Safety on the Road: The Top 6 Causes of Automobile Accidents

With the holidays and winter weather around the corner, the prospect of an automobile accident can easily become a horrible reality. According to the National Safety Council, automobile accidents will take the lives of 1.9 million people annually, and they are the 9thleading cause of death globally1.

It is important to be aware of what causes automobile accidents and how you can avoid them. This two part series will address both; starting with the top causes of automobile accidents in the United States and followed with best practices to avoid an accident. There are two categories of auto accidents; driver error accidents, which make up most of the accidents in the US and non-driver error accidents.

90% of accidents are attributed to driver error. The top causes of driver error accidents are as follows2:

  • 40% of driver error accidents are attributed to alcohol use: A driver’s decision to consume alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a car results in decreased reaction time, poor vision, and poor decision-making. During the holidays, Martin Harding & Mazzotti LLP offers a “Free Cab Ride Home” program for drivers who may have consumed too much alcohol.
  • 25% of driver error accidents are attributed to cell phone use: Texting or talking on cell phones counts as “distracted driving” and, although people think they can multi-task by giving attention to two tasks at a time, it just isn’t possible.
  • The other 35% of driver errors are attributed to driver fatigue, speeding/reckless driving and health-related issues: Driver fatigue has a similar effect as drunk driving; response times are slowed and a driver risks going off the road or worse. Speeding is most often done by teenage boys, followed by teenage girls.

Most common non-driver error caused accidents are as follows (evenly divided):

  • Weather-related errors: Wet, snowy, foggy or icy roads can often lead to accidents.
  • Poor road conditions: An improperly maintained road may make it difficult to maintain traction or to stop in time for a hazard. Sharp curves also cause many accidents.
  • Mechanical performance of your vehicle: A faulty braking system or any other mechanical malfunction can lead to an accident.

Although there are many things beyond our control when driving, there are many accidents that simply can be avoided if we develop safe driving habits. In the next post, we will highlight things we can do to avoid accidents; both things within our control and not within our control.

If you or someone you know is involved in an automobile accident, the law offices of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti LLP can help. Please contact us to learn more about your rights at 1-800-LAW-1010.