You might be able to avoid getting into a collision if you knew the main cause of car accidents. However, there is no single main cause of crashes.
There Are Many Causes of Car Accidents, Not Just One
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that many different factors can cause accidents. Some of the leading causes include:
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People who fail to keep their full attention on driving put other people on the road at risk. Some common driving distractions include adjusting the air conditioning or radio, eating or drinking, and having conversations with passengers.
Other distractions include:
- Talking or texting on a cell phone
- Interacting with a navigation app or some other app
- Checking the weather or road conditions through built-in systems
- Using other features of the vehicle’s “infotainment” package
- Trying to reach for an object, a child, or pet in the back seat
- Reading traffic signs to find a location without paying attention to the road
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Road Conditions and Weather
People can upgrade their cars to have safety features that help them navigate through inclement weather and challenging road surface conditions. However, upgraded steering controls, braking, and tires can only do so much. Drivers still need to slow down when the roads are slick, when there is debris on the surface, or when other situations warrant more cautious driving.
Vehicles need more distance to slow down or come to a stop when the road or weather conditions are treacherous. Drivers must also allow more distance between vehicles to avoid collisions, especially if the roads are slippery or the weather makes it hard for the driver to see.
Inclement weather can include:
- Precipitation, e.g., rain, hail, and snow
- Ice and slush on the roads
Certain hours of the day may also make it harder for people to see, such as at night.
Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Drunk driving is another main cause of car accidents in America. The NHTSA states that 30 Americans die every day due to accidents caused by drunk driving.
Alcohol and other drugs can slow down a driver’s reflexes and impair the driver’s ability to make sound judgments. Drunk drivers can drift into another lane of traffic without realizing it or fall asleep at the wheel.
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Truck drivers sometimes often work long hours without taking their breaks, which are required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Driver fatigue is enough of a problem for truck drivers that the FMCSA has written a guide on how to avoid it.
Many people operating passenger cars are also exhausted or sleep-deprived. From newborn parents to part-time workers doing back-to-back closing and morning shifts, there are several reasons why a driver might not get enough sleep. Still, the risk of driving while drowsy is high. As the National Safety Council (NSC) reports, drowsy driving leads to about 100,000 car accidents every year.
Everyone who operates a motor vehicle has a legal obligation to drive with caution and obey road rules. However, sometimes people throw caution to the wind and take unnecessary risks while driving. They might be racing with friends on the highway, failing to stop at stop signs or red lights, or tailgating.
Road rage is another example of reckless driving that disregards the safety of others. Some people try to “teach a lesson” to other drivers, such as trying to force them to speed up or get out of the fast lane. Some drivers target people riding bicycles or motorcycles.
Reckless driving is an intentional act. The driver makes a decision to violate traffic laws without concern for how their actions could harm others.
This category can include accidents where the driver exceeded the posted speed limit or drove faster than is appropriate for the conditions. Speeding can lead to a collision because the driver might not have enough time or distance to stop and avoid a crash. Drivers can lose control of their vehicles because of excessive speed or from hitting the brakes too hard when trying to avoid an accident.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You with Your Case
Though there is no main cause of car accidents, there are several top causes, as we have listed. If you or a loved one was in a car accident due to a negligent driver, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages.
The car accident lawyers at Farmer & Morris, PLLC, can help you navigate the insurance claims process and file a lawsuit on your behalf. You can call us today at (828) 286-3866 for a free consultation.