The 7 Most Common Car Accident Causes

Car accidents are, unfortunately, all too common.

In 2020 alone, the United States had over 6 million car accidents. That’s an average of nearly 19,000 accidents per day.

While some of these common car accident causes are due to factors beyond our control, such as weather or mechanical issues, many are caused by human error.

1 – Distracted Driving

In 2024, distracted driving was a factor in 3,142 fatal crashes, accounting for over 10% of all fatal crashes that year. Distracted driving is any activity that takes your attention away from the task of driving. This can include talking on the phone, texting, eating, drinking, adjusting the radio, or even daydreaming.

2 – Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is one of the most dangerous things you can do on the road. There are over 10,000 drunk driving fatalities in the United States every year. That’s almost 29% of all traffic fatalities in a year. If you’re going to be drinking, have a designated driver or take a cab or Uber home. It’s not worth risking your life or the lives of others.

3 – Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is any behavior on the road that shows a disregard for safety. This can include speeding, tailgating, swerving in and out of lanes, running red lights or stop signs, and more. While reckless driving accidents have decreased, they still factor in 5% of all fatal crashes.

4 – Speeding

Of course, speeding is one form of reckless driving. But it’s such a common cause of accidents (and such a preventable one) that it deserves its spot on this list. Speeding is a factor in more than 25% of all fatal crashes yearly. So next time you’re tempted to go above the speed limit, remember that it’s not worth risking your life or the lives of others. Slow down and arrive alive.

5 – Running A Red Light Or Stop Sign

Running red lights and stop signs is another form of reckless driving…and it’s also against the law. About 800 fatalities happen yearly due to drivers running red lights or stop signs. Pay attention to traffic signals and obey them for your safety and the safety of others.

6 – Not Using Turn Signals

You might not think something as small as not using turn signals could be so dangerous—but it is. Not using turn signals is one of the leading causes of car accidents because it doesn’t give other drivers enough time to react to what you’re doing. If you’re going to make a turn or change lanes, make sure to signal so other drivers know what you’re doing and can adjust accordingly.

7 – Vehicle Defects

Lastly, vehicle defects are another leading cause of car accidents—and they’re often out of our control as drivers. If you suspect that there may be an issue with your vehicle (such as faulty brakes), make sure to take it to a mechanic right away so they can fix the problem before it becomes dangerous.

Common Car Accident Causes: In Summary

Car accidents are unfortunately all too common—, but many are preventable if we’re careful behind the wheel. The next time you’re getting behind the wheel, keep these seven common car accident causes in mind and do your best to avoid them. Thank you for reading.