Keep Your Eyes on the Road: 10 Common Causes of Car Accidents

causes of car accidents

Human error is the number one reason for car accidents. It accounts for 93% of the car accidents that happen. 

But what about human error is the culprit? People don’t actively decide to be in a car accident. The causes of car accidents center around people making decisions that increase the level of danger or risk for themselves and those around them. 

Keep reading for the top 10 reasons for car accidents. 

1. Speeding

It may be tempting to ignore those posted signs on the side of the road. Maybe you’re running late for work or you’re trying to get to happy hour with friends. 

Whatever your reason, you lack the skills and experience needed to safely exceed the posted limit. Those race car drivers on tv have years of experience and are in a controlled environment with other experienced drivers. 

You are not on a track and not a race car driver. Slow down. 

When roads are built, a team of engineers calculates the safest speed for travel. When you speed, there is a certain point at which the vehicle physically can’t stay on the road. Trust the experts and follow the speed limit. 

2. Driving After Drinking Alcohol 

You don’t have to be drunk to have your driving impaired by alcohol. Driving under the influence will affect your ability to react and accurately judge situations. 

This isn’t just dangerous, it can be deadly. You’ll face consequences including arrest, fines, possible loss of your license, and lawsuits from law firms like Farris Riley & Pitt on behalf of the victims. 

In 2016 about 10,500 people lost their lives because someone decided to drive while impaired.

These days there is no excuse. If you are going to drink, get a ride from a family member, friend, or service like Uber.  

3. Being Reckless

Not sure what reckless driving is? You’ve probably done it then and not even known it.  

If you’ve made a decision while driving with no regard for the other drivers on the road, you were reckless. This could be that you are performing maneuvers at a rate of speed that is entirely too fast. 

But it’s not all about speed though. You are guilty of reckless of driving if you change lanes abruptly without warning, tailgate, or make impulsive decisions out of impatience.

Don’t perform driving maneuvers that are not safe for the conditions of the road. Instead, think about the other drivers and the road conditions.  

4. Inclement Weather 

You need to adjust our driving to account for the weather. When it rains, the water mixes with the oil on the road creating a slick road surface.  

There is also the danger of hydroplaning. This is where the tires lose traction with the road and “float” across the water. 

When this happens you will have no ability to steer your vehicle in a new direction until you gain traction again. You will also gain speed while hydroplaning. 

Most people get into the accident when they gain traction again. This is because they tried to steer. Instead, keep your wheels straight so you continue to move forward when you gain traction. 

Snow and ice are other hazards that can cause you to lose traction with the road. When your tires hit the ice, the same sliding effect happens as with water on the road.  

When the weather is less than ideal the best thing you can do is slow down. If the weather becomes too bad, avoid driving altogether. 

5. Ignoring Traffic Signals and Signs 

Those traffic lights and signs are there for a reason. They make sure that everyone knows whose turn it is to go. 

When you ignore those recognized signals, other drivers don’t know what you are going to do. This creates chaos and puts both you and them in a dangerous situation.  

6. Teens 

Teens are inherently reckless and make terrible decisions. Now couple that with a couple thousand pounds of metal moving at a high rate of speed. 

Start by educating your teen that driving is a privilege and responsibility. If you need more supervision, there are vehicle trackers that can send you your teen’s location and driving habits.  

7. It’s Nighttime 

You have reduced visibility at night. This means you struggle to see others and others struggle to see you. Your risk of an accident almost double at night thanks to this. 

The other problem is you are more likely to get fatigued. At best, you become lethargic and your reactions are delayed. At worst, you’ll fall asleep while driving. 

8. Lack of Vehicle Maintenance 

If you aren’t properly maintaining your vehicle then you risk something going wrong while driving. You need to stay up to date on any manufacturer recalls for defective parts. 

9. You Jump Lanes 

When you want to switch lanes, use your turn signals, check your blind spots, and always proceed with caution. Pay attention to the cars around you. 

Don’t drive in someone else’s blind spot. Pay attention to the cars in the lanes next to you. This will let you react faster if they decide to change lanes suddenly.  

10. Distraction 

These days people are glued to their phones. This is a huge problem when it comes to driving.  

Distracted driving can cause you to react slower which puts you at greater risk of an accident. So put down your phone, stop messing with the radio, and tell your passengers to let you focus.   

Causes of Car Accidents

To avoid these main causes of car accidents all you need to do is pay attention and drive safely. Be considerate of the other drivers. 

Don’t drive if the weather is too bad, you have been drinking, or are tired. This will ensure that you don’t put yourself and others at risk.  

Did one of these happen to you and now you’ve been in an accident? Here’s what you should do next