Leading Causes of Car Accidents in the US

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It is estimated that there are approximately 6 million car accidents a year in the US, with around 90 people dying every day due to them. The statistics certainly are shocking, but what is the cause of these accidents? And how can we work to reduce these numbers? With more and more vehicles heading out onto the road each day, it does seem like it may never be possible.

Below, we are going to look at some of the leading causes of car accidents so that we can reflect and work together to become better drivers. Want to learn more? Let’s get started.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving sits at the top of the list as the number one cause of car accidents in the US. In fact, many of us don’t even realize what distractions are inhibiting our concentration in the first place. Here are a few things that you need to avoid while driving:

– Eating and drinking

– Using your cell phone

– Adjusting climate and audio

– Driving with an unrestrained pet

– Holding a full bladder

– Reaching for things in the backseat

If you have been involved in a vehicle accident, make sure you speak to the Lamber Goodnow Injury Law Team. They have a 99% success rate (won or settled) for auto accidents.


Speeding may seem harmless, but you must know that the limits are in place for a reason. They ensure that you can correctly control the vehicle and provide you with more reaction time in busy areas. If you find that you struggle with maintaining your speed, consider using cruise control or learn to keep a watchful eye on your speedometer. Not only will you drive safer, but you will also avoid those nasty fines.

Poor Weather Conditions

When it rains, hails, snows, or goes foggy, it dramatically impacts our ability to drive. We are not able to control the vehicle properly and may not be able to see the different hazards in front of us. This results in collisions, and you may even veer off the road.

If you find that you aren’t confident in driving in these conditions, it’s best to avoid it altogether and consider taking public transport. If you must drive, take things slowly and remain extra vigilant.

Night Driving

Driving during the night is always going to be more challenging as your vision can be impaired. However, another culprit, known as fatigue, can also cause many accidents. All it takes is for you to close your eyes for a second, and you can be off the road.

To drive more safely, make sure that you always keep your lights on and avoid heading down roads without streetlights. You may even look at getting night vision glasses that can be used while driving.

Animal Crossings

Deer, birds, coyotes, raccoons, rabbits, and domesticated animals such as cats and dogs can all be present out on the road. In fact, according to State Farm, drivers have a 1 in 116 chance of colliding with an animal. Luckily there are few things you can do to avoid them. Here are some tips to follow:

– Pay attention to wildlife crossing signs

– Use high beams (when possible)

– Research peak seasons

– Remain extra vigilant during the early morning and late afternoon

– Avoid swerving and break as necessary

Alcohol and Drug Impairment

In the US, the BAC (blood alcohol content) sits at 0.08%, and if you go over, you can experience heavy fines. However, that doesn’t seem to be stopping people. In fact, NHTSA noted that one person every 52 minutes crashes due to drunk driving. It is certainly one of the top causes of car accidents and has shown a slight decline over the past ten years.

Not sure if you are over the limit? Try purchasing a portable breathalyzer that you can keep in your vehicle at all times.

Emotional Driving

Accidents that are caused by emotional driving are due to an individual’s thought process. This could include aggressive driving behavior as well as those that are upset or stressed. While we may not realize it, being mentally unstable can impact our ability to concentrate and inhibit our reaction time.  

If you are angry or sad, it’s best to wait a while until you get behind the wheel. At the end of the day, it’s not only protecting your life but also others that are on the road.

Running Red Lights/Stop Signs

Red means stop, but unfortunately, many individuals out there seem to think they can get away with running the lights. What they seem to forget is that there are other vehicles coming the other way. In 2019, 846 people were killed as a result of uncareful drivers. Over half of them being pedestrians, bicyclists, and individuals in other vehicles that were all following the rules.

Vehicle Defects

While vehicle design defects may not be one of the most common causes of car accidents, they do happen and deserve a spot on this list. While you can’t always avoid them (as you may not be aware), it’s still good to be extra careful and frequently check for recalls. Here are a few examples of common defects:

– Seat belts with malfunctioning tension detectors

– Airbags that don’t deploy

– Door latch mechanisms that fail

– Faulty braking systems

– Headlights with low visibility

Inexperienced Drivers

Lastly, another cause of car accidents in the US is inexperienced drivers. While we all need to begin somewhere, sometimes those that are still leaning try and take on more than they are ready for. This could include driving long distances, driving during the night, and driving during poor weather conditions. 

If you are a learner and want to gain more experience, consider taking some extra driving courses to improve your skills. There are even online tests that you can take for free. Trust us when we say it is definitely worth it.