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April 2, 2021 | Gary Burger

Leading Causes of Car Accidents

The most common causes of accidents among motor vehicles such as trucks, cars, and motorcycles are not attributed to environmental conditions outside of our control, but to driver error. A car accident can occur at any time, but understanding other drivers' behavior and the most common factors that contribute to auto accidents can help you keep you and your family safe.

If you are in a car or truck accident and are injured, act quickly by first receiving medical attention and then contacting the leading St. Louis auto accident lawyers at Burger Law. We have recovered incredible settlements to help car accident victims in Missouri, Illinois, and beyond through our finely-honed personal injury settlement skills. We refuse to back down when insurance companies bully accident victims, and we have gotten nearly impossible results for our clients that way. Get us on your car accident case right away by contacting us at 314-542-2222 or online right now.

Leading Causes of Auto Accidents

Collisions between vehicles happen in what often feels like the blink of an eye. In most cases, you have very little warning or time to react. Our large, powerful machines are traveling long distances very quickly, and if anything goes wrong, the consequences can be severe.

It is an unfortunate truth that there are drivers on our roads who consistently put others in danger with their reckless or inattentive driving. In addition, other typically safe drivers can encounter circumstances beyond their control that cause them to lose command of their vehicle and can also endanger other travelers. While we cannot control anyone else on the road, becoming familiar with some of the common causes of car and truck accidents prepare you to drive more defensively and to be aware of certain warning signs.

Top Five Most Common Causes of Car Accidents

Though there are some potentially dangerous conditions and events outside of our control that can contribute to accidents, you may be surprised to learn that driver error accounts for the vast majority of the auto accidents that take place every year. In fact, a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the Department of Transportation estimates that human operators are responsible for 94%  of accidents that take place.

The most common driver-related causes of auto accidents are:

  1. Distracted Driving

    Distracted driving refers to much more than texting and driving. Even though it is not consistently outlawed yet across the nation, driving distracted is a major hazard. Our world is full of distractions, and we humans are not as skilled at multitasking as we like to believe. Talking on the phone, putting on makeup, daydreaming, eating, looking at a stopped vehicle, etc -- these are just a few examples of common distractions while driving. The danger of distracted driving is multitudinous; it slows your reaction time, causes you to miss important information, impacts your decision making, can cause you to swerve in the direction you are looking, and affect your speed.

  2. Driving Under the Influence

    It should be obvious to anyone licensed to operate a motor vehicle that driving while under the influence of mind-altering substances such as alcohol and other drugs is a poor decision that can end very badly. Different substances have different effects on the mind and body, but driving while intoxicated generally impacts a driver's abilities, including:

    • coordination
    • reaction time
    • concentration
    • cognition
    • vision
    • tracking (the coordinated activity required to stay in his lane, avoid obstructions, and maintain a regular speed

  3. Aggressive and Reckless Driving

    There are certainly inconsiderate and unaware drivers on the road, which in some cases can give way to aggressive tendencies in others. Aggressive driving is deliberate behavior that disregards others' safety, such as:

    • Cutting another car off
    • Tailgating
    • Weaving in and out of traffic
    • Running red lights
    • Blocking a car or changing speed to prevent another car from changing lanes, passing, etc.
    • Driving very slowly or staying at a yellow light until the last second to prevent another car from passing through the light
    • Refusing to use turn signals
    • Forcing a car off the road
    • Using high beams to interfere with another driver's ability to see

    Whether motivated by spite or a simple desire to get somewhere quickly, abandoning safety and good judgment by committing such behaviors is incredibly dangerous.

  4. Drowsy Driving

    Driving while fatigued or drowsy has, in recent years, been likened to driving drunk. The CDC released a study that showed that a driver who has been awake for 18 consecutive hours has the same impairments of a driver with a blood alcohol content of .05. In extreme cases, a drowsy driver can fall asleep at the wheel. Even when mildly fatigued, your reaction time, perception, and other senses and functions suffer. Fatigued driving is a major problem in commercial drivers - especially truck drivers. They are pressured by their employers to cover extreme distances in as little time as possible.

  5. Speeding

    Speeding is a very common behavior among drivers in the US. Speeding can not only increase your chances of getting into an accident, but can also greatly increases the potential for destruction, injury, and even death if an accident does occur. When you are travelling faster, you have less time to react, impact with a greater force, and can lose control more easily in inclement weather conditions such as ice and rain.

St. Louis Leading Car Accident Law Firm | Burger Law

Get a jump start on winning your car accident case by contacting the St. Louis auto accident lawyers of Burger Law. Our experienced car accident attorneys have recovered millions of dollars for our deserving victims, including car and truck accident victims like you. Find out what Burger Law can do for you by calling us today at 314-542-2222.