What Is the Leading Cause of Vehicle Accidents?

Chevy suburban car crash

Every year, millions of vehicle accidents occur worldwide. A recent report from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) in 2021 shows about 42,900 fatalities associated with car accidents in the US.

While many automobile accidents are minor, others can be much more severe and even fatal. The leading cause of accidents involves human error associated with the following factors:

Distracted Driving

The leading cause of vehicle accidents is distracted driving. Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from safe driving. Activities may include talking or chatting on your cell phone, talking to passengers, eating and drinking, and setting up the car navigation system.

Although distracted driving comes in many forms, cell phone use is the most common distraction associated with human error.

Using a phone while driving is hazardous because it combines all three types of distraction – visual, manual, and cognitive. Sending or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for five seconds or more. That’s enough time to travel the length of a football field if you’re going 55 mph.

Distracted driving is a severe problem, and it is crucial to know its dangers for road safety.


Speeding is driving a vehicle faster than the required speed limit or faster than is safe for the conditions. Speeding is a significant factor in car accidents, blamed as the primary cause of accidents where other contributing factors were present.

According to IIHS data, speeding contributes to nearly one-third of traffic fatalities. Speeding increases crash risks and the likelihood of losing vehicle control.

There are several reasons people choose to speed. Some may be in a hurry and feel they can save time by driving faster. Others enjoy the feeling of driving fast during transportation. Whatever the reason, it is crucial to remember that speeding has severe consequences.

If the law catches you speeding, you may be subject to a fine or even jail time. Also, you may be sued for damages if you cause an accident or a car crash.

Related: Tampa Car Accident Attorneys

Drunk Driving

In the US alone, there are over 300,000 drunk driving accidents annually, resulting in over 17,000 deaths. This means that one person dies from an accident caused by drunkenness every 30 minutes.

Drunk driving is operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. When someone drives while drunk, the effects of alcohol will impair their coordination, judgment, and reaction time, making it difficult for them to drive safely. Drunk drivers are more likely to speed, tailgate, make unsafe lane changes, and run red lights.

Reporting Vehicle Accidents

When involved in a car accident, you will need to report it to the authorities so that they can investigate and determine who is at fault.

To report a car accident, you must contact the police department within the accident location. The police will investigate the accident and file a report. You will also need to provide your insurance information, including contact details for the other involved driver.

You must contact your insurance company and provide the report to the police to file an insurance claim. In addition, provide a list of your car damages to your insurance company. The insurance company will then determine whether they will compensate for the damages.

Related: Tampa Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Lawyers for Vehicle Accidents

An accident lawyer is an attorney who specializes in civil cases involving car and pedestrian-vehicle accidents. You may wonder how you’ll pay your medical bills and other expenses after a car crash.

You should hire an accident lawyer if you’ve been in a car accident and have injuries. An experienced lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve from the insurance company.

How to Prevent Road Accidents

Since many car accidents happen because of human error, there are several ways of reducing the risk. Below are a few tips to prevent car accidents:

  • Obey the speed limit and traffic lights. Drive at a safe speed for conditions.
  • Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Don’t drive when you’re tired. Get plenty of rest before getting behind the wheel.
  • Distractions can lead to accidents. Don’t text or use your cell phone while driving. Avoid distractions such as talking to passengers, eating, or changing the radio station.
  • Always wear your seatbelt.
  • Make sure your car is in good working condition. Regularly check your tires, brakes, and lights.
  • Be especially careful in bad weather. Slow down and give yourself extra time to react in rain, snow, or ice.
  • Drive defensively. Be aware of other drivers on the roadways and be ready to take evasive action if necessary.

Final Thoughts

The leading cause of motor vehicle accidents is human errors such as distracted driving, driving under the influence, and speeding. While there are many ways to prevent accidents, the best way to reduce them is to ensure drivers are aware of the risks involved and take responsibility for their safety.

If the law catches you speeding, you may be subject to a fine or even jail time. Also, you may be sued for damages if you cause an accident or a car crash.


Newly Released Estimates Show Traffic Fatalities Reached a 16-Year High in 2021. (2022).

Yearly snapshot. (2022).

Impaired Driving | New York State Police. (2022).