11 of the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents

survive a car accident

Wondering about the different causes of car accidents? 

Around 135 million people meet an unfortunate end on the road due to car accidents every year. What’s worse is that an additional 50 million people have long-lasting disabilities from these accidents. 

This makes it important for us to avoid the most common causes of car accidents while we’re driving. This is enough to ensure the safety of everyone on the road, including yourself.

What are the most common causes, though? Read what’s below to learn the things that can contribute to car accidents today.

1. Drunk Driving

Drunk driving accounts for 10,142 of the deaths had by auto accidents. That’s around 28 people every day. As you can imagine, all these deaths would have been preventable if the drivers took the proper precautions.

The best way to avoid car accidents when intoxicated is by not driving at all. Have someone else drive you or have a cab take you home. This means that it’s better to not bring your car if you’re planning to drink even the smallest bit of alcohol.

If you did bring it, though, it’s better to leave it where it is. Most bars or establishments will look after it for you until you pick it up again. Just make sure you talk to the proprietor of the establishment beforehand.

2. Speeding

There are a lot of reasons for someone to speed. They may be running late, have to be somewhere urgently, or have someone in dire need of medical attention onboard. However, even in the case of the latter, you must stay within the speed limits of the road.

If you need to get someone medical attention fast, only do it when faced with a straight road. Don’t speed when there’s an intersection or sharp turn ahead of you.

3. Distracted Driving

You need all your focus on the road when you’re driving. This means that everything else should be a secondary priority while you’re on the road. Don’t do anything with your phone, don’t look at anything beyond the road too long, and keep your eyes trained on the road.

It’s better that you don’t even talk while driving. Formulating an answer to a question can distract you for a moment. This can be enough to cause an accident on a busy road.

4. Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving techniques can get you into a whole heap of trouble. Practices like tailgating place you too close behind another automobile. When they come to a sudden stop, there’s no room for your car to stop without hitting them.

Practicing defensive driving techniques will be better for you. This way, you can distance yourself from any potential accident and keep everyone else safe.

5. Fatigue

Tiredness or sleep deprivation can have dangerous effects on your body. It can cause your reflexes to slow down, making you a danger to everyone on the road.

In extreme cases, drivers are often known to fall asleep behind the wheel. It’s among the auto accident causes that can result in major wrecks.

To avoid this, it’s best to make sure you’re not tired in any way before driving. As with drunk driving above, find someone who can drive for you if it’s unavoidable.

6. Animals 

A lot of roads, often by forests, become frequent crossing sites for animals. While most get out of the way when they see an oncoming vehicle, others stay still. Some animals may even jump into the road out of nowhere.

To work around this, make sure to drive cautiously when you spot an animal crossing sign. It’s also best you keep your wits about you when driving by a woody area.

7. Driving Around Construction Sites

Another area where a lot of auto accidents happen is construction sites. These areas often have a lot of pits that can damage your car when you hit them the wrong way. There are also a lot of hazards that can fall on your car in these areas.

When driving by a construction site, keep track of the signs and marked areas. Drive slowly when there are cones placed around the area. These often mark the danger zone, where debris can fall on you, too. 

8. Vehicle Defects

These are also among the leading car accident causes. These can cause you to be the victim or the cause of an accident on the road. Vehicle defects can manifest as dead turn signals or as malfunctioning brakes.

You can avoid them by doing checks on your vehicle before driving. Making sure that your brakes work can help you avoid hitting other cars or people on your drive.

9. Inexperience

Most accidents happen because of the driver’s inexperience on the road. New drivers often have moments of hesitation when faced with a situation that can lead to an accident. This momentary pause is enough to cause the accident to happen.

When faced with a similar situation, it’s important that you act quickly. A split-second difference in your actions can change the outcome of what’s to happen.

There are times when accidents are unavoidable, though. It’s important to learn what you should do to survive a car accident when faced with these situations.

10. Running Red Lights

A lot of accidents happen at intersections. Often, these accidents happen because a driver is running a red light. These often result in t-bone collisions, which are more dangerous for the passengers of the offending car.

Don’t try your chances at running a red light. Spare the time and wait for the next one, instead.

11. Weather

The weather can cause accidents in a lot of ways. First off, light rain can cause the road to hold less traction. This means that it can become more difficult to control your vehicle, much like in ice or snow.

The weather can also cause a dense fog to roll in. The fog can reduce the visibility on the road. This can make it harder for you to react to oncoming traffic or pedestrians crossing.

It’s best that you drive as slow as you can when these weather conditions are present. It may take you longer to get to where you’re going, but you’ll get there safe this way.

Learn the Different Causes of Car Accidents Today

Auto accidents are all preventable if you know what you should avoid. The different causes of car accidents mentioned above are the most common ones. Learn about them and prevent yourself from falling victim to car accidents today!

Do you want to learn more about road safety? Check out our guide and learn even more about the different car accident causes and safety measures you can take!

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About the Author: Wayne Probert

Wayne Probert is a senior reporter at Zobuz, covering state and national politics, and he is a grantee with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Before joining Zobuz, he worked as a freelance journalist in Kentucky, having been published by dozens of outlets including NPR, the Center for Media.