What Are the Most Common Causes of Collisions?

man texting while driving

The fabric of American society has cars woven into it. Even though there are other types of transportation in the United States, cars remain the dominant form of transportation across the country. Since Americans use cars to do everything from grocery shopping to cross-country traveling, car accidents are frequent. Some estimates say the number of car accidents is 10 million each year. At that rate, drivers should not wonder if they will be in an accident, but when.

Some car insurance experts estimate that Americans file a car insurance claim once every 17.9 years. With more than 2 million injuries caused by car accidents each year, collisions represent one of the most common sources of medical and financial struggle for Americans each year. By learning the causes of collisions, you’ll have the knowledge needed to reduce your chance at experiencing one yourself.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of fatalities on American roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has determined that distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,166 people in 2017. The problem is as widespread is it is deadly—distracted driving is a factor in 26 percent of all collisions. One study from driving analytics company Zendrive found that, statistically, 69 million drivers use their phone while driving each day. However, phones are not the only cause of distraction. Fiddling with the radio, having passengers, looking at roadside advertising, and exhaustion are other typical forms of distraction.

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol

Though drunk driving is less common than it was three decades ago, it continues to cause serious traffic collisions. Collisions involving a drunk driver claim the lives of about 30 people every day. In 2017, drunk drivers caused collisions that claimed 10,874 lives and caused over $44 billion in damages.

Reckless Driving

Though the actions above are forms of reckless driving, some drivers don’t have any other excuse for the collisions they cause besides negligence. Speeding, tailgating, unsafe lane changes, and other dangerous behavior are common factors in car accidents, and they don't need a cause other than "the driver made a poor choice." This behavior puts every person at an unfair risk of injury and is completely preventable.

Defective Parts

Sometimes none of the drivers in an accident are at fault. Instead, a defective product or a poorly manufactured part can cause catastrophic collisions. For example, Ford recalled a specific model of Firestone tires used on its SUV, the Explorer, in 2001. The NHTSA determined that a rubber wedge in the tire was not thick enough to resist forming and growing cracks. This led to tire blowouts and significant injury.

Are Most Collisions Preventable?

According to an article from the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, human error causes about 90 percent of car accidents. Though no driver is immune to making errors, they have a responsibility to mitigate them. Drivers should avoid developing negligent habits. When someone fails to drive safely and causes a collision, they should be held responsible for their failure. At Handler, Henning & Rosenberg, our Pennsylvania car accident attorneys have spent nearly 100 years as advocates for crash victims and their families.

We know that every survivor deserves a voice, so we fight for the financial recovery of clients throughout the state. No one should face the burden of medical bills, lost wages, and other financial difficulties because of the negligence of another person. Our lawyers have obtained tens of millions in damages for our clients. We’re ready to help you start your recovery today with a free consultation. Whether you need compensation from the person who caused your collision or if you’re struggling with a delayed insurance claim, HHR is ready to fight for you.

A member of our team is ready to explain your legal options when you call (888) 498-3023. Consultation is free, and you only pay if we win.

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