What Are the Top Causes of Car Accidents?
The most common causes of car accidents are related to driver error, but vehicle error and environmental factors also contribute their fair share of car accidents.
Some of these causes include:
Distracted driving can constitute a range of behaviors, from eating or drinking to sending a text or talking to other passengers while driving. Many of us think we can multitask, but instead of doing both tasks simultaneously, the brain rapidly toggles between them, leading to neither being done properly. When driving a car, you might still have one eye on the road, but your reaction speed will be affected, and it can cause you to miss hazards and end up in a crash.
The faster you drive, the less time you have to react to hazards on the road, whether a pothole, sharp corner, or another driver. Speeding can be tempting, especially if you’re in a rush or the road is quiet, but even with Texas boasting some of the highest speed limits in the country, speeding is common — and deadly.
Driving While Intoxicated
Drunk driving is preventable but incredibly prevalent — one person dies every 52 minutes in the US because of drunk driving. But driving under the influence of drugs is also common. Even over-the-counter and prescription medication can reduce reaction times and focus, with side-effects of many medicines including drowsiness.
If a driver doesn’t check their tires before driving and it punctures, they can be held liable for any accidents that occur. When a tire bursts, the driver becomes a passenger in their vehicle, unable to control their steering. If other vehicles are on the road, the results can be disastrous.
While auto defects aren’t as common compared to driver-led incidents, brake failure is among the most prevalent. Whether you’re braking for a turn or to take evasive action against a reckless driver, if your brakes fail, there’s little you can do to avoid a crash. If a brake failure caused your accident, you might be able to claim compensation against the manufacturer.
We can’t control the weather, and sometimes, driving in snowstorms, icy conditions, high winds, or heavy rain is necessary. Such weather can make it near-impossible to see and difficult to drive, but drivers should exercise care when on the road. If a person continues to drive at the limit — or, worse, over it — on a slippery road, their behavior is reckless, which means they could be liable in a car accident.
Research shows that Americans spend an average of $3 billion each year on repairs to damage caused by potholes. But the economic cost isn’t the only one. Potholes are a major hazard. Hitting a pothole can blow a tire, causing the driver to skid into another vehicle, but even taking evasive action can cause deadly crashes. If a driver swerves to avoid a pothole, they might plow into oncoming traffic.
We rely on road signs to tell us how fast we can drive when there’s a turn, intersection, or school zone up ahead, and more. If these signs are obscured — or missing entirely — it can cause a car accident.