What Are the Main Causes of Car Accidents in the U.S.?

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What Are the Main Causes of Car Accidents in the U.S.?

What Are the Main Causes of Car Accidents in the U.S.?

Jul 27, 2020

What Are the Main Causes of Car Accidents in the U.S.?

Americans drive approximately 3.24 billion miles every year, resulting in roughly 6 million annual car accidents. Each time a car accident occurs the details related to the crash are gathered and recorded by multiple government agencies such as the Federal Highway Administration, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Through the data these organizations compile, we’re able to examine trends in road safety, with the ultimate goal being fewer accidents and safer highways for everyone. In examining the aggregate data, patterns emerge indicating the most common causes of car accidents. Some of those common causes include:

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving comes in many forms, from operating a cell phone while driving to simply failing to pay attention. And, as technology has advanced, drivers now have even more opportunities for distraction than ever before. Whether it’s changing the satellite radio, operating a GPS navigation device, texting, checking email, talking without a hands-free device, or attempting to synch your smartphone to your car’s operating system, drivers have no shortage of opportunities for distraction. As a result, more car accidents are caused by drivers failing to keep their eyes (and attention) on the road.

Drunk Driving

Each day nearly 30 people die in tragic drunk driving accidents throughout the U.S. That equals one entirely preventable death every 50 minutes, according the Centers for Disease Control. Alcohol impairment slows reaction time when behind the wheel, often leading to loss of physical control of one’s vehicle. Drunk driving adversely affects everyone on the road, including drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.


Speed limits are established and enforced to keep our streets and highways safe, and can vary from state-to-state. Nevertheless, drivers frequently disobey the laws, which can lead to serious and often deadly collisions. When traveling at high speeds, it can be much more difficult for drivers to avoid other oncoming vehicles or objects, such as downed trees or power lines.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving technically refers to willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other persons or property. Examples of reckless driving can include dangerous behavior such swerving in and out of lanes, turning from outside the boundaries of marked lanes, driving at excessive rates of speed, etc.

Inclement Weather

Inclement weather conditions commonly result in car accidents, with some areas of the country experiencing blizzards, torrential downpours, tornados, and more. In Southern California, although our weather is primarily consistent (and envied), accumulating fog from off the coast during different times of the day can lead to car accidents. When driving during inclement weather, it’s important to always adhere to the laws of the road and remain extra vigilant for other drivers who may be having difficulty operating their vehicles, and are therefore more prone to accidents.

Contact our top-rated team of expert auto accident attorneys online or by phone today to pursue justice and secure a financial award for damages.

Running Red Lights or Stop Signs

When rushing from one place to another, we’ve all been guilty of attempting to beat a red light by hitting the accelerator when we see green turn yellow. Such behavior is one of the most common causes of not only traditional car accidents and fender benders, but also pedestrian accidents. When one driver ignores the rules, the dangers are increased for everyone.

Night Driving

Driving at night requires extra vigilance on the part of all drivers, as accidents are more likely to occur when it is difficult to observe moving objects including pedestrians, animals, and other vehicles. When driving in poorly lit areas, it’s important for drivers to take extra precautions to help avoid accidents.


Tailgating is the act of following another car too closely, and often results in rear-end collisions. The driver following behind may be unable to stop in time if the car directly ahead is forced to suddenly swerve or hit the brakes. Many tailgating accidents occur at intersections and when traffic lights change.

Car Defects

Poorly maintained vehicles or those with general defects can lead to dangerous car accidents. Accordingly, it’s important to always keep vehicles in good working order and properly maintained, with applicable service records. Broken axles, defective tires, faulty brake lines, and failed power steering columns are just some examples of common defects that result in everyday car accidents.

Blown Tires

Though relatively uncommon, drivers can occasionally fill their tires with too much air (known as over-pressurization). Over-inflated tires can develop small perforations that lead to ‘blowouts’ when traveling on uneven surfaces or roads requiring repair. A blown tire can lead to total loss of control of one’s vehicle. As such, it’s important to always maintain proper tire pressure, and monitor your vehicle’s gauges and sensors.

In Summation:

The majority of car accidents result from driver errors or distractions. In rare cases, outside forces contribute to these crashes. As the majority of car accidents are caused by driver error or negligence, if you are involved in an accident you may be eligible to file a lawsuit for monetary compensation following a physical injury or damages to your vehicle.

What should I do if I’m involved in a car accident?

What should I do if I'm involved in a car accidentThe first priority following a car accident is your health. Whether you’re involved in a minor fender bender or serious rollover accident, you could have injuries that are not immediately noticeable, or that become progressively worse over time. Following an accident it’s better to always err on the side of caution, and you may want to consider undergoing an examination by a physician to confirm that your health is not in jeopardy.

If you do not have any immediate health concerns that need addressing, we suggest proceeding with the following steps:

  • Take pictures of any injuries and request any pertinent medical records
  • Take pictures of any damage to your vehicle or physical property
  • Take photos and videos of the scene of the accident
  • Obtain contact information and interview passengers and bystanders who may have witnessed the accident and can help support your claim
  • Collect the contact and insurance information of the negligent driver
  • File a police report and request a copy for your own records
  • Pursue an estimate for the costs of any repairs to your vehicle

Following these steps will help to provide a solid foundation of evidence that you and your attorney can use to pursue a claim for financial compensation related to any damages.

Schedule an appointment online for a free consultation today, or call us directly to speak to our top-rated, expert car accident attorneys.

Why should I hire a car accident attorney?

Without legal experience, pursuing a claim to recover financial damages after a car accident can be a daunting task. That’s why contacting an expert Los Angeles car accident attorney at Dordulian Law Group is the most important step you can make. We will fight for your rights and ensure that you receive the largest possible financial award for damages under the law. We have over two decades of experience representing clients who have been injured in car accidents, and our team includes former Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, Samuel Dordulian, as well as our Chief Investigator, Moses Castillo, a former LAPD Central Traffic Division Detective with over 30 years of experience.

We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Our talented attorneys have the experience required to take on and win your case, ensuring you never have to worry about covering any out-of-pocket expenses following the accident – including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact a DLG car accident attorney today to learn more.

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