What are the Most Common Causes of Fatal Car Accidents?

Car accidents happen quickly — one wrong move by yourself or another driver can result in a collision in a matter of seconds.

Not following safe driving practices is consistently one of the greatest contributors to fatal car accidents. To stay safe, remember to obey all traffic laws and be observant of other drivers who may not be driving as safely.


Speeding is one of the most common causes of fatal car accidents. It’s simple physics: If you are speeding, your car will hit objects with more force, and cause greater injury. It is also much easier to lose control of your car if you are speeding.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving constitutes any action that prevents you from fully focusing on the task of driving. All instances of distracted driving are extremely hazardous — taking your focus off of driving only presents danger.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs severely limits a driver’s ability to see clearly, judge distance, and react to other drivers around them. Driving while intoxicated is consistently cited as a top cause of fatal car accidents.

Failure to Brake

Not hitting the brakes in time can cause a driver to collide with other cars, crossing passengers, or objects near the road, such as signs or trees. Pay attention to the road and be aware of all situations where you may need to break.

Don’t follow other cars too closely either — tailgating limits your opportunities to break in time to avoid a rear-end collision.

Changing Lanes

Drivers who plan on changing lanes should always check their mirrors and all blind spots before doing so. Failing to check for other drivers, or failing to warn other drivers of your move via a turn signal, can be extremely dangerous.

Road Conditions

Potholes, uneven pavement, a lack of guard rails, and more examples of roads that are not well-maintained can endanger drivers. Sub-par road conditions can cause drivers to swerve, or cause car damage that can contribute to accidents.

Inclement Weather

Precipitation can severely limit visibility while driving, and when it is cold or rainy enough, the roads can become dangerously slick. Bad weather can disrupt driving ability enough to cause a fatal car accident.

Sadly, some of the most common causes of car accidents cannot be prevented — such as dangerous roads, weather, and the actions of others. As a driver, it is important to be aware of these factors and prepare for them. You may not be able to control the conditions, but you can control how you respond. Always stay focused, aware, and responsive to keep yourself and others safe on the road.

Contact Ortega, McGlashan, Hicks & Perez, PLLC to speak with our team of attorneys in a free case evaluation. Call us at (915) 206-5154 or use our message form to get started.