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Why Traffic Accidents Happen

Generally speaking, accidents happen because someone is negligent.

The law presumes an "ordinary prudent person" will take steps to avoid a foreseeable risk of harm to others.

A person who fails to take such steps (or who engages in activity which that person could reasonably foresee might harm others)is characterized by the law in Texas as negligent if, and only if, they actually cause physical harm to another.

The following contributing factors and conditions are identified on the standard Texas Peace Officer's Crash Report form as common causes of road accidents.

You should be able to spot which ones are attributable to negligence:

Animal on Road - Domestic
Animal on Road - Wild
Backed without Safety
Changed Lane when Unsafe
Disabled in Traffic Lane
Disregard Stop and Go Signal
Disregard Stop Sign or Light
Disregard Turn Marks at Intersection
Disregard Warning Sign at Construction
Distraction in Vehicle
Driver Inattention
Drove Without Headlights
Failed to Control Speed
Failed to Drive in Single Lane
Failed to Give Half of Roadway
Failed to Heed Warning Sign
Failed to Pass to Left Safely
Failed to Pass to Right Safely
Failed to Signal or Gave Wrong Signal
Failed to Stop at Proper Place
Failed to Stop for School Bus

Failed to Stop for Train
Failed to Yield ROW – Emergency Vehicle
Failed to Yield ROW – Open Intersection
Failed to Yield ROW – Private Drive
Failed to Yield ROW – Stop Sign
Failed to Yield ROW – To Pedestrian
Failed to Yield ROW – Turning Left
Failed to Yield ROW – Turn on Red
Failed to Yield ROW – Yield Sign
Fatigued or Asleep
Faulty Evasive Action
Fire in Vehicle
Fleeing or Evading Police
Followed Too Closely
Had Been Drinking
Handicapped Driver
Impaired Visibility
Improper Start from Parked Position
Load Not Secured
Opened Door Into Traffic Lane
Oversized Vehicle or Load

Overtake and Pass Insufficient Clearance
Parked and Failed to Set Brakes
Parked in Traffic Lane
Parked without Lights
Passed in No Passing Lane
Passed on Right Shoulder
Pedestrian FTYROW to Vehicle
Unsafe Speed
Speeding – (Over Limit)
Taking Medication
Turned Improperly – Cut Corner on Left
Turned Improperly – Wide Right
Turned Improperly – Wrong Lane
Turned when Unsafe
Under Influence – Alcohol
Under Influence – Drug
Wrong Side – Approach or Intersection
Wrong Side – Not Passing
Wrong Way – One Way Road
Cell/Mobile Phone Use
Road Rage