The 12 Most Common Causes of Car Accidents

According to the U.S. General Services Administration Office of Motor Vehicle Management, there are over 6 million automobile accidents in the U.S. annually. That equates to an accident every five seconds. On average, someone is killed due to a vehicle crash every 13 minutes.

Avoiding a car accident isn’t always possible, no matter how safely you drive. However, understanding the most common causes of collisions could help you spot dangerous behaviors in other drivers.

1. Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Alcohol-related crashes were the cause of over 13,500 fatalities in 2022, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reporting. Each day, nearly 40 people are killed in the U.S. due to drunk drivers, making DUI accidents one of the most common and deadly types of vehicle collisions.

2. Speeding

Speeding is among the most common causes of car accidents on U.S. roadways, and according to the NHTSA, speeding-related crashes accounted for 29% of all traffic fatalities in 2021, or 12,330 deaths.

3. Distracted Driving

Distracted driving isn’t new, but with the advent of smartphones and digital navigation systems, accidents related to distracted driving have become more prevalent. In 2022, nearly 300,000 people were injured in crashes caused by distracted driving, and over 3,300 were killed.

4. Ignoring Traffic Signals

While DUI, speeding, and distracted driving account for the lion’s share of accidents, injuries, and deaths, there are several other common causes. One of these is driving through red lights and stop signs or otherwise ignoring traffic signals.

5. Illegal Or Unsafe Lane Changes

Drivers who change lanes without signaling can cause accidents, as can those who cut in front of other drivers before they’ve fully passed or when there’s not enough room for their vehicle to fit in the lane.

6. Reckless Driving

No one likes being stuck in slow traffic, but reckless and aggressive behaviors like weaving, tailgating, and cutting off other drivers could lead to serious accidents.

7. Drowsy Driving

Drivers don’t have to drink to be impaired. When they’re tired, drowsy, fatigued, or otherwise unable to maintain the focus and reaction time needed to drive safely, they put their own lives and the lives of others on the road at risk.

8. Lack of Awareness

When drivers don’t pay attention to road conditions or other vehicles on the roadways, they might miss potential hazards and fail to act quickly enough to avoid them. Lack of awareness could mean they swerve or slam on the brakes too late to prevent an accident.

9. Inexperienced Drivers

Teens and other new drivers are operating at a skill deficit. Because they lack knowledge and experience, they’re more likely to make mistakes that lead to accidents. According to CDC reporting, teens aged 16 to 19 are at higher risk for motor vehicle crashes than any other group.

10. Poor Weather Or Road Conditions

Whether the roads are icy or the asphalt is riddled with potholes, poor road and weather conditions can certainly be a contributing factor to accidents.

11. Road Rage

Frustrations can run high when drivers are stuck in gridlock or feel slighted by another driver’s actions. Some react with irrational behaviors like swerving, brake checking, or even intentionally colliding with another vehicle.

12. Vehicle Defects Or Failures

While safety is a priority for car manufacturers, defects can and do occur. Mechanical failures are also possible, although these could be the fault of the manufacturer or related to poor maintenance.

Develop Good Driving Habits

You can do a lot to avoid accidents by staying aware of your surroundings, driving defensively, and following the rules of the road. Unfortunately, you can’t make other drivers do the same, and accidents are bound to occur. When they do, a qualified lawyer can help you seek fair compensation to pay for your injuries.

Contact the Car Accident Attorneys at Labrum Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers Today

For more information, please contact the Nashville personal injury law firm of Labrum Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.

We proudly serve Nashville, Brentwood, and its surrounding areas in Tennessee:

Labrum Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers – Nashville
315 Deaderick St, Suite 1525
Nashville, TN 37238

(615) 685-8546

Labrum Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers – Brentwood
320 Seven Springs Way, Suite 250
Brentwood, TN 37027

(615) 455-3384