Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in the US

Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in the US

Tens of thousands of car accidents happen per year in the United States. They are so common that the nation’s public health agency, the CDC, treats motor vehicle safety as one of their main concerns. 

While some car accidents are not avoidable, you can reduce your chances by practicing safe driving habits. Below is a list of the most common causes of car accidents in the US to help you stay alert and prevent getting involved in an accident.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents in the United States. A distracted driver doesn’t have their full attention on the road, instead paying closer attention to their food, passengers, or mobile device.

When you’re behind the wheel, your main job is to ensure that you get to your destination safely. Just because you’ve had your license for years does not mean you can multitask, so it’s crucial to avoid all distractions while driving. 

Driving While Intoxicated 

Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is highly dangerous and illegal. Intoxicated driving is one of the most deadly and common causes of car accidents in the US.

You or your friends should never get behind the wheel while under the influence. If you are under the influence, decide on a designated driver or call an Uber or other taxi service. 

Additionally, if you’re taking certain medications with side effects that would impair your driving, you should not get behind the wheel.


Speeding is the third leading cause of car accidents in the United States, but it can be prevented if we all follow the speed limit. Keep in mind the faster you drive, the slower your reaction time. For the safety of everyone on the road, it’s imperative to obey posted speed limits.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving can lead to severe and fatal car accidents. Excessive lane changes, speeding, and aggressive driving behavior all fall under reckless driving. If you see someone on the road driving like this, give them space, protect yourself, and report the driver to authorities.

Driving in Inclement Weather

Rain, snow, hail, or sleet—rough weather can create hazardous environments for drivers. The slick roadways can cause cars to slide without warning. If you’re stuck in a storm, drive with extra caution; if you can avoid driving during inclement weather, stay home. 

Many car accidents can be prevented when drivers make better decisions and pay attention to their surroundings. Remember, if you are at fault for multiple car accidents, you will be labeled a high-risk driver and face expensive consequences. 

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