10 Common Causes of Car Accidents

Avoiding common causes of car accidents is a must for any safe driver. Nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day. Every one of those collisions was unique; they involved various people, different circumstances and different outcomes. But the most common causes of car accidents share something in common: They were caused by some wrongdoing by the driver, such as speeding, texting while driving, or running a red light.

Distracted Driving Comes in Many Forms

Distracted driving. Driving a car while talking or texting on a cell phone behind the wheel has been called one of the most lethal epidemics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to a study at Virginia Tech, up to 20 percent of deadly crashes and involve some form of distracted driving. Cell phones are the main culprits in these accidents, but any behavior that takes the drivers eyes off the road can be a dangerous distraction.

Speeding. Speed kills, and the statistics prove it, year after year. Around one out of every three accidents is the result of a speeding driver, according to NHTSA. A driver doesn’t have to be to be reaching extreme speeds to invite danger. Traveling only somewhat over the legal posted limit increases the risk of a collision. In fact, sometimes driving at the speed limit can be dangerous in unfavorable road or weather circumstances.

Careless Dangerous Driving

Reckless/dangerous driving. Driving aggressively or with no regard for the safety of others is a recipe for disaster. Examples include dangerous passing maneuvers, sudden braking, weaving in and out of traffic, driving without headlights, not using turn signals and road rage.

Running a red light. Every year, hundreds of thousands of collisions are caused by drivers who run red lights. Almost half of these crashes produce some degree of injury. Because running red lights are unexpected, in most respects, these wrecks can result in fatal accidents. In red light accidents, the injured party cannot take evasive action to try to avoid the crash, thereby resulting in a very forceful impact, which most likely will result in severe damage.

Running a stop sign. Most stop sign accidents happen because drivers are too impatient and trying to rush. Some come to so-called “rolling stops,” while others speed through the intersection without braking.

Nighttime Driving can be Dangerous Driving

Driving at night. Another common cause of car accidents is driving at night. Visibility issues, driving conditions, and, in many situations, not being able to see pedestrians or bicycle riders. Nighttime driving requires safety for other drivers on the highway, pedestrians, and bicyclists on the roadway. Pedestrians should be conscious of the conditions outside. They should wear lighter clothing to help the visibility—or reflective clothing—and bicyclists who are cycling in the dark similarly should wear protective clothing to aid in their visibility to vehicle drivers.  The bicycle itself should also have adequate lighting and reflective material to help the drivers being able to see them at night.

Unsafe lane changes. Another common cause of car accidents is unsafe lane changes. It is dangerous driving for a vehicle driver to change lanes too quickly or without signaling. Poor weather and slick roads also contribute to hazardous lane shifts.

Tailgating. It is the responsibility of a driver not to drive too closely and to allow decent spacing for the speed at which the cars are traveling. Tailgating is a leading cause of rear-end collisions. A helpful rule of thumb is to leave at least two car lengths between vehicles; this allows enough reaction time to brake or responds correctly to an emergency situation.

Drowsy driving. America is a nation of sleep-deprived citizens. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60% of adult drivers say they have driven while feeling sleepy in the past year,  more than one-third admit to having nodded off behind the wheel.

Drunk driving. Every year, innocent people are killed or injured by reckless drivers who get behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs. In 2016, alcohol was a factor in one out of every three fatal collisions. MADD – Mothers Against Drunk Driving – estimate that 300,000 incidents of drunk driving occur daily. Drunk driving is dangerous and irresponsible. Accidents that transpire from the recklessness of drunk driving are entirely preventable.

Regardless of the Cause of the Car Accident, Our People can Help

Common car accidents often aren’t accidents. In so many cases, people sustain a severe injury or die because of someone else’s dangerous or distracted driving.  That’s why it’s critical that you take action if you were injured or lost a loved one because of someone’s negligence. If you need help with your car accident we can help.