The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents and How to Avoid Them

Car Accidents

Unfortunately, around 13 car accidents occur every minute in the United States. Not only are some of these unfortunately fatal, but injuries caused by accidents can be life-altering.

There’s no 100% guarantee that you can avoid an accident, as there are other drivers on the road. However, there are ways to minimize the risk you assume when you get behind the wheel.

If you’re looking to stay safe on the road, understanding the most common causes of car accidents is crucial. Keep reading to learn what leads to accidents and how you can avoid them. 

Distracted Driving

Many, unfortunately, think they can multitask while driving. However, these distractions can lead to accidents, as focusing your attention on something else but the road can have irreparable effects. 

Using the phone is one of the most common causes of accidents in this category. Any time you text or check your phone while behind the wheel, you risk taking your eyes off the road for seconds at a time. Though seconds seem insignificant, cars can break, pedestrians can step into the road, and traffic lights can change. 

Similarly, hazards on the road can be easily avoided, but when you’re distracted, you may not be able to avoid them, leading to accidents. From the debris on the road to potholes, keeping your eyes on the road can help prevent suffering or causing car accident injuries. 

However, texting is not the only distraction while driving. Eating, rubbernecking, fiddling with car controls, or daydreaming can take your focus off the road.


Unfortunately, many people who get behind the wheel think they’re invincible. Types of reckless driving include speeding, racing, aggressive driving, and driving under the influence. 

Unfortunately, many drivers think they rule the road and drive as such. They’ll weave in and out of lanes, tailgate, brake check, and bully other drivers. 

Though this sight can be frustrating, it’s best to distance yourself from these drivers and call the police. However, if you’re a victim of an aggressive driver, finding a car accident lawyer to represent you is crucial to getting justice. 

Street racing and speeding are two significant examples of reckless driving. Speed limits are set for a reason, based on road conditions, visibility, and traffic patterns. Disregarding these signs can have detrimental effects.

Speeding also makes it incredibly difficult to control the vehicle, as stopping the car takes a significantly longer amount of time when the speed of the car is higher. 

Finally, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is one of the most reckless forms of driving, as it significantly reduces judgment and reaction time. If you plan on consuming alcohol, ensuring you make arrangements to get a ride is crucial. If you cannot find a ride, you should not drink. 


Unfortunately, driving while tired is a leading cause of crashes, as dozing off can have detrimental effects and lead to a car accident.

When tired, you’re more likely to doze off. Though sleeping while driving seems improbable, these instances are known as microsleeps. This means your car can veer into oncoming traffic or the lanes next to you on the highway.

If you’re tired, avoid driving until you feel well-rested. However, if you’re already behind the wheel and feel a wave of drowsiness wash over you, pulling over to rest is the best option.

There are indicators that you should cease driving when tired, such as heavy eyelids, veering on to rumble strips, constant yawning, and feelings of fuzziness. 


Unfortunately, it’s impossible to control the weather. However, you can control how you react to the weather. 

Driving in rough weather decreases visibility and increases unsafe driving conditions. Snow and rain can coat the road, making it much harder to control your vehicle, leading to car accidents. 

When possible, avoid driving in severe weather. This includes high winds, snow, heavy rainfall, and fog.

You should avoid driving when the weather is not ideal to reduce the risk of a car accident. However, if you’re already on the road, you can pull over and wait for the weather to lighten up before you continue driving.

However, in cases of emergency where this is not an option, practicing safe, defensive driving is crucial to preventing accidents. Driving slowly, keeping a safe following distance, and silencing all distractions to keep your focus solely on the road can help you navigate nasty weather and prevent accidents. 

Mechanical Errors

Finally, mechanical errors are non-human problems that can lead to accidents on the road. 

This includes things like brake lines snapping, tires blowing out, and suspension issues that affect the ability to steer the vehicle. 

While sometimes these errors happen seemingly out of nowhere and with little ability to prevent them, you can minimize the risk. You can check your car frequently to ensure all the hardware is in good condition.

Similarly, if you notice your car feels off or your dashboard is lit up with different symbols, you’ll want to take your vehicle to a mechanic to ensure the equipment is functioning properly. 

Avoid these Causes of Car Accidents

While driving is something that you may not think twice about, ensuring you take precautions to stay safe on the road is crucial to prevent inflicting a severe car accident injury on yourself or others. 

If you’ve found this guide to the most standard causes of car accidents informative, you’ll want to check out the rest of our website. There, you’ll find more of the best auto and travel tips and tricks.