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How Fatal Vehicle Accidents Happen, and How You Can Prevent Them


There are certain driving behaviors that lend themselves to fatal car accidents more often than others:

  • Failure to maintain lane is the most common behavior that results in a fatal accident in Oklahoma.
  • The state ranks 5th in the nation for fatal accidents resulting from failure to yield.
  • Drunk driving results in fatal accidents more often than it does in most of the nation.

This trend is reflected in an Auto Insurance Center report that deaths from drunken driving are more prevalent in rural areas that lack public transportation.

In 2012, the last year for which data is available, large trucks accounted for 13.1% of all fatal crashes in the state. Of states with the most fatal accidents involving large commercial trucks, Oklahoma ranks 8th with 3.3%, just behind North Carolina (3.5%) and Ohio (3.8%). In short, Oklahoma is a dangerous place to drive.

How do accidents happen?

The proximate causes of vehicle accidents are overwhelmingly attributed to driver error. Driver error is most often the result of distraction. The National Safety Council released a report titled “The Great Multitasking Lie.” In it, they detail how the myth of multitasking convinces people that they are able to perform multiple tasks equally well at the same time.

The reality of the situation is quite different. The NSC says, “Contrary to popular belief, the human brain cannot multitask. Driving and talking on a cell phone are two thinking tasks that involve many areas of the brain. Instead of processing both simultaneously, the brain rapidly switches between two cognitive activities.”

When drivers are distracted, especially when those drivers are operating multi-ton commercial trucks, people die. While driver error accounts for a significant amount of fatal accidents, there are other contributing factors. Bad weather, for instance, increases fatal accident rates significantly. According to Business Insider, in Oklahoma in particular, more fatal accidents occur during rain, sleet and fog than during any other weather condition.

Prevent fatal accidents by preventing distracted driving

Poor vehicle maintenance can be a contributing factor, but a mechanical failure can often be controlled by an alert and in-control driver. Keeping you and your loved ones safe on the road is as simple as turning off your phone while the vehicle is in motion. Reduce distractions by keeping young children busy with activities or entertainment. Above all, keep your attention where belongs; on the road.

Unfortunately, accidents happen all the time, and when they do, the lives of accident victims and their families can change forever. If you or someone you know was injured in a motor vehicle accident in you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced Oklahoma truck and car accident attorneys at Stipe Law Firm can help get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation in our McAlester office.