury crashes.
  9. Faulty Evasive Action — 23,123 total crashes, including 240 fatal crashes, 1,031 suspected severe injury crashes, 3,342 non-incapacitating injury crashes, 3,973 possible injury crashes, 13,828 non-injury crashes, and 700 unknown injury crashes.
  10. Disregarding Stop and Go Signal — 20,591 total crashes, including 98 fatal crashes, 677 suspected severe injury crashes, 3,410 non-incapacitating injury crashes, 5,720 possible injury crashes, 10,608 non-injury crashes, and 78 unknown injury crashes.

TxDOT reported that 31,453 crashes classified as “other,” including 338 fatal crashes, 1,097 suspected severe injury crashes, 3,721 non-incapacitating injury crashes, 5,226 possible injury crashes, 19,184 non-injury crashes, and 1,887 unknown injury crashes. Another 33,197 cases were classified as “not applicable,” including 130 fatal crashes, 727 suspected severe injury crashes, 3,094 non-incapacitating injury crashes, 4,680 possible injury crashes, 21,467 non-injury crashes, and 3,819 unknown injury crashes.

According to TxDOT, the Top 10 causes of traffic collisions in rural areas were:

  1. Failure to Control Speed (31,484)
  2. Driver Inattention (18,005)
  3. Unsafe Speed (14,206)
  4. Failure to Drive in Single Lane (11,184)
  5. Faulty Evasive Action (7,660)
  6. Wild Animal on the Road (7,607)
  7. Unsafe Lane Change (6,158)
  8. Failure to Yield at Stop Sign (5,705)
  9. Failure to Yield Turning Left (5,387)
  10. Fatigued or Asleep (4,906)

In urban areas, the Top 10 causes were:

  • Failure to Control Speed (107,647)
  • Driver Inattention (71,032)
  • Unsafe Lane Change (31,281)
  • Failure to Yield Turning Left (26,599)
  • Failure to Drive in Single Lane (26,304)
  • Following Too Closely (21,916)
  • Failure to Yield at Stop Sign (21,085)
  • Disregard Stop and Go Signal (18,182)
  • Faulty Evasive Action (15,463)
  • Failure to Yield on Private Drive (15,146)

TxDOT reported that 7,920 rural crashes were classified as “other,” and 6,703 were “not applicable.” With urban accidents, 23,533 were classified as “other,” and 27,214 were “not applicable.”

Some of the crashes listed above resulted in a negligent driver possibly being issued a ticket for a traffic violation in connection with an accident. Failure to control speed, failure to yield, and following too closely are undoubtedly common citations that are issued in these types of cases.

It is important to note that a driver who is not charged or found not guilty of a traffic violation issued after an accident can still be held civilly liable. The negligent driver’s traffic violation will be a separate case from any personal injury action.

Some of the types of crashes listed above may not result in a ticket being issued. For example, driver inattention often involves distracted driving. Texas prohibits texting while driving as of 2017. A driver who was not texting still could have been distracted by a different activity. An attorney may be able to subpoena the phone records of the negligent driver in such cases to prove that a cell phone was being used at the time of a collision, and these records could be used to demonstrate negligence.

Keep in mind that the top causes listed by TxDOT are not all-inclusive. There are more than 50 categories of crashes in the TxDOT report, and a less common kind of collision could result in a person being injured just like one of the more frequent types of accidents.

Do I Need a Lawyer After a Collision in Texas?

You might not need a car accident attorney if you were involved in a minor collision that did not result in any injuries or significant property damage. In most other cases, however, you will likely benefit from having a lawyer.

An insurance company for a negligent driver will likely contact you after the crash. You should avoid saying anything to them until you have legal representation. Some insurers will have representatives attempt to get victims to inadvertently make damaging statements about their cases that are later used to claim the victim was negligent.

In other cases, an insurance company will offer a victim a lump-sum settlement to resolve the matter quickly and cheaply. You should know that these settlements are typically far less than what victims are entitled to, and people quickly find that the settlements do not cover all of the costs related to their injuries.

With an attorney, you will have somebody who can calculate what your case should be worth and then fight to help you seek the compensation you need and deserve.

Contact a Houston Car Accident Lawyer Today

Did you suffer severe injuries or was your loved one killed in a traffic collision in Texas? You could be entitled to compensation for all of your medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages.

Remember that time is limited to file an injury claim. In Texas, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a civil claim. Because it takes time to investigate and build a persuasive injury claim, it is vital that you contact an attorney for help as soon as possible.

Michael Fleming is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. You can have our experienced Houston car accident lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call us or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Michael P. Fleming

Michael P. Fleming is a highly experienced litigator who has argued and won a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a Houston resident who was twice elected to serve as the Harris County Attorney. He is also an avid runner who has completed eight marathons, to date, including two in Ireland. Only a small group of Texas lawyers are Board Certified as specialists in both Personal Injury Trial Law and Real Estate Law. Michael is one of them. He also proudly holds his B.A. degree from the University of Saint Thomas and his J.D. degree from the University of Houston College of Law.