Most Common Causes of Auto Accidents

There are several ways a driver can lose focus on the road, resulting in an auto accident. The number one cause of auto accidents is due to distracted driving. Distracted driving consists of any action inhibiting a driver from focusing on the road one hundred percent. Driving distracted can mean driving under the influence, texting and driving, and interacting with the radio or other buttons on the dashboard. There are several other common causes of auto accidents, and here is a list of each, how it can result in an accident, and how to alleviate the cause of an accident.

What does driving distracted look like?

Driving distracted is the concept of operating a vehicle without one hundred percent awareness. The most common cause of auto accidents is driving with limited attention. Some of the most common distractions include the following:

  • Texting and driving
  • Driving with music too loud or interacting with radio buttons
  • Talking intensely to other passengers in the vehicle
  • Sightseeing
  • Driving when sleepy

All the listed possible ways to drive distracted are some of the most common ways auto collisions occur. There are many other ways that accidents are provoked, and the most frequent causes include the following:

Bad Weather

Any precipitation, such as rain, sleet, snow, or ice, on the roads, while operating a vehicle can result in an auto accident. For this reason, ensuring the vehicle is maintained and prepared for driving in inclement weather is crucial. Maintenance services such as tire rotations, having windshield wiper blades replaced, and ensuring the heating and cooling system is functioning correctly can be detrimental when driving a vehicle while precipitation is involved.


Driving over the speed limit, especially in congested areas, is another opportunity for unwanted collisions. Speeding leaves room for accidents because the operator is left with limited time to stop for hazards in the road, like debris or traffic. There is also the possibility of startling other drivers on the road. Speeding past a vehicle that is unaware of the vehicle coming up on either their right or left side may be frightened by the speeding vehicle, resulting in a crash with another vehicle, the curb, or a barrier.

Driving Through Red Lights

Another common cause of an auto accident is driving through red lights. Traffic traveling from other directions may be unaware that a vehicle has not stopped at a red light, and the vehicles may merge. It is suggested that vehicles brace themselves before driving off at a green light to guarantee that other drivers have stopped and the intersection is clear to proceed.

Running Stop Signs

The intersections on the road are in place to assist in controlling traffic flow. For safety, stop sign intersections are in place to help traffic traveling from opposing directions. The stop signs communicate with other drivers the direction they are going to eliminate the chance of accidents by decreasing speeds, bringing vehicles to a complete stop, and requiring drivers to follow the right-of-way traffic flow.

Debris in the Road

Debris on the road, such as vehicle parts or items that may fall from vehicles onto the road, can cause unwanted collisions. When driving a vehicle during the night, the operator's vision is impaired due to the darkness. The lights on the vehicle can only provide the driver with so much visibility, and because of this, debris on the road can often be challenging to see. When a driver is unaware of debris on the road, it leaves the opportunity for objects to be hit, causing accidents. Vehicles can hit things on the road and lose control or cause objects to fly and hit other drivers on the road. This debris can hit the window of another vehicle, scare another driver, and cause them to lose control.

Driving While Sleepy

Operating a vehicle when sleepy can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence. When a person is tired, they are not entirely aware, which can cause their visibility to be impaired as well as their sense of awareness. For this reason, drivers who drive when drowsy can put themselves and others at risk of accidents due to losing control.

The Best Way to Limit Auto Accidents

The best way to limit auto accidents is to ensure the vehicle is adequately maintained with tire rotations, properly functioning windshield wiper blades, and a working heating and cooling system. It is also pivotal to be aware of the weather conditions, what other drivers are doing, and what hazards may lie on the road. All these factors can increase the chance of auto accidents if not considered when operating a vehicle. It is recommended that vehicle operators take their vehicles to a reliable auto repair shop to have maintenance services performed to ensure that the vehicle is equipped and prepared for various weather conditions. It is also recommended that operators guarantee that they are prepared before pulling off into traffic by having radio-tuned, sending text messages before pulling off, having vehicle lights turned on when driving through the night, and being aware of hazards like traffic and debris on the road.