Car accidents can occur for many reasons, ranging from driver error to environmental factors. Roughly 40,000 people pass away every year as a result of car accidents, and the numbers continue to trend up in the United States.
With that said, some causes of car accidents are more common than others. It’s important to know how they tend to happen so that you can become a more effective defensive driver and you can ultimately stay safer when you’re on the road.
9 top reasons
Below are a number of the top reasons that car accidents occur. Remember that multiple factors could be present at the same time – such as a driver who is both impaired by alcohol and distracted by their phone.
- Distracted driving: Distraction is one of the biggest risks on the road and a leading cause of car accidents. Distraction can include texting, eating, drinking, talking on the phone or even talking to passengers.
- Speeding: Speeding increases the odds of a car accident and it also makes crashes that do occur more severe.
- Drunk driving: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol impairs a driver’s ability to make sound judgment calls, affects their reaction time and influences their coordination.
- Reckless driving: Drivers are supposed to attempt to be safe and avoid accidents. Reckless driving undermines this effort and endangers other drivers on the road. Examples include failing to yield, intentionally tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic and ignoring traffic signals.
- Bad weather: Weather conditions, such as fog or heavy rain, can make it nearly impossible to see the road. Drivers need to adjust their speed accordingly.
- Driver fatigue: Much like drinking, driving while overly fatigued can impair a driver’s judgment and reaction times.
- Vehicle malfunctions: Some car accidents are caused by mechanical failures, like a tire blowout or a brake failure.
- Poor road conditions: Poorly maintained roads, along with poor planning and design, can increase the risk of a car accident.
- Inexperienced drivers: Drivers who are inexperienced tend to have poor driving skills that directly lead to many accidents. Teen drivers have the highest fatal accident rates, for instance, largely because they are inexperienced.
Understanding these common reasons for accidents can help drivers focus on safety. Additionally, those who have been injured in accidents caused by others need to know what caused their crashes in order to seek compensation for their medical bills, lost wages and other costs.