An In Depth Look at the Causes of Car Accidents Part 1

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Legally reviewed by:

Erik Abrahamson, J.D. December 28, 2017

Our car accident attorneys regularly research the causes of car accidents as well as the latest, and somewhat unfortunate, statistics related to the causes of car accidents. In this two-part series, we hope to educate our readers on what are the most common causes of car accidents.

Causes of Car Accidents

According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 40,000 people were killed in car accidents in 2016, making it the deadliest year on U.S. roads in 50 years. Along with the thousands killed in crashes, an estimated 4.6 million per year are seriously injured with property damage that tops $430 billion per year. The vast majority of traffic accidents are caused by human error, which makes them completely preventable. The following are the most common causes of car crashes in the United States.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving refers to any activity that distracts the driver from the road, including eating, talking to passengers, using a navigation system, or talking or texting on a phone. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 391,000 injuries and 3,477 deaths in 2015 alone were caused by distracted drivers.

Texting and driving, in particular, is on the rise. According to a poll by AAA, 94% of teenage drivers acknowledge the danger but 35% admit texting while driving. 21% of teen drivers involved in a fatal car accident were using their cell phone at the time of the accident.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence is a common cause of car accidents and it accounts for 29% of all traffic-related deaths, according to the CDC. Every year, more than 1 million drivers are arrested for driving under the influence of narcotics or alcohol. Drunk drivers are responsible for 1 death every 51 minutes in the U.S. In Florida alone, almost 8,500 people are killed in accidents involving drunk drivers per year with a rate of death higher than the national average. 2.1% of Florida drivers report driving after drinking too much alcohol.


Speeding is a contributing factor in about 30% of all fatal car accidents with more than 10,000 deaths each year attributed to speeding. In fatal accidents, almost half of speeding drivers were not wearing a seatbelt compared to 24% of non-speeding drivers.

Alcohol and speeding often go hand-in-hand. About 42% of speeding drivers in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher compared to 16% for non-speeding drivers. For drivers between 21 and 24 who were involved in a fatal car accident, 50% who were speeding were intoxicated.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to the fault of another contact our injury law team for a free case evaluation with no obligation whatsoever. Our team is available 24/7, call 800-538-4878 today.


An In Depth Look at the Causes of Car Accidents Part 2