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The Top 5 Causes of Car Accidents in Kansas

Every year, thousands of car accidents occur in the state of Kansas, leading to injuries, property damage and, in some cases, loss of life. Most of these accidents involve multiple vehicles. Identifying the main causes of accidents can be important in establishing liability for monetary damages.

According to a Kansas Department of Transportation report, the top five causes of car accidents in 2021 were the following, ranked in order of prevalence:

  1. Inattention (18.1 percent) — Also known as distracted driving, inattention is a leading cause of accidents both in Kansas and across the United States. It involves activities like texting, talking on the phone, eating or simply not paying full attention to the road.
  2. Animal strikes (13.2 percent) — Kansas, with its vast rural areas, experienced a significant incidence of motor vehicles hitting wild or domestic animals that strayed onto roadways. Collisions with heavy animals can cause damage to vehicles and injuries to occupants.
  3. Right-of-way violation (10.0 percent) — Accidents typically occur when drivers fail to yield the right of way to other vehicles or pedestrians, such as at intersections and crosswalks or while changing lanes.
  4. Following too closely (7.0 percent) — Also known as tailgating, this means failing to leave a reasonable gap between vehicles traveling in tandem, such as would allow time for the trailing car’s driver to react if the leading vehicle suddenly stops or slows down. It is a common cause of rear-end collisions.
  5. Driving too fast for conditions (6.0 percent) — Speeding in adverse weather, such as rain, snow, or ice, or on congested or damaged roadways, significantly impairs a driver’s ability to control their vehicle, leading to accidents.

Other major factors contributing to accidents were disregard of signs or signals, improper lane changes and careless or reckless driving. More than half of all accidents (55.7 percent) occurred on city streets, while about 30 percent happened on highways.

Since Kansas is a no-fault state, people injured in auto accidents must first look to their own insurance policy’s personal injury protection (PIP) coverage for medical expenses and other out-of-pocket costs. However, if you suffer serious injuries with costs exceeding your PIP limits, establishing fault for the accident becomes important to suing another driver for damages. You must be less than 50 percent at fault for the accident. You can recover not only your out-of-pocket costs but also non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

At Patrick C. Smith, Attorney at Law in Pittsburg, I help victims of Kansas car accidents get the maximum compensation allowed by law. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, please call my office at 620-308-6692 or contact me online to arrange a free initial consultation.

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