Leading Causes of Car Accidents

All drivers in Virginia have a duty to operate their vehicles safely and avoid causing injuries to others. Nonetheless, thousands of individuals are injured in car accidents each year, most of which are caused by driver errors. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled in significant compensation. In the meantime, this article is a brief discussion of the leading causes of car accidents.

Common Driver Errors

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the majority of car accidents are caused by driver errors, including:

  • Distracted driving
  • Driving under the influence
  • Driver fatigue
  • Speeding

Why is distracted driving so dangerous?

Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents. Drivers can become distracted by talking to passengers, eating, drinking or even reading. Most distracted driving accidents are due to the use of smartphones or onboard technology like GPS systems, even though the use of handheld devices while driving is prohibited.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), multi-task while operating motor vehicles is not possible. NSC studies reveal that people’s brains are not capable of performing two important tasks at the same time. In particular, drivers who switch their attention back and forth from onboard technological devices and smartphones to driving are at a high risk of becoming distracted. Moreover, distracted drviers are not capable of anticipating and reacting to hazards posed by other vehicles or road conditions.

The Perils of Drunk Driving

Another leading cause of car accidents is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. According to the NHTSA, DUI is responsible for about 40 percent of the car accident fatalities in the U.S each year. Despite the public awareness of the perils of drunk driving, people continue to get behind the wheel after they’ve been drinking. Not only is is illegal, driving under the influence has an adverse effect on reaction time, vision and depth perception, often with tragic consequences.

Beware of Driver Fatigue

Fatigued drivers are another peril on the road, as fatigue can lead to slower reaction times. In fact, fatigued drivers have a greater likelihood of running red lights and stop signs, and some even fall asleep at the wheel, which could lead to a head-on collision.


Speeding drivers are unable to react and stop quickly enough to respond to road conditions or avoid obstacles.  Speeding often results in high impact collisions — and catastrophic injuries and fatalities.

The Takeaway

Despite the fact that drivers have a duty of care not to injure others by driving in a safe manner and obeying traffic laws, car accidents occur everyday.  It is important to remember that Virginia’s laws of contributory negligence apply to car accident cases. This means that to recover damages for your injuries, you must be able to show that the other driver was 100 percent at fault. If you contributed to the accident in any way, you cannot recover damages. The best way to obtain the compensation you deserve is by consulting the experienced car accident attorneys at Surovell, Isaacs & Levy, P.C.


Posted in: Car Accident