Does Driver Error Cause Wrecks? | Studinski Law, LLC
November 26, 2021

What Percent of Crashes Are Caused by Driver Error?

While there are numerous reasons why auto accidents occur, the vast majority of wrecks are caused by human error. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that approximately 94 percent of motor vehicle crashes are caused by dangerous errors or choices made by drivers.

The truth is that no matter how cautious you may be as a driver, you cannot control the actions – or the inaction – of other drivers. In an instant, someone else’s lapse of attention behind the wheel can turn your life upside down.

At Studinski Law, LLC, our experienced car accident lawyers have been helping clients in the Plover and Marshfield areas of Wisconsin for decades. We have seen the devastation that negligent drivers can inflict on the lives of injury victims and their families. If you were hurt in a crash caused by someone else’s error on the road, you deserve justice for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and time away from work. 

What Types of Driver Errors Cause the Most Accidents?

1. Recognition Error – 41%

Recognition errors occur when a driver fails to properly assess a situation in order to react accordingly. This type of error is caused by drivers who fail to see, identify, or recognize obstacles, hazards, or changes in road conditions.

Common factors that contribute to recognition errors include:

  • Internal and external distractions: Distracted driving remains one of the leading causes of car accidents in the U.S. Internal distractions include activities such as texting, cell phone use, and adjusting controls. External distractions can involve anything outside of a vehicle that distracts someone from the task of driving. 
  • Driver’s inattention: This can include “zoning out” or becoming so involved in daydreaming, singing along to music, or other activity that you lose focus of the road and traffic.
  • Inadequate surveillance: Driving requires your full attention on every aspect of the road, not just your immediate surroundings. When drivers fail to adequately identify potential dangers in the road in front of them, the lanes beside them, changes in traffic speed, construction, or road conditions, accidents can occur.

2. Decision Error – 33%

Decision errors occur when a driver recognizes a dangerous situation but chooses to respond in the wrong way.

These errors can include decisions such as:

  • Driving too fast for conditions: Speed limit signs indicate the appropriate speed under ideal conditions. Drivers need to slow down in snowy, rainy, windy, or foggy conditions or in situations where there is heavy traffic.
  • Driving too fast for the curve: Even a gradual curve must be approached with a certain level of caution and awareness. When navigating a curve, drivers should slow down before the curve and accelerate as they come out of it. Taking a curve too fast can result in a rollover accident, especially with large trucks and commercial vehicles.
  • False assumption of others’ actions: This involves a driver incorrectly believing he or she knows what another driver will do. For example, just because you engage your turn signal to change lanes does not necessarily mean that another driver will slow down to let you over. Making assumptions about other drivers’ choices can lead to serious and fatal crashes.

3. Performance Error – 11%

While decision errors involve a driver’s faulty judgment, performance errors describe actual physical mistakes made by drivers behind the wheel. These errors occur when a driver recognizes a danger, properly assesses the threat, but then errs in the physical execution of responding to the situation.

Performance errors can include:

  • Panicking/freezing: A moment of panic can cause a driver to completely freeze behind the wheel, preventing them from taking appropriate action. Panic can also cause a driver to take unnecessarily drastic maneuvers that threaten vehicles in other lanes.
  • Overcompensation: When a driver is confronted by a sudden and potentially dangerous situation, they may overreact, or overcompensate in steering away from the hazard, resulting in a serious collision or rollover accident.
  • Poor directional control: This describes accidents caused by a driver’s inability to properly keep a vehicle in its lane, or safely maneuver a turn or bend in the road.

4. Non-Performance Error – 7%

A non-performance error involves situations where a driver fails to take any action whatsoever to keep the vehicle on the road or avoid an accident. The most common example of this type of error is falling asleep at the wheel.

When drivers doze off behind the wheel, they are obviously no longer in control of their vehicles. These types of errors often result in dangerous and deadly wrecks.

5. Other – 8%

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Crash Stats report, eight percent of wrecks that are the result of human error do not fall into one of the categories above.

Call a Car Accident Attorney in Wisconsin

If you’ve been hurt in a car wreck caused by another driver’s careless or reckless behavior, contact a car accident lawyer at Studinski Law, LLC now. Our knowledgeable attorneys have helped many people throughout Wisconsin pursue the maximum compensation they need and deserve to move forward after a serious injury.

See our results.

Call Studinski Law, LLC today at (715) 343-2850 to discuss your case for free. Our car accident lawyers serve Plover, Marshfield, and other areas across Wisconsin.

Jason Studinski Injury Attorney
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