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Top 25 Causes of Car Accidents and What You Can Do to Prevent Them

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury, Top 25 Causes of Car Crashes


The following 25 reasons are the most common causes of car accidents in the United States. Read to find out what actions you can start taking today to prevent them.

Injured in a Chicago car accident? Call us at (312) 236-2900. Click on “live chat” to find out if you’re eligible for filing a claim to recover damages.

  1. Distracted Driving
  2. Speeding
  3. Drunk Driving
  4. Reckless Driving
  5. Rain
  6. Running Red Lights
  7. Running Stop Signs
  8. Snow and Ice
  9. Teenage Drivers
  10. Night Driving
  11. Road Design Defects
  12. Wrong-Way Driving
  13. Improper Turns
  14. Tailgating
  15. Road Rage
  16. Drugged Driving
  17. Potholes
  18. Drowsy Driving
  19. Tire Blowouts
  20. Fog
  21. Street Racing
  22. Curvy Roads
  23. Animal Crossings
  24. Texting While Driving
  25. Construction Zones

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving becomes a larger threat every year and has been the leading cause of car accidents for the past decade. Its effects grow every year. You should always pay attention to the road while you are driving. That means you should avoid using your cell phone to make a call, texting, eating, reading, grooming, and talking while behind the wheel. (Driving is not a good time to take a selfie.)

Speeding

Although it can be tempting to push the speed limit when you are in traffic or running a bit late, speeding is the second most common cause of accidents, so you should resist the urge and stay within the legal limits.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is one of the most dangerous causes of accidents in the U.S. Estimates hover around 300,000 incidents of drunk driving in America every day, despite the fact that drunk driving accidents are some of the most deadly. If you have had anything to drink, take a taxi or give your keys to a sober friend. It is not worth the risk.

Reckless Driving

Changing lanes too quickly, speeding well over the limit, and acting aggressive on the roads can lead to horrible accidents. It is important to take your time and remain calm while driving to avoid needless accidents caused by simple carelessness.

Rain

While you can’t always avoid driving in the rain, the slick, dangerous road conditions caused by heavy rains should be avoided when at all possible. If visibility is too low to drive or the roads seem particularly slick, you should pull over and wait until the storm passes.

Running Red Lights

It may seem obvious, but it bears repeating. Red always means stop. Even if it seems like no other cars are coming, you can cause a serious accident by running a red light and you will be breaking the law.

Running Stop Signs

Just like red lights, stop signs are not optional. Always come to a full stop and wait your turn before passing through a red light.

Snow and Ice

Snow affects you car’s traction on the road. Ice is even worse. Many cars slip and slide off the road and sometimes even completely flip over. Only go out in snow or icy weather with proper chains and tires, and avoid any roads that have not yet been sanded or plowed properly.

Teenage Drivers

Teens don’t have the experience to know what to do in dangerous conditions and that inexperience causes accidents. If you have teenagers, make sure that they have had a defensive driving course, do not permit cellphone use while driving, and limit the passengers they can take with them in the car. We have created a list of teen driver safety tips in order to help reduce the risk of teen driver accidents.

Night Driving

Lack of visibility makes hazards more difficult to see at night. Make sure that you are extra alert on the road at night, and use your brights when on an abandoned road without streetlights.

Design Defects

Sometimes accidents are caused by flaws in the car itself. While you cannot always avoid this, make sure to take note of any recalls in the news and take your car in for regular maintenance.

Wrong-Way Driving

Everyone makes mistakes, but lapses in judgment while driving a car can cause horrible accidents. Be aware of street signs warning of one-way streets or other irregularities, especially in unfamiliar areas.

Improper Turns

When people don’t get in the proper lane to make a turn, use signals properly, or follow traffic signals, accidents happen. Always look out for traffic signs and obey the proper right-of-way when you make a turn.

Tailgating

There is never an excuse to get too close to the car in front of you, no matter how frustratingly slow they seem to be going. Keep a safe distance from other cars so that you will have time to react to sudden turns or uses of brakes.

Road Rage

When you are angry, your decision-making skills suffer and you can get more aggressive. Stay calm and resist temptation to escalate road incidents.

Drugs

While alcohol is the culprit we usually associate with DUIs, drugs, including marijuana, prescription pills and other illegal drugs also cause terrible accidents. Never drive if you are under the influence of any drug, prescribed or not.

Potholes

Potholes are very frustrating for drivers, because sometimes they can’t be avoided. Try to drive around potholes to avoid damaging your car, when you can, but do not swerve into another lane if cars are coming.

Drowsy Driving

Being tired can diminish your reflexes as badly as a few glasses of alcohol. Don’t drive when you are extra sleepy, and make sure you always get a good night’s sleep before getting on the road. You can read more about drowsy driving and sleep impairment on our site.

Tire Blowouts

If you get a flat while driving, it can cause you to swerve unexpectedly. Try to stay calm and keep control of the wheel while pulling over as soon as it is safe. Call for help if you cannot change the tire yourself safely.

Fog

If you can’t see the road and other drivers due to heavy fog, pull over and wait until visibility is better.

Street Racing

You should never race another car to your destination, even in a casual, “friendly” way. This leads to unnecessary risk-taking behavior.

Curvy Roads

Very curvy roadways can be difficult to maneuver. Take the curves slowly and carefully. It is especially important to respect any posted adjusted speed limits.

Animal Crossings

Anyone who has ever heard someone tell about hitting a deer knows that this is a big danger. For this reason, take extra caution when you see an animal crossing sign and always use your high beams when traveling in rural, woody areas where wild animals are common.

Texting While Driving

Now that cell phones are everywhere, texting while driving is becoming increasingly common. This is very dangerous. In the time it takes to glance at a text, you can get in a horrible crash. Never text while driving.

Construction Zones

Sometimes the way a construction zone is set up can be confusing. Follow the cones as well as possible and be aware of other drivers who may be confused. It is especially important to drive slowly in these areas.

Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Today

If you remember these risks and do all you can to prevent them, you will be much less likely to get in a Chicago car accident. However, not all accidents can be prevented. Just because you are careful does not mean that you can assure that all other drivers on the road will do the same thing.

If you are in a car crash, it may not be your fault, and you should not be held responsible for the damages. Give the lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. a call at (312) 236-2900 to discuss your specific case further today to find out if we can help.

if you’ve been hurt, Staver can help.

Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can help you manage the paperwork, insurance adjusters, and defense attorneys so you can focus on your health and getting the appropriate treatment. Please call us today for a free legal consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers.

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