Top 6 Causes of Auto Accidents in the U.S.

Top 6 Causes of Auto Accidents in the U.S. | Pintas & Mullins Law Firm

Accidental injuries are the fourth most common causes of death in the United States. In 2014, more than 35,000 U.S. deaths were caused by auto accidents.

Car, truck, motorcycle, and bus crashes still kill tens of thousands of Americans each year. Six factors, listed below, cause most of these deadly accidents.

All statistics were gathered from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


Next time you’re on the roads, notice how many drivers are on their cell phones. Particularly among teens, cell phones are now the leading cause of driver inattention and distraction.. In 2014, around 41% of car crashes were caused by lack of attention, distraction, and not watching the road.


“Decision errors” caused one-third of all crashes in 2014. “Decision errors” are mistakes in judgment, like driving too fast for conditions, taking curves too quickly, or misjudging the actions of others. People who drive too fast in the rain, for example, may find themselves hydroplaning and over-correcting. Those who speed through stop lights and stop signs also increase the likelihood of accidents.


“Performance errors” accounted for about 7% of the crashes in 2014. Unlike speeding, which is a choice, a person’s ability to react quickly or compensate correctly while driving isn’t something he or she can control. For example, if a person has a tendency to overestimate the distance between his or her car and another vehicle, they may accidentally crash while switching lanes.


According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, those who only sleep five to six hours per day are twice as likely to crash. Many people think they’re safe if they only have a few miles to go before home, but any amount of drowsiness while you drive could lead to an auto accident. In fact, falling asleep at the wheel caused 145,000 crashes in 2014.


People rarely expect a tire blowout on the highway, but sudden tire deflation often causes driving overcompensation or swerving. Of the 44,000 crashes caused by car problems in 2014, most were due to faulty tires, followed by braking issues, and internal car features, like transmission or steering.


Ice and loose debris cause almost half of all environment-related crashes in the U.S.. This is closely followed by glare and obstructed views.

Looking at the data, it’s clear that most car crashes can easily be prevented through close attention and safe driving techniques. A drunk driver, for example, could be responsible for an accident by any of reasons we just discussed.

If you were injured in an auto accident, contact one of our Chicago car accident lawyers at (800) 794-0444 or fill out our online form for a free case consultation.

You may be able to get compensated for your medical bills, time off of work, and permanent or temporary disability.