Common Causes for Car Accidents

Unfortunately, due to the volume of cars on the roadways today, it is likely that you may become involved in a motor vehicle accident. According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2009 there were nearly 11 million car accidents nationwide. This astonishing number can be attributed to a bunch of factors.


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The most common causes of car accidents

Driver Error

Driver error is exactly what it says, the error of a driver that causes an accident. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration conducted studies which show that driver error is the leading cause of car accidents. One reason why this is the leading factor is due to the driver having the control over the vehicle. Within the broad category of driver error is a number of subcategories that are considered an error on the part of the driver.

Distracted Drivers

The most common driver error is a distracted driver. This is usually attributed to cell phones. The Nation Safety Council says 25% of all accidents are cell phone related, whether the driver is talking on the phone or texting. Most drivers think they can handle the multitasking that comes with using the cell phone and driving, but the studies show otherwise. To avoid an accident choose one or the other, not both!


Alcohol continues to be on the list of most common causes for car accidents even though there are a number of advertisements that try to prevent it. Alcohol slows down reaction time which can lead to accidents. In fact, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration says 40% of automobile fatalities are a result of alcohol.


Driver fatigue can be just as bad as alcohol. Driving while fatigued not only runs the risk of reducing your reaction time, but it also increases the chances of you falling asleep at the wheel. If you are asleep you cannot react and you put yourself as well as the other drivers on the road in harms way.


Speeding is a common cause of accidents because it also reduces your reaction time. The faster you move in a car, the smaller the window you have to correct your mistakes. If someone or something were to dart in front of you, you may be lucky enough to miss that person or object if you were doing the speed limit. If you are speeding, you may not be so lucky.

Road conditions

Road conditions can play a big factor when it comes to driving. One must be aware of his or her surroundings while operating a vehicle, and this includes the road. The road is one thing we as drivers may take for granted since we are always accustomed to seeing it. But in reality deteriorating roads as well as slippery roads can cause some serious damage. Be mindful of the road and conditions to be best prepare to avoid an accident

Mechanical issues

While usually in control, the driver cannot dictate what happens mechanically to the vehicle while he or she is driving. While all drivers have a duty to make sure that their vehicles are safe for road travel, drivers cannot predict when their vehicle will suffer a mechanical malfunction. Common mechanical issues include brake failure, tire failure / tread separation and engine failures. Regular maintenance can help prevent some accidents related to mechanical problems, so keep your car inspected and in good condition if you are going to be on the road.