Common Causes of Car Accidents: What to Watch for While Driving

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Unfortunately, car accidents are quite common in the United States and most of these crashes are caused by human error. No matter how defensively you drive, reckless drivers are all around you. In a matter of seconds, your life can change forever due to a distracted, aggressive or drunk driver. While some are relatively minor, thousands of lives are taken every year by these horrible car crashes. Serious injuries from car accidents often result in expensive medical care and lost wages.

If you are in a car crash, it may not be your fault, and you should not be held responsible for the damages caused by the ignorance or mistakes of other drivers. In such cases, you should consider protecting yourself by filing a car accident claim. There are so many damages, pains and frustrations that may arise as a result of a car accident, and it is best to guard your life above all. Following a car accident, be sure to document the scene, gather the other driver’s information, get medical care and call a lawyer.

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

Common Causes of Car Accidents

Despite numerous public safety campaigns against drunk driving, the problem continues to exist. Advances in smartphone technology are creating opportunities for distracted driving. And, anger continues to plaque drivers as they lead stressful lives with little to no free time. As long as drivers make poor choices when getting behind the wheel, your life is at risk.


Here are the top causes of car accidents:

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving becomes a larger threat every year and has been the leading cause of car accidents for the past decades. Please pay attention to the road while you are driving. That means no calls, no texting, no eating, no reading, no grooming or application of makeup, and talking while behind the wheel.

The three main categories of distraction:

  • Visual – Taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual – Taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive – Taking your mind off driving


Distracted driving is any activity that moves your attention from traffic on the road ahead to something else. These activities include the following:

  • Talking—and especially texting—on cell phones
  • Rubbernecking
  • Driver fatigue
  • Looking at scenery on the side of the road
  • Engaging with passengers or children
  • Glancing at GPS
  • Adjusting the radio, CD player, or other aspect of the car’s infotainment system
  • Reading books, maps newspapers or other documents
  • Eating
  • Self-grooming
  • Taking care of the kids


Aggressive Driving

When a driver acts in a negligent way that is deliberate and with no regard for safety, their behavior constitutes aggressive driving. We have all seen the signs of aggressive driving and hopefully none of you are guilty of it. The devastation that can result from road rage or aggressive incidents is not worth it. The time pressure involved with getting to work or returning home carries over into our driving behaviors. If you are ever at the receiving end of an aggressive driver, it is always best to change lanes, turn or otherwise remove yourself from the situation.

Examples of aggressive driving include:

  • Tailgating
  • Cutting in front of another driver then slowing down
  • Running red lights
  • Blocking cars that are attempting to pass or change lanes
  • Speeding in heavy traffic

Aggressive driving can quickly escalate to road rage. Signs of road rage include:

  • Running another car off the road
  • Throwing objects at another vehicle
  • Ramming or sideswiping another vehicle


Drug or Alcohol Impaired Driving

The issue of drinking and driving never goes away. Why do people choose to drink and drive? The answers from a recent survey provide some insight into this dangerous decision:

  • Most people believe they can drive after a few drinks with no problem; the alcohol gives them a false sense of feeling invincible.
  • Their home isn’t far away and they can drive the short distance safely.
  • They think they won’t get caught.

Drunk drivers continue to take risks, placing other drivers in danger of serious injuries. If you or a loved one has experienced serious injuries due to the negligent behavior of another driver, contact the Duque & Price today.

Alcohol is not the only way to drive impaired. Many substances can impair driving, including some over-the-counter and prescription drugs and illegal drugs.

  • Alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs can impair the ability to drive because they slow coordination, judgment, and reaction times.
  • Cocaine and methamphetamine can make drivers more aggressive and reckless.
  • Using two or more drugs at the same time, including alcohol, can amplify the impairing effects of each drug a person has consumed.
  • Some prescription and over-the-counter medicines can cause extreme drowsiness, dizziness, and other side effects. Read and follow all warning labels before driving, and note that warnings against “operating heavy machinery” include driving a vehicle.


Top 5 Most Common Injuries Following a Car Accident:

Car accidents can cause a variety of serious personal injuries, including death. Many of these injuries are not immediately apparent right after the collision. It may take days or weeks for your neck or back to start hurting. If not treated, many types of injuries will worsen and could cause long term damage.


Brain Injuries

Auto accidents are the leading cause of brain trauma. Even a relatively minor accident or low-speed impact collision can result in a blow to the head that leads to a concussion. A severe injury could impair critical functions such as speech, vision, concentration, memory and emotional control. If you have suffered a head injury in a car crash, it is crucial that you get medical attention right away.



A “whiplash” type injury to the neck and upper back is a form of soft tissue injury that occurs when your head and neck get jerked back and forth in a whipping motion. In whiplash, the intervertebral joints (located between vertebrae), discs, and ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerve roots may become damaged, oftentimes causing a radiating pain on your arms and shoulders. Whiplash injuries may not surface until the day or days after the accident. A large percentage of whiplash victims never fully recover from their injuries. Many endure chronic pain afterwards and some even become permanently disabled.


Spinal Cord Damage

Any damage to the spine, no matter how minor, needs to be treated delicately. Spinal injuries are some of the most devastating injuries suffered in a car accident. When the spinal cord is severed or permanently damaged, the most common result is paralysis. Most paralysis victims will experience a loss of function or sensation below the injured portion of the spinal cord.


Internal Injuries

Internal injuries do not often manifest immediately after the accident but can be some of the most serious injuries. Examples of these injuries include punctured lungs, ruptured spleen and damage to other organs such as the kidneys and liver. These injuries require prompt medical attention and emergency care. It is important to be fully examined for internal bleeding or injury after a serious accident.


Broken Bones

While broken bones are not typically life-threatening, they have the potential to cause significant physical pain and expense. Healing time, physical therapy and rehabilitative treatments could result in lost time at work and could also result in permanent disability or disfigurement.


Should You Speak with an Attorney?

Thousands of people die in car accidents each year, which is why the damage sustained in these crashes should never be taken lightly. If you were harmed in a crash, your first step should always be to call 911 and ask for medical attention. Once you have been properly taken care of, make sure you contact an experienced personal injury attorney for help attaining justice and compensation for your injuries.

Call us now at 1-877-241-9554 to learn more about your options. A free consultation is just a phone call away.


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