What are the Top Causes of Car Accidents?

injury accident with severely damaged car and responding ambulance with emergency lights

In 2015, there were 35,092 deaths and 2.44 million people injured in car crashes in the United States. Police-reported crashes in the United States reached 6.3 million last year. But what are the most common causes of these car accidents?

What Are the Top Causes of Car Accidents in the United States?

  1. Speeding

Speeding is one of the most prevalent causes of car accidents in the United States. Between 2003 and 2012, speeding was a contributing factor in at least 30 percent of all fatal crashes. In 2012, there were 10,219 speeding-related fatal crashes.

Speeding and alcohol involvement go hand-in-hand when it comes to fatal car accidents. In 2012, 42 percent of speeding drivers were also legally drunk – having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.

In addition, only 52 percent of speeding drivers under the age of 21 that died in a car crash were wearing seatbelts at the time of the wreck.

  1. Drunk Driving

Drunk driving accidents continue to plague the roadways, causing more than $44 billion in damage each year and claiming the lives of 28 people every day. In 2014, there were 9,967 deaths in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. Thirty-one percent of all traffic-related deaths are caused by drunk driving.

One of the most deadly car crash causes is also one of the most preventable, and oftentimes it is our most vulnerable population that is affected by drunk driving. In 2014, 19 percent of traffic deaths among children ages 0 to 14 involved a drunk driver.

One of the scariest aspects of drunk driving is the astounding number of people who do it. Over 1.1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence in 2014 – but this number is only one percent of the 121 million self-reported episodes of drunk driving by U.S. adults yearly.

  1. Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has become of the most notorious causes of car wrecks in the United States. With the advent and popularity of smartphones and other digital devices, distracted driving-related crashes have increased over the past decade. In 2013, there were 3,154 people killed and an estimated 424,000 people injured in car crashes involving distracted drivers

Eighteen percent of all injury car crashes were reported as a result of a distracted driver in 2013. In addition, in 2013, ten percent of the fatal crashes were reported as distraction-affected crashes.

The age group with the highest propensity to be involved in distracted driving car crashes are drivers between 15 and 19 years of age. Ten percent of drivers killed in distracted driving crashes fell in this age range.

  1. Reckless Driving

Reckless driving covers a number of actions and deals with a general disregard for traffic regulations and safety, whether it be intentional or accidental. This can includes failing to adhere to stop signs or other posted traffic signs, unsafe changes of direction or lane changes, or failing to keep proper look out.

Although the definition of reckless driving may vary from state to state, the dangerous nature is the same. Reckless driving can result in serious injury, property or vehicle damage, or oftentimes death.

Contact an Experienced Accident Lawyer

The team of experienced injury attorneys at Thomas J. Henry represent the victims of every kind of motor vehicle accident, including car crashes, trucking accidents, and company vehicle wrecks. If you or a family member has been injured in an accident, contact one of our attorneys, 24/7 nights and weekends.

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