Car Accident Causes: Top 5 Most Common

Statistics show that an unusually high percentage (24.62%) of the auto accident deaths within the United States involve young, inexperienced drivers between the ages of 16 and 20. It may help parents, educators, and others to know what the top five car accident causes are, as well as some solutions.

Distracted Drivers

Teenagers are four times as likely to text while driving than adults are. Talking and texting (even sexting) on cell phones are just part of the overall distracting activities that people engage in while driving.

Top distractions include:

  • Texting on cell phones
  • Talking on cell phones
  • Reaching for ringing cell phones or moving objects in the car
  • Watching a particular person, object or event outside of the car
  • Reading
  • Eating
  • Applying makeup


These annoying people whiz past you so fast that they make you relieved that you didn’t change lanes just then. Then you start to watch for a potential multi-car or pedestrian accident in the road ahead. Speeders cause almost one-third of the auto accidents because their reaction time goes down as their speed goes up.

Possible solutions to speeding accidents are:

  • Follow the speed limits
  • Follow the “three-second rule”
  • Leave earlier than you usually do
  • Stay out of their way
  • Build pedestrian bridges

Drunk Drivers

Drunk drivers have slow reaction times, decreased muscle coordination, impaired vision, and impaired hearing. While they are usually driving slower than everyone else and they are easy to spot when you come upon them from behind, drunk drivers still manage to be the third leading cause of auto accidents in the United States.

Possible solutions to drunk driving accidents are:

  • Arrest drunk drivers to get them off of the roads
  • Mandatory installation of a key-ignition lock with an attached breathalyzer on the cars of DUI offenders
  • Educate people to make better decisions through groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
  • Designate a sober driver before you go out and drink alcohol
  • Stay away from drunk drivers when you encounter them on the road

Reckless Drivers

These drivers are commonly aggressive as well as careless. This is a category that includes a lot of acts, including the aforementioned ones. Driving behaviors are considered reckless (which may include jail time and/or fines) when the officiating police officer determines that other factors make the person’s core actions especially dangerous to the public.

Actions that can be classified as reckless driving include:

  • Tailgating
  • Sudden braking
  • Speeding
  • Running stop signs
  • Running red lights
  • Improper turns
  • Driving without headlights
  • Driving under the influence of drugs
  • Drinking while driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Causing an accident

Possible solutions to reckless driving accidents are:

  • Obey traffic laws
  • Ignore distractions
  • Ignore the temptation to want to appear to be “cool”
  • Don’t drive when tired


Rain causes slick road conditions that often cause drivers to skid while braking or to spin out of control.

Possible solutions to rain accidents are:

  • Make sure your windshield wipers are functional
  • Defog with your air conditioner or a defog function, not with the heater
  • Don’t drive unreasonably slow in the rain, but do slow down
  • Watch the driver in front of you to keep your distance and to slow down when they do
  • Do not break suddenly
  • Avoid roads with standing water or flood waters


These are the top five car accident causes, and they range from simple inexperience or lack of knowledge to utter carelessness. Do what you can to keep both you and your family safe. Get legal help if necessary.