Every year, police report more than six million car accidents across the United States. These accidents cause close to three million injuries and more than 35,000 deaths. The causes of these accidents range – from distracted driving to weather conditions to roadway hazards. And while there are many causes of car accidents, some are more common than others.
Most Common Causes of Car Accidents
Determining the most common causes of car accidents may seem too broad to truly answer. However, organizations like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gather data that can give insight into car accidents, their cause, and their impact on society. The NHTSA breaks down causes of car accidents into two primary categories – driver error and, well, everything else.
According to the NHTSA, driver error is, by far, the leading cause of car accidents in the U.S. Driver error encompasses many different actions or behaviors that cause car accidents. Some examples include:
When a driver loses focus on the task at hand. This could be due to a distraction, a medical event, or simply a loss in the train of thought.
You need to remember that one accident will be examined in detail by the enforcement agencies. They will look at your traffic violations and try to understand whether you have been an irresponsible driver in the past. All these things will help them build their case against you. Legal experts suggest that this is why you need to be proactive in taking care of all your traffic ticketing violations and ensuring you have a clean record. For more on this, visit website.
When a driver is distracted by something inside or outside the vehicle, such as:
- Sending or reading text messages
- Conversations on a mobile phone
- Radio noise or auditory distractions
- Rubbernecking to see what’s happening outside the vehicle
- Manual tasks like eating, putting on makeup, or reaching for something
- Daydreaming or becoming ‘lost’ in one’s own thoughts
When a driver is so drowsy or fatigued that he or she has difficulty concentrating or staying awake. Drowsy driving is as dangerous as intoxicated driving. According to the CDC, someone who has been awake for 18 hours straight has the same level of impairment as someone who has a blood alcohol content level (BAC) of 0.05%. The legal BAC for intoxication is 0.08%. That means that a drowsy driver cannot adequately react, respond, or focus on driving.
Speeding is a significant contributor to the number of car accidents that occur each year. There are several reasons why speeding is dangerous:
- Speeding makes it difficult to control the vehicle
- Speeding makes the vehicle more vulnerable to roadway hazards
- During inclement weather, speeding can cause the vehicle to drift, slide, or veer off the road
Speeding also makes car accidents more serious. The faster a vehicle is moving, the more damage it will do to anything it strikes. Furthermore, speeding often causes more significant damage to the vehicle itself, and therefore, the driver.
Roadway hazards can also cause car accidents, with some contributors including:
- Glare from the sun
- Poor visibility due to rain or fog
- Debris in the roadway
The condition of your vehicle can also play a role in causing a car accident. If your vehicle is not properly maintained or has unrepaired recalls, it could cause the vehicle to malfunction. The result could be your inability to stop the car, turn the car, control the car, or rely on safety features.
What to Do After a Car Accident
As you can see, there are various reasons why car accidents occur. No matter what the cause of the car accident is, it is a good idea to follow some general guidelines after one happens. For example, getting medical attention for injuries, calling the police, and contacting your insurance company. You may also find it helpful to contact a car wreck attorney to discuss your options for compensation if the accident was not your fault.