Traffic fatalities are a major problem in the United States. Each day, motorists make various decisions while behind the wheel of their cars that put themselves and others at risk – from texting while driving to operating a vehicle while intoxicated. These are just some of many reckless driving behaviors that make it on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) list of driver behaviors that cause the most fatal accidents.
In-depth study reveals top factors in vehicular deaths
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the NHTSA conducted an exhaustive study on vehicular fatalities in 2019. They found that the top factors contributing to fatal car crashes are:
- Speed: This is the leading cause of fatal car crashes in 2019. It resulted in at least 8,746 people or 17% of all motorists’ deaths.
- Intoxication: Alcohol or illicit or prescription drug use are collectively to blame for the second-highest rates of vehicular fatalities in 2019. They claimed 5,164 or 10.1% of the overall decedent’s lives that year.
- Failure to yield to the right of way: Resulted in 3,728 or 7.3% of deaths.
- Failure to stay in the proper lane: Left 3,381 or 6.6% of motorists dead.
- Careless vehicle operation: Resulted in 3,302 or 6.5% of motorists dying.
- Distracted driving: This may include talking on the phone, eating, shaving, reading, conversing with a vehicle’s other occupants or putting n make-up. This resulted in 3,008 or 5.9% of motorist’s deaths in 2019.
The NHTSA cited various unidentified factors as causing 5,549 or 10.9% of all fatal accidents in 2019.
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