According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 36% of all motor vehicle fatalities in Texas were due to single vehicle accidents in 2015, resulting in the deaths of 1,255 people. When a single vehicle accident occurs, most people assume the driver is at fault. However, there are some instances where this is not the case.
Through the years, there have been numerous legal cases involving single vehicle accidents that were caused by faulty tires or defective cars, trucks or motorcycles. Another cause of single vehicle accidents can be road conditions.
The governmental entities that control and maintain our roads have a legal duty to ensure the roads are kept in a safe condition. However, liability may not be imposed against state or federal government agencies due to governmental immunity. Today, however, private contractors do a lot of the maintenance, repair and construction work on Texas roads and highways. If their negligence in designing, constructing or maintaining these roads causes serious injury or death, they may be held legally responsible.
Some of the more common road and highway defects include:
- Depressions in a road or highway. These depressions can be caused by deterioration of the road or improper construction of the road when it was first built. These depressions can cause water to puddle, which poses a hydroplane hazard during wet weather.
- Dangerous curves. Just like in racetracks, curves on Texas roads need to be properly banked or have guardrails. If either of these two safety features is not present, a vehicle can leave the road resulting in a crash.
- Improper highway painting. Today, many warnings and directions are painted on our highways. If the paint is allowed to fade or is improperly maintained, important warnings can be lost, resulting in fatal accidents.
- Improperly maintained intersections. Whether it is tall grass, hanging trees, hedges or other objects, an obstructed view can hide yield and stop signs, resulting in crashes.
- Failure to have rumble strips on roads. Unfortunately, too many drivers operate a vehicle while tired or distracted. These lifesaving markings in the road can alert an unfocused driver when he or she is crossing the centerline or going off the road.
- Improperly maintained shoulders. Shoulders or roads that have sharp drop-offs can cause a car to leave the road or cause a driver to overcorrect and cross the road, both of which can result in serious if not fatal collisions.
If someone you know or love has been seriously or fatally injured in a single vehicle collision, you should have that collision properly investigated. Sometimes the fault is with the driver, but other times the fault may be with the vehicle or the road. Only a thorough investigation can make that determination.
If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of an accident, our Texas personal injury attorneys have the experience and resources to help you through this difficult time and obtain just compensation for your injuries. Please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.