South Dakota’s roads saw more deadly car crashes last year than in any other year since 2014. In 2020, 126 fatal wrecks caused 135 deaths, and there were many more accidents resulting in serious injuries and property damage. Being aware of the most common causes of car accidents can help South Dakota motorists operate safely and avoid mishaps.
Top Causes of Car Accidents
According to the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, the great majority of the state’s car crashes in 2020 resulted from wild animal strikes on the road. Striking an animal caused nearly twice as many accidents as any other factor did. It was also the only one of the top 17 crash causes that did not involve negligence on the part of a driver. The most common crash causes, in decreasing order, were:
- Striking an animal
- Failure to yield
- Driving too fast for road conditions
- Running off the road
- Failure to stay in lane
- Distracted driving
- Failure to obey traffic signs/signals
- Drunk driving
- Improper reversing
- Improper turn
- Driving over the speed limit
- Swerving/slippery surfaces
- Fatigue/falling asleep
- Unsafe passing
- Driving in the wrong lane/direction
If you’re injured in an animal strike accident and have the proper coverage, you can file a claim for damages with your own insurance company. If you’re hurt in a wreck resulting from any one of the other 16 causes, however, you’re the victim of negligence and may file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company for your:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Protecting Your Car Accident Claim
Filing a claim does not guarantee that you will recover damages. Insurance companies stay profitable by disputing and denying claims to save money. You can increase your chances for a successful claim by taking the following steps after a wreck if you’re physically able to do so.
- Move to a safe area.
- Take photos of damaged vehicles and the accident scene.
- Exchange information with the at-fault driver.
- Don’t admit any fault to anyone.
- Get contact information from witnesses.
- Stay at the scene and call 911.
- Report the accident to the police.
- Contact your insurance company.
- Seek medical attention right away.
- Consult an attorney.
Have You Been Injured in a South Dakota Car Crash? Contact Our Sioux Falls Car Accident Attorneys Today.
An experienced car accident lawyer can help you seek fair compensation for your damages. Contact us online or call us at 605-306-4100 to schedule a free consultation. You pay no attorney fees until we win your case.