What Causes the Most Car Crashes?

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What Causes the Most Car Crashes?

Car Crashes

More often than not, the biggest danger of a car is the person driving it. Inexperienced teens are usually anxious, and panic easily in tricky situations. Driver fatigue is another major cause of accidents, as drivers overestimate their ability to stay awake on long drives. Many vehicle crashes are avoidable. Here is a list of what causes the most car crashes.

What Causes the Most Car Crashes?


Distracted driving is regarded as the highest cause of wrecks. Drivers can easily be distracted by people or things inside a car. It only takes a split second for a collision to happen. Therefore, when driving, it is best to keep your eyes on the road at all times and limit distractions from passengers.


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for more than two decades, speeding has been a factor in one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. Speeding reduces reaction times for both the driver and those around them, either in other cars or pedestrians. We all have been late to an obligation at one point or another. However, that does not mean you need to speed to get there. Speed limits are put in place to protect all road users, including yourself.

Drunk and Drugged Drivers

Many fatal car crashes occur when a driver is on the way to buy more alcohol when they are already inebriated. In every state, it is illegal to drive drunk, yet drunk drivers cause nearly one-third of all fatal crashes. The same could be said of drivers driving under the influence of drugs. In both circumstances reason, vision and reaction times are all impaired.

Recklessness and Street Racing

This isn’t just a case of not knowing the rules of the road. It is more a case of a deliberate disregard for them, thereby putting other road users at risk, often with fatal consequences. These crashes involve bravado and blatant stupidity. That’s why drivers can face serious legal consequences if caught driving recklessly.


Rain can cause accidents in a couple of ways. After dry spells, the rain mixes with the oil on the road which makes the roads slippery. In turn, this can have an adverse effect on braking. During or just after heavy downpours, deep puddles and flooding can occur, thereby, reducing traction and causing the car to hydroplane.

Ice and snow are both slippery and fog can reduce driver visibility. High winds are also a major threat to road users, especially when driving in wide-open areas with no buildings to act as windbreaks.

Running Red Lights and Stop Signs

Speeding is oftentimes a factor in collisions involving a driver blowing through a red light or stop sign. What makes these avoidable wrecks even more disconcerting is that they often involve crashing into other unsuspecting, law-abiding vehicles or pedestrians. Ignoring stop signs causes side-impact wrecks as well as rollovers when running a stop sign and turning a corner at speed.

Night Time Driving

When driving at night, glare can significantly hinder the driver’s vision. The dangers of night driving are further exacerbated in inclement weather conditions. Such conditions are nerve-wracking for both new and experienced drivers.

Car Design Defects

Some cars have unintended blind spots. In addition, there is always the risk of a defective car part that can stop working at any time, even in new cars.

Lane Changes and Improper Turns

Unsafe lane changes can cause car crashes. Inexperienced drivers are more at risk as they tend to change lanes suddenly and at sharp angles, instead of easing over smoothly. Improper or incorrect turns are quite often symptomatic of arrogance in experienced drivers. Drivers making U-Turns, especially suddenly, are another cause of accidents. More often than not, drivers overestimate their ability and simultaneously underestimate the speed of oncoming traffic.


Inadvertently turning the wrong way onto a one-way road invokes the danger of causing collisions with oncoming traffic that has nowhere else to go. To avoid such mistakes, focus on the road and avoid distractions when driving in the city.

Tailgating and Road Rage

Road rage starts with tailgating which leads to frustration and then braking by the car being tailgated. Aggressive driving consequences can be serious. To avoid road rage incidents, don’t be in a rush when driving, and cool off if you’re upset by traffic circumstances.


Some curves are deadly, however, would be less so if entered at a reduced speed. Tight corners and curves require drivers to slow down as they approach them. Taking corners in high gear and at high speeds, reduces the control the driver has over a car and can cause drifting or rollover crashes.

Less avoidable Crashes

Potholes can be difficult to notice in busy traffic and are difficult to avoid. They are even more dangerous in bad weather and foggy conditions. Some tire blowouts are unpredictable, however, you should look at your tires when stopping for gas.

Additional Reading: 2020 Fatality Data Show Increased Traffic Fatalities During Pandemic –  U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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