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What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents?

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Each year, car accidents claim the lives of more than 36,000 people in the United States. A key part of reducing this number is figuring out the main causes of accidents and developing practical ways to prevent them. As a driver, you can keep yourself safer on the road by understanding these risks and watching out for them. If you are involved in an accident caused by a driver engaging in reckless driving behaviors, you may be able to seek compensation with the help of an attorney.

Distracted Driving

When you are driving, all of your attention should be on the road ahead of you and your surroundings. Any task that takes your eyes, mind, or hands off of the task at hand could put you at risk for a car accident. Common tasks that often cause crashes include texting, talking on the phone, talking to passengers, checking on people in the backseat, eating, drinking, and checking GPS or directions.


Speeding is undoubtedly one of the most dangerous things a driver can do. In some cases, this doesn’t even mean going above the speed limit. You can be at or below the speed limit but still be driving too fast for weather conditions. In most situations, speeding saves barely any time while significantly increasing the risk of a crash.

Poor Weather

Poor weather conditions put drivers at a disadvantage. Snow, ice, fog, and rain can negatively impact your driving. Some weather conditions impair visibility and make it difficult to avoid obstacles, while others change road conditions and make drivers more likely to lose control of their vehicles. Give yourself plenty of extra time while driving in inclement weather and drive slowly.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving covers a wide range of behaviors, including speeding, switching lanes without signaling, tailgating, and ignoring road signs. It is very difficult for other drivers to predict a reckless driver’s erratic behavior, limiting their ability to drive defensively and avoid an accident. This is why it is so important to be aware of your surroundings and the drivers around you. If someone is driving erratically or recklessly, you should put as much distance between you and them to limit the chances of an accident.

Nighttime Driving

Driving at night is inherently less safe than daytime driving, putting drivers and passengers at risk of an accident. Drivers tend to be more tired and visibility is decreased, increasing the likelihood of single-vehicle and multi-vehicle crashes. Those who cannot avoid nighttime driving should take frequent breaks, be aware of the signs of drowsy driving, and give themselves more time to reach their destination.


Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol are responsible for many of the serious and fatal crashes that take place on U.S. roads every year. Impaired drivers tend to overestimate their ability to drive after a few drinks and underestimate the impact of drugs and alcohol on their reaction time, judgment, and motor skills.

Road Conditions

Unsafe roads make it incredibly difficult for drivers to stay in control of their vehicles, no matter how careful and attentive they are. Potholes commonly cause vehicle damage or force drivers to swerve out of the way, both of which make accidents more likely.

Product Defects

The majority of car accidents can be traced back to driver error or poor judgment. However, product defects are still a major cause of car crashes. A product may be defective due to its design, manufacturing, or marketing. Stay on top of routine maintenance and make sure you are signed up to receive vehicle recall notices for your car.

Contact Us After Your Car Accident

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car crash, it’s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Whether your accident was caused by a poorly designed car part, unclear road or construction signs, or another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your property damage and injuries. Reach out to the team at Pack Law Group to learn more about your options. Call us at 540-586-7225 to schedule your free consultation now or message us online to have a member of our legal team reach out to you.

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