Top Causes of Car Crashes


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More than five million car crashes happen in the U.S. each year — 43% of those result in injury. In Idaho alone, more than 20,000 vehicle accidents result in 10,000 plus injuries annually.

This means there are quite a few personal injury cases related to car accidents in our great state. Fortunately, each personal injury attorney at The Advocates has experience with car accident claims.


Car accidents, also known as motor vehicle accidents, car crashes, traffic accidents, or traffic collisions, are defined as events where a vehicle collides with or crashes into another car, cars, person, or object.

The cause of car accidents varies from distracted driving to speeding to bad weather. And in most cases, multiple factors contribute to vehicle crashes. Any time an injury or injuries result from a car accident caused by someone else, the victim or victims may be entitled to compensation. As personal injury lawyers, we must understand the types of crashes, contributing factors, and how fault can impact a case. This allows us to help clients understand the cause and seek maximum compensation for injuries and damaged property.

There are many types of car accident claims attorneys deal with and they need to be familiar with the nuances of the various causes. 


Distracted Driving

One of the most common causes of car accidents is also one of the most easily prevented. Distracted driving has been labeled a public health problem in the U.S. because these types of crashes are so rampant. When a driver is distracted, their reaction time is decreased because their focus is not on their car, neighboring vehicles, or the surrounding environment. This leads to running red lights, running stop signs, failure to yield, inability to stay in a lane, merging into occupied lanes, and more.

The sources of distraction include talking on cell phones, texting, manipulating GPS units, adjusting car controls, pets, kids, eating, drinking, and rubbernecking when a driver passes an accident. Regardless of the source, distracted driving is hazardous and results in many injuries.

With the increased use of cell phones and GPS units, distracted driving has increased. Although there are laws against texting or using a handheld phone, people continue to participate in these dangerous behaviors. It should come as no surprise that cell phones are the most common cause of distracted driving. Here are a few startling statistics about mobile devices and car accidents:

  • At any given moment, 660,000 drivers are using their cell phones while driving. (NHTSA)
  • Texting while driving decreases driving reaction time the same as if you drink four beers in a single hour. (org)
  • At 55 mph, texting distracts you long enough to travel the distance of an entire football field without looking at the road. (NHTSA)
  • 94% of teenagers understand the dangers of texting while driving, yet 35% of teens admit to the unsafe practice. (AAA)

If you have been injured in a car accident due to distracted driving, you should hold the driver drivers accountable for their carelessness and negligence. It is not uncommon for victims to recover financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, damage to property, and emotional pain and suffering.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence or impaired driving has been a problem for decades. And yet, many people continue to get behind the wheel of a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

In Idaho, driving under the influence (DUI) is defined as driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle while you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs upon the ways of the state open to the public. This includes prescription drugs that impair your driving ability, like narcotics, muscle relaxers, sleep aids, and more. All these substances impair judgment and decrease reaction time.

When drunk driving or impaired driving accidents occur, law enforcement is concerned with the criminal behavior involved in your claim. Make sure your personal interests are accounted for as well. Hiring an experienced car accident attorney will help you protect your finances against the burden of medical bills, loss of income, and more.

Poor Weather

There are many times poor weather can play a significant role in driving accidents. Lousy weather conditions call for caution behind the wheel. Rain, snow, sleet, fog, hail, wind, and ice can all make driving more challenging. And though bad weather can cause reduced visibility and slick road conditions, it is still a driver’s responsibility to handle a car at safe speeds. This means that even in the case of bad weather, your injuries caused by someone else should be accounted for in a car accident claim.

A driver operating their vehicle in snowy conditions as if roads were clear and dry may be held liable for any injuries or property damage they cause. Just because an accident happens during harsh weather conditions does not excuse a fellow driver from practicing safe driving behavior.

Reckless Driving

There are risks involved in getting behind the wheel of a vehicle or even being a passenger. But those risks increase significantly when someone drives with no regard for laws or the safety of others. Reckless driving is when someone intentionally drives dangerously, and accidents caused by reckless drivers often result in major injuries to others and significant damage.

When this happens, all victims injured because of the reckless driver’s behavior are entitled to financial recovery for their losses.


According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), the casual acceptance of speeding represents a major problem in the U.S. Speeding results in a high number of severe car accidents — as many as 29 percent of fatal accidents are caused by speeding.

An NHTSA study notes that 86 percent of fatal speeding-related vehicle accidents do not occur on U.S. highways. This means speeding is particularly dangerous in lower-speed zones like neighborhoods, city streets, school zones, etc.

Almost every car accident caused by speeding is the result of negligence. If you have been injured by a driver who was speeding, you can seek compensation for their actions. A personal injury lawyer can help you get all you are entitled to receive.


This list includes some of the most common causes of car crashes. However, there are many other reasons for traffic accidents, including poor road conditions, potholes, construction, night driving, tire blowouts, brake failure, animals in the roadway, and drowsy driving.

Sometimes, finding a well-defined cause of a motor vehicle accident can be challenging because multiple factors are at play. For instance, a distracted driver could also be speeding and driving in snow. A skilled car accident lawyer can filter through the evidence and facts of your case and help determine the full scope of liability for your injuries and losses.

If you have been injured in a car accident, we can help. Consultations are free, and you don’t pay anything unless we win your case.

Give The Advocates a call at (208) 995-2444 or visit.