The Top Five Causes of Auto Accidents

Car accident victim with whiplash

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its preliminary auto accident estimates for 2021. Unfortunately, the first half of the year saw the “largest six-month increase ever recorded in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System’s history,” with about 20,160 lives lost in traffic accidents.

These numbers are devastating, but there is a way to mitigate them. By knowing the most common causes, accidents can be avoided, and lives can be saved.

The top five causes of auto accidents are as follows.

Drunk and Intoxicated Driving

Estimates from the NHTSA claim that about 28 Americans die every day in drunk driving accidents. While these accidents are on the downtrend, over 10,100 lives were lost in 2019, the last year for which data is available.

Drug-impaired driving is also a huge problem. It is extremely dangerous to drive while under the influence of any substance that impacts your reaction time. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medications, medical and recreational marijuana, methamphetamines, and other drugs.

Distracted Driving

In 2019, the NHTSA reported that distracted driving claimed over 3,100 lives.

Distracted driving has long been a problem across the country. The advent of smartphones only made it worse. That noted, drivers may also be distracted by the radio, GPS, food and drink, fixing their hair and makeup, or even their passengers.


Speeding is very common and very dangerous, as it increases your required stopping time. This can lead to a range of serious accidents, many of which involve the speeding car pummeling into another up ahead or at an intersection.

According to the NHTSA, speeding while not wearing a seatbelt has become more common since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

Aggressive/Reckless Driving

From tailgating to weaving in and out of traffic, aggressive driving is never safe. Serious accidents can result when tensions run high. The best way to avoid driving aggressively or recklessly is to pull over when you start to become aggravated. Take a minute to cool down. It is always better to be a minute or two late than to be involved in a life-changing accident because of road rage.

Inclement Weather

It hardly rains in Orange County, but when it does, the roads can be dangerously slippery due to all the oil that has accumulated in the rain’s absence. When a driver does not drive with the weather conditions in mind, such as speeding in the rain, an accident will likely result.

Hot weather can also lead to accidents. On hotter days, cars and their drivers may overheat, leading to a host of accidents.

Now that you know the top five causes of motor vehicle accidents, we encourage you to do your part to mitigate accident statistics for the tail end of 2021. Together, we can make the roads a safer place for our families, neighbors, and friends.

Proudly Advocating for Accident Victims

Have you or a loved one been injured in an auto collision? The Law Office of Marshall Silberberg has an award-winning team of trial lawyers that can help. No matter what type of negligence caused your accident, we will fight tooth and nail to hold that negligent party liable for your damages.

Call (949) 565-4281 to learn how our Orange County attorneys can help maximize your compensation. There is no fee unless we win!

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