The Main Reasons That Car Accidents Happen

I’m pretty sure there was at least one instance in your life where you see an accident, be it a small bump of two vehicles, people scratching their heads, standing around in the middle of the road, and wonder to yourself “Wow, what happened here?!’ That phenomenon is called “rubbernecking” and is actually a main cause of accidents as well!

If you’ve ever been in a car accident yourself — be it mild or more serious, I’m sure you’ve had to fill out a form that your car insurance dealer hands you, so your insurance can cover the damage. On most forms there’s a box somewhere on the bottom where you have to explain what happened, and actually draw a “reconstruction” of the accident itself. I know I’ve been there, and I clearly remember thinking “What in the world are the main reasons people get into accidents?”

So what are they, anyway? Let’s start with the more dangerous ones:

Drunk Driving

No surprise here, drunk driving is one of the main reasons for traffic accidents and in the top 3 reasons for death behind the wheel. Different countries have different laws for driving after drinking — some leave a bit of leeway, usually it’s indicated with a “per mile” rule, as for example a medium beer is a little under 0.05% and in most places — the limit that the law enforcement will allow. Of course, there are countries that enforce the zero-tolerance rule, and anyone caught behind the wheel with any alcohol whatsoever faces a fine and/or jail time.


Usually experienced by professional drivers pushed from overworking and deadlines. Microsleep is a phenomenon which happens when a person is overtired. It takes a second to lose control of the car and be in trouble, so stop and rest, people!

Running Red Lights

We’ve all been there — late for whatever important thing, your phone is ringing, you’re missing your kid’s school play or an important appointment and decide that nothing will happen, really, coast looks clear, you can definitely make that light. More often than not, however, this is one of the main reasons not only for car accidents in general, but for fatal car accidents.

Why? When you’re running the light, you’re flooring the gas pedal as to be faster, thinking it would cause less damage, but when hitting someone while speeding past a red light, you are driving above the average city bound speed limit, hence the speed that most cars need in order to pass the safety tests, and you end up hitting the oncoming car with a lot more speed. Too often, this results in motor vehicle accidents which cause people to suffer serious injuries or death.  If you are injured in a car accident you should very much consider contacting car accident lawyers to receive help with your motor vehicle accident injury claim.

Avoiding Seatbelts

Yes, they’re uncomfortable, yes, they’re tight, but they’re there for a reason. And that reason is to protect your life. Most accidents that have fatal outcomes are from cases of people who have not used their proper protection gear in the car — be they driver or passenger. Most countries have mandatory seat belt laws that require literally everybody in the car to have their proper seatbelts on and/or safety seats (like infants and children).

I’m sure you’ve heard of these reasons while passing your driver’s licence tests, an instructor played a horrible movie, you went through first aid, and these horrible images remained in your mind, nonetheless these are not the only reasons for car accidents — you’d be surprised for what comes next:

Rush Hour

Yup, you read that right. Why rush hour? Simple — a lot of cars at the same time, with a lot of tense and annoyed people inside them just wanting to get somewhere, and get there fast. Thankfully these types of accidents are just annoying mostly as everyone needs to stay around and wait for the police and/or fill out a lot of paper forms, however, rush hour is in the top 3 causes for accidents altogether!

Texting While Driving

Texting whilst driving or any kind of smartphone activities for that matter. With technologies advancing more and more literally every single day, it’s no surprise when they become more of a distraction than help, especially when it comes to steering a car while staring at your phone simultaneously. While the market has become increasingly creative with mediums with which to ease your distraction like phone holders, bluetooth devices, voice-activated navigation, etc. people just do not stop the good old steer-with-the-knee-text-with-both-hands method. Which is dangerous, and comes to nobody’s surprise when it causes accidents.


Other than the phone, in this case we mean things like — staring at billboards, rubbernecking — the act of paying more attention to an accident than to the road, looking at some UFO flying by. People just get distracted by anything these days, which really is a problem which, well, nobody can really do anything about except for the people themselves. Nobody can regulate or obstruct your vision, and nobody can remove the view.

There has, however, been multiple cases of lawsuits against various provocative billboards on the side of the road that have allegedly sparked a series of car accidents in the adjacent area. Some win, but some lose on the account that, well, it’s the person’s choice to look at it, and they can get just as equally distracted by a bird flying by than from a billboard.

In Conclusion

So, people, make sure that you pay attention to the road at all times! The traffic rules are there for a reason, and remember the golden rule — be polite on the road, but most importantly be predictable. Being predictable will help you and the people around you a lot and being courteous will make driving more enjoyable for everyone. Wear a seatbelt, don’t drink and drive, and don’t let a spicy billboard or poster take your attention away from the busy intersection! Stay safe!

River Scott

Emmett River Scott: Emmett, a culture journalist, writes about arts and entertainment, pop culture trends, and celebrity news.