Common Car Accident Causes

Car Accident Causes

Automobiles are a common source of transportation for millions in the United States. There will inevitably be car accidents because of the large numbers of drivers on the road everyday. The following is a list of the most common car accident causes.  

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is the most common car accident causes. Distracted driving can be caused by:

  • Texting
  •  Talking on the phone
  • Changing radio
  • Eating
  • Putting on makeup
  • GPS searches
  • Other in car distractions such as loud music, animals, or passengers


Speeding is the second most common cause of car accidents in the United States. In 2016, speeding accounted for 10,111 fatalities – more than 27% of all traffic deaths. Speeding cannot only increase the distance you travel once you react and apply the brakes, but it also increases the distance you travel after the brakes are applied. The faster you drive the longer it takes to stop. If a speeding driver encounters a hazard on the road, the driver is more likely to be involved in an accident than a driver who drives the speed limit. According to the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), the total stopping distance for a car traveling 60 mph is 304 feet while the total stopping distance for a car traveling 70 mph is 388 mph.

Intoxicated Driving

Driving while under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or medication is one of the most common car accident causes. In 2016, there were 10,497 fatalities from crashes involving impaired driving. Alcohol, illegal drugs, or medication can significantly impair your driving and increase your reaction time. You are more likely to be involved in a car accident if your reaction time is delayed because it takes you longer to react to objects, hazards, other cars, or pedestrians. Additionally, drivers who are intoxicated and cause an accident may suffer more severe criminal penalties and have more civil liability.

Drowsy Driving

Drowsy driving is not a typical car accident cause we usually think of, but drowsy driving is extremely dangerous. 824 people died from car accidents caused by drowsy driving in 2015. As expected, most drowsy driving car accidents occur at night and early morning because the dark of night can contribute to drowsiness and low visibility. In fact, 48% of drowsy drivers are most affected between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. 

 Careless Driving

Careless drivers are also common car accident causes. As a driver, you are responsible for driving in a safe and careful manner. Careless drivers can cause car accidents by speeding, being distracted, being intoxicated or impaired, disregarding traffic signs or signals. The failure to stop of traffic lights or stop signs, failure to yield to traffic, and the failure to obey traffic lanes may result in severe traffic accidents. The result of a failure to obey traffic signs cause such severe traffic accidents because the victims do not usually see the offending driver in time to react. 

Improper Vehicle Maintenance

While not as common as other car accident causes, improper vehicle maintenance can lead to serious car accidents. All drivers are expected to maintain their vehicles in a proper and safe driving condition. A failure to properly maintain your vehicle can cause you to be liable for a car accident. Common ways a vehicle is improperly maintained include:

  • Old brakes 
  • Broken or foggy headlights
  • Broken or foggy brake lights 
  • Under inflated or over inflated tires
  • Tires with inadequate tread depth
  • Unsecured loads
  • Power steering failure
  • Running out of gas


Weather is another common car accident cause. 22% of all car accidents are caused by inclement weather. The leading weather car accident causes include:

  • Rain
  • Snow/sleet
  • Hail
  • Ice/black ice
  • Fog

Contact Stolmeier Law

Stolmeier Law has served San Antonio and South Texas for over 35 years. While helping countless car accident victims, Stolmeier Law has recognized the increase in car accident injuries and car accident fatalities. This increase can be attributed to an increase in the number of drivers as well as the greater use of technology, such as cell phones, while driving. Texas has felt this increase in car accidents more than any other state as Texas lead the nation in automobile fatalities in 2016 with 3,776. So if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident Call Stolmeier Law.