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What Are The Main Causes of Car Accidents?

Far too often we pass car accidents on our daily routes. They are an unfortunately common occurrence that can cause personal injuries to the people involved.

In a single recent year, 32,719 people died and 2.3 million people were injured in 5.7 million car accidents in the United States, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In South Carolina alone, 767 people died in car crashes that year, and thousands more suffered from a personal injury due to car accidents.

Car accidents happen for many reasons, sometimes completely accidental, other times as a result of negligence on the part of someone, often another driver. Here are the top 5 causes of car accidents:

  1. Driving Distracted
    We have all seen the recent push for “no texting and driving” laws, and its for good reason. Distracting driving, which includes texting, talking on a cellphone or any other distracting activity behind the wheel, is a serious issue. Distracted driving is blamed for 3,200 deaths and 424,000 injuries in a typical year, according to NHTSA. This represents 10 percent of all fatal crashes, 18 percent of crashes with injuries and 16 percent of all crashes.
  2. Drinking and Driving
    If getting a DUI isn’t reason enough to not drink and drive, being #2 on this list should be sufficient enough not to do it. Everyone knows driving under the influence is a bad idea, but some people still do it anyway. In 2013, 335 people died in drunk driving accidents in South Carolina, representing 44 percent of traffic deaths in the state, according to NHTSA. In the entire country, 10,076 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for 31 percent of overall car accident fatalities.
  3. Reckless Driving
    We have all seen crazy drivers on the road (you may even consider yourself one of those). Driving reckless, including excessive speeding and aggressive maneuvers such as sudden braking, weaving in and out of traffic and road rage, can easily cause a car accident. Speeding is particularly dangerous, with 306 deaths in South Carolina and 9,613 deaths across the country attributed to speeding-related crashes in just one year, according to NHTSA. The government estimates the annual economic cost of speeding-related crashes at $40.4 billion.
  4. Driving Tired
    Fatigued driving in becoming an increasing reason for car accidents. Being tired behind the wheel decreases your responsiveness and alertness which increase your chances of getting into a car accident. Falling asleep behind the wheel is also a big risk of driving fatigued. Studies from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s Traffic Safety Culture Index estimated 21 percent of fatal accidents involved a drowsy driver, and one-third of drivers in a recent survey admitted to falling asleep while driving.
  5. Riding Someone’s Tail
    You’ve probably seen the bumper sticker that implies “get off my tail”. It is for good reason too. Following another car too closely  is the leading cause of rear-end collisions. Rear end collisions are one of the most common types of car accidents and a major cause of personal injuries. It is a good idea to practice the rule of giving yourself 2 to 3 seconds to brake in the event of a sudden stop. You may want to increase that to 5 to 6 seconds in bad weather conditions.


If you have suffered a personal injury due to a car accident, call The Allen Law Firm to find out how we can assist you. We are a West Columbia Law Firm serving the Midlands of South Carolina and surrounding areas. Call us today at 803-764-2338