In 2016, the Institute of Highway Safety estimated that around 3,000 Californians are killed each year in auto accidents. The causes of these accidents vary, but there are some common trends in accidents across California and in other parts of the United States. Let’s review some of the most common causes of auto accidents.

  1. Bad Weather: Bad weather can make driving more stressful and dangerous. These risks are increased by factors like speeding, distractions, vehicle defects, etc.
  2. Speeding: Speeding has been linked to more than 10,000 auto accident deaths each year, accounting for 29 percent (or more) of all traffic fatalities.
  3. Drunk Driving: Drunk driving is a leading cause of auto accidents in California. In 2012, drunk driving was linked to 39 percent of all traffic fatalities. Alcohol was involved in more than 23,800 auto accident injuries.
  4. Distracted Driving: Distracted driving has become one of the most common – yet preventable – causes of auto accidents across the U.S. The most common distractions reported in auto accident cases include:
    • Talking or texting on a cell phone
    • Using a GPS device
    • Reading
    • Adjusting the radio
    • Eating
    • Applying cosmetics
    • Interacting with passengers
  5. Failure to Obey Traffic Laws: This is another common cause of auto accidents that could be prevented. Many auto accidents are caused by drivers who run traffic lights, fail to yield, change lanes improperly, ignore stop signs, or speed.

Drivers can make an effort to prevent accidents by obeying traffic laws and being smart behind the wheel.