What Causes Car Accidents

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Many things can cause a car accident, and knowing what they are enables you to try to avoid them. Defensive driving can be one of the greatest tools any driver has for preventing a collision and avoiding being injured.

With that in mind, here are some of the reasons that car accidents happen:


Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the most common and dangerous things drivers do. With the rise in cell phone use, the problem has worsened over the years to the point that, now, many drivers are talking on their phones, texting, using navigator, and even watching YouTube videos while driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015, there were 3,477 deaths due to distracted driving and 391,000 people were injured. This is because in only five seconds, the time it takes to read a text message, a car will travel the distance of a football field when going 55 miles per hour.

In other words, if you see someone looking at his or her phone, doing his or her hair, or playing with the radio, you can bet that driver does not see you.


Following Too Closely

Tailgating or following too closely is another hazard and very often leads to rear-end collisions. If someone is following you too closely, the best thing you can do is safely change lanes.


Failure to Yield or Stop

How many times have you been driving and seen someone run through a red light or fail to stop at a stop sign? Failing to stop or yield for oncoming traffic is all too common and a major cause of accidents


Failure to Turn Properly

Using your turn signal is important, but a lot of people don’t do it. Failing to turn properly by alerting other drivers that you were going to turn is a problem, too, and turning into traffic causes a lot of accidents.

As a defensive driver, you can watch to see what people are doing based on their changing speed and the direction their wheels are turning. This can help you avoid an accident, even when the other driver is all but begging to cause one.


Drunk Driving

There’s been a decrease in drunk driving deaths since national campaigns to end the practice have launched. Still, many adults report driving after drinking, and very few of these are ever arrested.

This means there are a lot of drunk drivers on the road at any given time, and avoiding them is important for staying safe.

Watch to see if someone is swerving all over the road or speeding up and then slowing down. Any type of erratic behavior could be a sign that the person is intoxicated.



Driving over the speed limit or at an unsafe speed for the current weather conditions often leads to accidents. If someone is speeding, move to a different lane and let him or her pass you, creating enough distance that if the driver runs into trouble, you have enough time to react and stop.


You May Need a Lawyer

If you were in a car accident caused by someone else driving dangerously or being negligent in general, you could get compensation for it by working with a lawyer. After you have been to a doctor for your injuries, give a lawyer a call.