Four Leading Causes of Fatal Injuries from Car Crashes in Iowa

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Posted by Tim Semelroth

Every year, hundreds of people in Iowa are killed in car crashes.  In 2015 alone, 320 people were killed on Iowa roads.  While a list of the main causes of these car accidents contains no surprises to experienced drivers, it serves as an important reminder to everyone who gets behind the wheel. If you have had a loved one who suffered death in a car accident or as a result of car accident injuries at the fault of another driver, contact a wrongful death attorney to learn your rights.

Cause #1:  Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is the leading cause of car accidents in the United States.  Whether talking or texting on a cell phone, chatting with a  passenger, turning up the radio, or simply looking out the window, distracted driving results in more car crash fatalities than anything else.  While most people seem to understand how dangerous distracted driving can be, the majority of drivers in America still participate in distracting behavior while behind the wheel.

Cause #2:  Bad Weather

In Iowa, we experience all four seasons, which means we deal with several different kinds of bad weather.   In the winter, ice, snow, and sleet all create dangerous road conditions.  The rest of the year, Iowans must deal with rain, high winds, and fog.  Slick roads can cause cars to slip and skid.  Lack of visibility can cause people follow too closely and slam into the back of motorists who are slowing down ahead of them.

Cause #3:  Speeding

Going above the speed limit can quickly make a bad situation worse.  Even if your reaction time to roadway obstacles like debris or slower traffic is good, it takes longer to brake if you’re going faster.  Many people continue to speed even during bad weather – doubling the risk of a crash. There is also the problem of drivers using very different speeds on the same road.  For example, on Interstate 380 in Cedar Rapids, many people slow down for the speed cameras and then speed through the rest of downtown.  This can cause a dangerous condition even when the weather is ideal.

Cause #4:  Drowsy Driving

It’s not discussed as regularly as some of the others, but drowsy driving is a clear cause of fatal crashes.  The majority of drowsy driving accidents occur at night, but people can fall asleep behind the wheel at any time of day.  Even if someone doesn’t fall completely asleep, studies show that drowsy drivers have slowed reactions to events on the road.  As we have already discussed, slowed reaction time can be deadly – particularly in bad weather or if the drowsy driver is also speeding.

Even though the situations I’ve just described seem easy enough to avoid, they still cause more fatal car wrecks in Iowa every year than other causes.  Being aware of these dangerous behaviors can help you avoid them.

If you have further questions about auto accidents in Iowa or have been affected by the death of a loved one after an auto accident, download our free Law Guide to Iowa Auto Accident Claims. The personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at RSH Legal want to help you.

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