The Top Causes of Car Accidents Revealed

We’ve all grown impatient behind the wheel at one point, but letting this urge get out of hand can cause dangerous car accidents. These crashes can leave you with severe injuries that can impact your life for the long-term.

The most common causes of cars accidents can be prevented, however. Learn the top causes of car accidents below:

Drowsy Driving

Drowsy driving is dangerous and can be fatal. It mirrors many of the same symptom as drunk driving and can cause blurred vision, slowed reaction times, and impaired judgement.

According to NHTSA, 795 people died in drowsy-related crashes in 2017. Fatigue can also increase the risk of crash involvement for anyone behind the wheel, including those who are not drinking or taking drugs. In New York in 2017, “fatigue/drowsy driving” or “driver fell asleep” were factors in 2,337 police-reported injury and fatal crashes.

Research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that most drivers do not realize how sleepy they are. During an experiment that included a 150-mile simulated nighttime highway drive, participants were asked to rate their levels of drowsiness every 20 miles. While most people rated themselves as low- to moderately drowsy, researchers observed that drivers’ eyes were closed for 15 seconds or longer over a one-minute window—which indicates that they were severely drowsy and at high risk of crashing.

Even the most experienced and safest drivers can become drowsy on long trips or when they travel between cities or states. However, it is possible to prevent drowsy driving accidents by getting seven or eight hours of sleep each night and not traveling at night, taking frequent breaks on road trips, and using a vehicle’s auxiliary controls to keep the driver awake such as music, air conditioning, and heating.

When a drowsy accident occurs, investigators can use evidence such as the lack of skid marks, the driver’s medical history (including sleep disorders), and prescription and over-the-counter medications that can induce drowsiness to prove the case. They can also interview the driver’s family members and work or school attendance records to show how much sleep they got.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is a leading cause of car accidents, which can lead to serious injuries or even death to the driver and passengers. This is why there are strict laws against drunk driving and a high incarceration rate for people convicted of this crime.

Alcohol affects the part of your brain that controls judgment and motor coordination, making it difficult to operate a vehicle safely. Even a small amount of alcohol can slow your reaction times, which is why most states have established legal blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) limits for drivers.

People who drive while under the influence of alcohol often experience blurred vision and have trouble judging distances, which can lead to them colliding with other cars. They may also struggle to put the key in the ignition and have problems steering the vehicle.

In addition to the physical harm that drunk driving can cause, it has a huge impact on families. It’s estimated that one person is killed every 50 minutes in alcohol-related crashes, and many of those victims are children or elderly adults.

Aside from deaths, drunk driving can have a significant financial impact on the United States. In fact, it’s estimated that drinking and driving costs the country $132 billion each year. That money is taken away from the economy and could be better invested in education or other community projects.

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent drunk driving accidents. One way is through strict law enforcement, including sobriety checkpoints and increased patrols. Another way is to offer safe transportation options, such as subsidized taxi or rideshare services and designated driver programs. Lastly, communities can establish policies that limit the availability and affordability of alcohol, such as higher taxes on liquor and restrictions on bars and restaurants.

Driving While Intoxicated

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a deadly offense. Alcohol and drug impairment affects a driver’s judgment, coordination, and reaction time. It also causes blurred vision, making it hard to judge distances. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that drunk drivers are more likely to run red lights or stop signs and may crash into oncoming or passing vehicles. If you have been involved in a car accident by someone who is driving while intoxicated, you need to have a Car accident attorney to help you win the case.

Whether it’s illegal drugs or over-the-counter medications, taking any type of drug while you are driving can lead to disastrous results. The most common types of illegal drugs include marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin. Legal drugs such as sedatives and painkillers can be just as dangerous, especially if you take more than one.

Fatigued or sleepy drivers are also a huge danger on the road. These drivers may fall asleep at the wheel or be unable to react quickly enough to road hazards. A tired driver is also more likely to run a red light or fail to see an obstacle in the road, resulting in a side-impact collision at high speeds.

Tailgating, recklessly changing lanes, and driving aggressively are common factors in car accidents. These behaviors contribute to unsafe roads for everyone. Always drive within the speed limit and give the vehicle in front of you plenty of space.

While human error is a common cause of car accidents, there are other factors that are not controllable, including poor road conditions and weather. Potholes, uneven pavement, poor road signage, and shoulder drop-offs can all increase the risk of an accident for drivers. If a poor road condition contributed to your crash, you may be able to recover compensation from the party responsible for the road conditions.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a dangerous way to spend your time behind the wheel. The reason why it is so dangerous is because it reduces your awareness of the road environment and impacts your decision-making abilities. The result is collisions or near-collisions. Distracted driving can also impact the lives of other drivers on the road, including people riding bikes or pedestrians.

It doesn’t take much to cause a distracted driving accident, and it can include anything that takes the driver’s attention away from the road. This can include chatting with backseat passengers, sending text messages, or even changing the radio station. Texting while driving is particularly dangerous because it combines manual, cognitive, and visual distractions. It is estimated that it takes the eyes off of the road for five seconds at 55 mph, which is enough time to cause a deadly accident.

Other forms of distracted driving can involve things like eating and drinking, applying makeup, grooming yourself, reading, and even daydreaming. Many accidents involving distracted drivers are the result of trying to multitask and get to work on time. Other times, the distractions are emotional in nature. For example, drivers who are stressed or angry may lose control of the car and hit someone.

Finally, it is important to note that running red lights or stopping signs is a common form of distracted driving. It can be tempting to speed up when a light turns yellow or stop sign, but it is important to wait until the light has changed to proceed. It is not worth risking your life to save a few minutes of time. The safest thing to do is always put the phone down, turn off the music, and focus on the road ahead of you.


Driving at a higher speed than the posted limit increases your risk of an accident because vehicles handle differently at high speeds, and the faster you are moving, the harder it is to react to unexpected road hazards. It also reduces the effectiveness of safety structures on the roadway and shortens reaction times if you are forced to brake in an emergency.

Most drivers speed to get where they need to go more quickly, but doing so can have disastrous consequences. Many accidents that result in severe injuries are due to vehicles traveling at too fast for conditions. Speeding can lead to a collision with other drivers, stationary objects or even pedestrians. In addition, the greater your vehicle’s speed, the more serious your injuries will be if you are involved in a crash with a fixed object.

Speeding can also contribute to accidents caused by driver fatigue and distraction. The brain cannot focus on multiple tasks simultaneously, so if you’re flipping through radio stations, eating, talking on the phone or grooming while driving, you will be less able to keep your eyes on the road and respond rapidly to potential hazards.

Some drivers are influenced to speed by nervousness or a desire to get to their destination quickly. Other factors that may cause a driver to speed include traffic congestion, worrying about being late for work, school or appointments, and feeling a lack of regard for the law.

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