What Causes Most Car Accidents in the U.S?

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what causes most car accidents

Every year, more than 6 million car accidents take place in cities all across the U.S. These accidents injure about 3 million people and result in over 30,000 deaths.

If you've never been in a car accident yourself, you should consider yourself lucky. You should also take steps to steer clear of getting into a car accident moving forward.

One way you can do this is by asking the question, "What causes most car accidents?", and finding out the answers. You might be surprised to learn about all of the different things that can cause a car accident to occur.

Continue reading to learn about some of the most common causes of car accidents as well as some of the easiest ways to prevent them.

Distracted Driving

When you're behind the wheel of your car, the only thing you should be focused on is the road in front of you. You should not be fiddling around with your car radio, trying to put on makeup, or doing anything else that could distract you.

This seems like it should be common sense. Yet, distracted driving has become a bigger and bigger problem over the last few years. In 2019, it played a role in nearly 10% of all traffic-related fatalities.

You should get into the habit of putting your smartphone away when you're driving to resist the urge to check it. You should also eliminate any other distractions that might prevent you from focusing on driving. It could very well prevent you from getting into an accident in the future.

Weather

You can't discuss what causes most car accidents and not bring up the weather. Ever since the first gas-powered car was invented more than 100 years ago, people have been getting into accidents caused by the weather.

Precipitation, in particular, can wreak havoc on your ability to control your vehicle. From rain and snow to sleet and hail, you should be very careful about how you drive when there is any precipitation on the ground.

In the wintertime, you should also keep an eye out for black ice. This ice can be tough to spot when you're driving down the road, even if you're looking right at it. It looks just like the street beneath it and can cause problems for you and your car.

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It's always smart to be extra cautious when driving around in wintry weather. All it takes is one small patch of ice to send your car spinning around in circles.

Speeding

The vast majority of people are almost always in a rush. They rush to work in the morning, rush home from work at night, and then spend their nights rushing around trying to get whatever errands they need to run finished.

To save time, many people have gotten into the habit of speeding when they're behind the wheel. They drive well above the speed limit and put themselves and others at risk when they do.

Speeding kills thousands of Americans every year. Almost 10,000 people are killed each year as a direct result of speeding.

The solution to this problem is simple: Slow down. Speeding might help you save some time throughout the day, but it's not worth doing when you consider the risks that come along with it.

Reckless Driving

People do more than just speed when they're in a hurry to get somewhere. They also tend to drive recklessly.

Reckless driving often includes:

  • Driving well above the speed limit
  • Switching lanes over and over again while speeding
  • Cutting other drivers off and acting aggressively

You might be able to get away with driving recklessly now and again. But if you do it all the time, it's only going to be a matter of time before you get pulled over and given a ticket—or worse.

Animals

Is there anything scarier than having an animal dart out into the middle of the street when you're driving down it? It can cause you to swerve and crash your car if you're not careful.

You should be on the lookout for animals at all times, regardless of whether you're driving through an urban area or a rural one. There is always a chance that a dog, a deer, a cat, a squirrel, or another animal could run out into the street in front of you.

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In some cases, hitting the animal might be unavoidable. But more often than not, you can give yourself enough time to sidestep the animal as long as you're paying attention.

Drunk Driving

The number of DUI arrests has gone down in many parts of the country. And while experts aren't 100% sure why just yet, the belief is that the emergence of the different ridesharing companies that have popped up in recent years might have something to do with it.

Still, there are far too many car accidents taking place these days due to drunk driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 10,000 people are killed in accidents involving drunk drivers each year.

If you're ever tempted to drive after drinking a few beers or glasses of wine, do yourself—and everyone else—a favor and don't. And if you're ever involved in an accident with a drunk driver, make sure you call a car accident attorney right away to help handle your case.

Know What Causes Most Car Accidents and Drive More Carefully

If you spend enough time driving, there's a good chance you're going to get into an accident at some point. Studies have shown that the average person is involved in an accident every 18 years.

But you can reduce your chances of being involved in a car accident by knowing what causes most car accidents and working to avoid them. By altering your approach to driving ever so slightly, you can keep yourself safe out on the road.

Want to find out more ways to protect yourself when you're driving? Check out the other articles on our blog about car accidents.

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