17 Common Causes of Car Accidents
The common causes of car accidents cover a number of different factors from human error to weather conditions. Drivers can’t control their environment or other drivers, meaning they can only respond to situations. While many car accidents are surely avoided due to quick thinking drivers, crashes still happen.
The consequences of accidents can include severe injuries, wage loss during recovery, and repair costs. By knowing these common causes you can hopefully prevent them. Here are 17 common causes of car accidents.
1. Distracted Driving
The top cause of crashes is distracted driving, which is when a driver looks away from the road to answer a phone call, respond to a child in the backseat, or eat something. Distractions while driving can impair a driver’s response time or cause the driver to guide the car off the road. When you’re driving, keep your eyes on the road.
The second most common cause of car accidents is going over the speed limit. Many drivers ignore the posted speed limit and drive more than 10 miles per hour above that limit. While going faster may get you to your destination quicker, it also significantly reduces your reaction time. High speed crashes often result in fatal road injuries.
3. DUI Driving
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be very dangerous and deadly. These substances can impair a driver’s ability to make smart decisions, focus, and respond to other drivers. For most, a small amount of a substance can increase accident risk. If you plan to drink or take drugs, have a plan for your transportation, whether that means a designated driver or by using ridesharing apps like Uber or Lyft.
4. Construction Sites
Slowing down in construction zones is important since drivers often get distracted by workers, the construction itself, and trying to understand the new driving pattern. It’s too easy for rear-endings to occur or other such crashes.
5. Bad Weather
When the weather is bad, driving becomes more difficult with lower visibility and slippery surfaces. Puddles may hide bad road conditions or extra water on the road could cause hydroplaning. Rain is one of the leading causes of car accidents. Ice and snow can also create dangerous driving conditions. Fog makes driving risky due to extremely low visibility and can cause accidents.
6. Running Red Lights or Stop Signs
A driver who runs a red light or a stop sign can cause a fatal accident since this usually means a side-impact collision at high speed. Never run a red light or stop sign. Not only is it illegal, but it’s extremely dangerous. Always look both ways before crossing an intersection whether you’re a pedestrian or a driver.
7. New or Teenage Drivers
Without much experience in driving, new or teen drivers can be dangerous. Learning how to drive defensively and ignore their phones while driving is extremely important. Another way to help new or teen drivers focus is to place a limit on vehicle passengers.
8. Night Driving
Risk of car crashes increases at night time due to the lack of visibility. Headlights help to reveal what’s up ahead on the road; however, headlights can only reach so far. Night driving requires extra alertness to avoid surprise hazards on the road.
9. Defective Car Parts
Car accidents can be caused by design defects. With hundreds of parts required to create a vehicle, it’s possible that any one of those parts could be defective. While drivers often cannot do anything about this possible risk, drivers can stay up to date on vehicle maintenance and possible recalls.
10. Unsafe Lane Changes
Merging lanes is part of driving on the highway or city. However, car accidents occur easily if a driver is not paying attention to the vehicles around them. Car crashes happen due to vehicles in blind spots, speeding, or quick braking.
11. Wrong-Way Driving
Watch out for surprise one-way streets. This often occurs when a driver is in unfamiliar territory. To decrease the risk of accident, keep track of street signs, traffic signals, and other information.
Always drive with a car-length buffer between you and the driver in front of you if not more. Driving too close to the car in front of you can cause bad accidents. Reaction time is important for preventing car accidents, especially at high speeds.
13. Road Rage
Sometimes another driver might cut you off while driving or do some other annoying thing. In response to that behavior, the driver may allow their frustration to overcome them and participate in dangerous behavior. Road rage often looks like tailgating or speeding past the offensive driver and pulling in front of them to brake quickly.
Damaged roads with deep potholes can be dangerous for drivers. Potholes can blow out a tire or cause another problem for the vehicle. Drivers may want to swerve around the pothole, but that could place them into oncoming traffic. Slowing down quickly to go over a pothole could cause a rear-end accident as well.
15. Sleepy Driving
We know that babies get drowsy while in the car, so it shouldn’t be surprising that drivers can be lulled to relaxation while driving. When this happens, the driver is not alert enough to respond to road risks or even keep their eyes open. Sleepy driving is dangerous and should be avoided with the help of a roadside nap or shot of espresso.
16. Dangerous Curves
Watch out for roads that curve abruptly. Taking a curve too quickly can cause even the most experienced driver to lose control of their vehicle and potentially lose their life as well. There’s a reason that some curves gain the term “dead man’s curve.”
17. Animal Crossings
Woodland creatures who cross the street can be wild cards for drivers since these animals don’t follow street signs. Therefore, keep an eye out for animals any time you’re driving through rural areas or see an animal crossings sign.
These common causes for car accidents are not always avoidable, but knowing them can help drivers be more aware and try to prevent them. However, if you are in a car accident and suffer severe injury, be sure to reach out to a personal injury lawyer to find out what your legal options may be. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org!