What Are the Common Causes of Auto Accidents?

There are many reasons why people get into auto accidents. Many of these causes could be avoided with a better understanding of traffic laws or safety on the roads.

Did you know that around five causes of crashes happen more commonly than others? These include distracted driving, drunk driving, reckless driving, speeding and night driving.

Here’s what you should know about these five common causes of auto accidents in the United States and how they affect drivers all over the country each and every day. 

Distracted Driving Is a Top Cause of Auto Collisions

Among the top causes of auto accidents is distracted driving. Distracted driving is more than just looking at a smartphone or sending a text message, though those actions are often a cause of crashes and near-misses. Other common distractions behind the wheel include:

  • Grooming, such as putting on makeup or brushing your hair
  • Eating behind the wheel
  • Chatting on the phone
  • Using the radio
  • Dialing into your GPS unit
  • Arguing or talking to passengers

Of course, one of the worst distractions is texting while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving was responsible for around 3,142 deaths in 2019 and continues to cause problems today. Texting, the NHTSA states, is the most alarming distraction. Why? It takes an average driver’s eyes off the road for at least five seconds. During that time, you could travel anywhere from 50 to 100 yards depending on the speed at which you’re traveling. 

Driving Drunk Also Causes Serious Collisions

Another big issue on the road is drunk driving. Unfortunately, despite the fact that there are so many ways to get to and from a destination safely, some people do choose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. 

Did you know that an average drunk driver will get behind the wheel around 80 times before even being stopped by the police once? Each time they do, they’re putting the lives of those around them, as well as their own, at risk. 

To make matters worse, someone is killed in the U.S. every 51 minutes as a result of drunk driving. It’s not worth the risk, but people still drive drunk anyway. 

Reckless Driving Causes Unnecessary Collisions

Reckless driving also causes unnecessary collisions. Actions such as:

  • Rapidly changing lanes
  • Speeding over the limit
  • Aggressive driving behaviors
  • Road rage
  • Tailgating
  • Slamming on the brakes

…and others may be considered to be reckless driving. Reckless driving, which may also be called aggressive driving, is unsafe and a major factor in the collisions in the United States today. 

Speeding Increases the Risk of a Serious Crash

A type of reckless driving, speeding also greatly increases the risk of being involved in a serious crash. In 2019, 17% of those who were involved in fatal crashes were reportedly speeding, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

What causes such aggressive driving? The NHTSA believes that one of the most common causes of aggressive driving is traffic congestion. As drivers become angry about the wait, they may begin to tailgate, speed in and out of lanes to try to get to their destination or get angry at other drivers. On top of this, feeling anonymous, which is a factor in many road rage crashes, may lead people to do things they wouldn’t do normally. 

Night Driving Isn’t Safe for Everyone

Finally, rounding out the top five reasons for collisions is simply driving at night. While it may be nice to drive at night because there are usually fewer people on the road, there are still risks associated with it. Driving at night makes it more likely that you’ll get into a crash with an animal. It also increases the risk of running off the road or not seeing a hazard in the road that you may have seen otherwise.

It’s more difficult to see at night, so drivers have to be more alert. Unfortunately, not all drivers are more alert in the evening and night hours. Instead, many are coming home after late-night shifts or after drinking, so they are more likely to be drunk or drowsy behind the wheel.

No one should have to go through a car crash, but many people are affected by them every day. Victims and their families may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault driver, so that they can focus on their health and minimize the money they lose as a result of the collision. A Montoya Hinckley car accident lawyer can help you get the compensation that you deserve if you’ve been involved in a car crash. Remember to look into your legal rights before speaking with any insurance agents and document all medical care or other expenses to have more supporting evidence for your personal injury or wrongful death claim. 

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