San Antonio, TX-Accident reports can provide critical information to accident victims, insurance adjusters, personal injury lawyers, and traffic safety agencies. But a recent study from the National Safety Council found that accident reports in all 50 states lack critical information that could help prevent deadly traffic crashes and invaluable to personal injury and wrongful death claims.
Traffic Accidents on the Rise
Over the past decade fatal traffic accidents were on the decline, but the past couple of years has seen a reverse in the downward trend. Estimates from the National Safety Council point to 2016 being the deadliest year on the streets and highways across the U.S. since 2017.
The NSC reports that there was a 6 percent increase deadly traffic accidents over 2016 and a 14 percent increase over 2014. With a rise in deadly crashes it’s important for federal agencies and safety advocates understand what’s behind the increase, but sometimes that information is elusive because accident reports don’t have enough information.
Why Do Accident Reports Matter?
Accident reports matter because they can give insight and help pinpoint the cause of an accident when the cause is not clear. They also provide invaluable information to federal agencies and safety advocates to help develop equipment, policies, and technology to make the streets less deadly for motorists. Even though accident reports are critical learning tools, the forms used by law enforcement in each state leave out causes and bits of information that could help prevent accidents.
The National Safety Council study found that some states omit critical information on accident reports. Below is a list of omitted categories and the number of states that leave them off accident reports according to NSC:
26 states do not have a category for texting and driving
48 states do not have3 a box to record hand-held cell phone use
32 states lack a place to record thy type of drug in drugged driving cases
47 states fail to record when onboard infotainment systems are involved in crashes
Some data points missing from Texas accident forms include:
Use of onboard infotainment systems
Driver’s speed prior to crash
Specific drugs in a DUI driver’s system
Overall, the NSC found 23 categories of crash-related information omitted from accident reports in all 50 states.
How Important are Accident Reports to Injury or Wrongful Death Claims?
When the person who hit you was on drugs, distracted or engaging in other negligent behaviors hurts you, you need proof of their actions to obtain compensation. An accident report can provide proof of negligence and in most cases, insurance companies require victims produce an accident report before they award compensation. So, accident reports are critical to accident victims.
A lack of sufficient information on accident reports can hamper lead to a lesser settlement than a victim deserves because these forms often omit information that point to the cause of an accident. If you need to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim, contact an accident lawyer in San Antonio, Texas. USAttorneys has a dedicated team of injury lawyers to work on your claim and begin gathering all relevant evidence including accident reports. We can help you find a local attorney to meet with and discuss your accident claim.