The Top Causes of Car Accidents on the Road

car accidents on road

Nobody wishes to be involved in a car accident but whether on the news or when you are driving by you will observe that car accidents happen from time to time.

Sometimes it is not the fault of the driver rather unforeseen circumstances and at times the driver will be to blame.

Over the years, car manufacturers have been making efforts to make cars safer. They have towed the path of making cars more durable in crash conditions and tried to make cars better at avoiding accidents.

While the automotive industry continues to do its part to make cars safer, drivers have to equally try their best to teach themselves about the most common causes of car accidents and how best to avoid them.

In this article, we have put together some common causes of car accidents. It is very important that you take note of all that we are about to discuss and do your best to become a better driver.

Leading Causes of Car Accidents

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is still one of top causes of car accidents and one of the main causes of this distraction is smartphones. Smartphones are very useful in our day to day activities and if you are not careful can be a major cause of distraction to you when you are driving.

It is very easy to get distracted by your smartphone or gadget when you are driving. You could say let me just reply this text, or let me check the latest happening on social media, or let me select the best music for the road, or you really have to send that hilarious meme you just saw to your friends and before you know it you are completely distracted from your driving.

This singular reason is responsible for a lot of accidents. In fact, according to a report from the National Safety Council one out of every four accidents is as a result of texting and driving. Also, wider cell-phone-related accidents account for about 1.6 million crashes annually.

This should make you realize how dangerous it is to be distracted while driving.

Distraction from Passengers onboard

Following distractions as a result of using smartphones while driving is distractions from passengers in the car.

For instance it is very distracting for you to be driving and have children fighting in the car. Another instance is also concentrating too much on a passenger sitting beside you that you forget about keeping your eyes on the road. There are a lot of examples of distractions that can come from passenger onboard the car.

Food and Beverages

Having food and beverages in the car can also result in accidents. For this section we are not talking about alcohol, that will be discussed much later in the write up, but for now our focus will be on food and drinks and how they can also cause accidents.

While driving, one’s attention is meant to be on the road and the car controls such as the steering wheel, pedals, gear shifter, etc. Sometimes trying to balance doing this and handling food at the same time can prove to be quite difficult.

Just imagine driving and mistakenly spilling hot coffee on your chest, or trying to reach for the food that you have placed in the other seat, you see that in those moments you have taken your eyes off the road and the consequence could be quite dire.

Over Speeding

There is a very good reason for speed limits. Even what most persons consider not to be too bad such as being 5-mph over can still make such a big difference.

Exceeding speed limits are another major cause of road accidents, because it can result in drivers not braking on time or making wrong decisions when faced with something unexpected on a road that they think they know so well.

Driving While Drunk

You must have heard one time too many to not drink if you must drive. It is not news to hear that alcohol dampens concentration, coordination, vision and reaction times.

The NHTSA has it that every 52 minutes there is one alcohol-related death. People driving under the influence of alcohol have resulted in over 10,000 deaths each year.

This is not just the number of the drunk drivers but also includes that of innocent people whose lives were cut short because someone decided to drive while drunk.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is a very dangerous thing to engage in, not just for the driver but for other innocent road users. Some people who believe that they are invincible on the road just weave in and out of traffic dangerously, overtake cars on blind corners amongst other reckless acts.

This why it is advisable that drivers do not get into bad habits because usually they accumulate, especially if they keep getting away with it and this makes them reckless road users.

Not Heeding the Road Signs

The road signs are not for drivers to interpret as they will. They mean specific things and not heeding them can result in car accidents.

For instance “Red” as every driver should know means “stop” and not stopping when instructed to by the traffic light can lead to accidents.

Same thing with the “Go” sign and every other road sign there is. Every road sign is for a reason and they should be obeyed to avoid unpleasant circumstances.

The traffic lights are there to make the use of the road safer for both the drivers and other road users and as such should be obeyed.

Beginners and Teenagers

Well it just happens that most teenagers are beginners when it comes to driving, but not all beginners are teenagers. If you conduct a research you will see that insurance companies are really strict with regards to teen policies.

The reason for this is that they are most likely to take bad decisions when driving. You can chuck it up to youthful exuberance or inexperience.

But remember we also mentioned that not all new drivers are teenagers, beginners who are more advanced in age are equally prone to making bad decisions when they are behind the wheel.

Bad Weather

This particular cause of car accidents is actually not human related. Bad weather is easily a major cause of accidents, and if possible avoid it.
Thunderstorms and extreme winter weather are examples of bad weather that can result in car accidents. Heavy rain also makes the road slicker and can make having traction a difficult task at times.

Bad weather also deals a number on those who depend too much on their vehicle’s ADAS systems.

For instance Tesla’s AutoPilot system can be really disturbed by heavy rain seeing that the cameras and sensors will have a hard time picking things up clearly.

Road Rage

You might be like road rage is not a big deal, but the truth is that it is. Research shows that since 2007 over 12,500 injuries and 10,000 car accidents are as a result of road rage. In the US alone, about 30 murders are connected to road rage.


This point shouldn’t come as a surprise. There have been cases of car accidents which occurred because the drivers got tired and dozed off while driving.

Another factor to consider is that you might set off driving feeling super alert but due to several factors you could get tired, bored or start feeling drowsy while still driving.

An example of a factor that can induce this feeling in drivers include driving long distance alone. The silence in the car as well as the long, straight and featureless roads can lure one to sleep.

Bad Roads

Roads that are in poor conditions are another cause of car accidents that we have to discuss. A road riddled with potholes or destroyed by erosion is easily a setting for car accidents.

Bad roads make driving quite dangerous as they can result in a number of unpleasant occurrences such as a tire blowout which can make a driver lose control of the car. Also hitting a pothole while on speed can throw a driver off course.

Bad Vehicles

We are going to discuss this point in two parts. Firstly, we will talk about faulty cars that are the manufacturers fault. This is why sometimes there is a recall by car manufacturers.

When there is a recall, it simply means that there was an issue with the cars that makes it generally not safe to be driving them.

For example, let us take a look at the Takata airbag scandal. The Japanese manufacturer admitted to manufacturing about 4.5 million faulty inflators. This type of malfunction can cause debris to go straight to a drivers face when the airbag is inflated.

A faulty car can also be the fault of the driver. This is why proper maintenance and servicing of cars is very important so that faults in cars do no escalate to the point of causing car accidents.

Driving in the Dark

Some people are weary of driving at night and rightly so. In case you didn’t know, night time driving increases the chances of accidents by almost double.

The reason for this is not far-fetched, it is night time and visibility is not at its height. This is in addition to distractions such as smartphones and disturbing passengers.

It is recommended that when driving at night, one has to be extra vigilant and pay close attention to the road.


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