The Most Common Causes of Car Accidents

While a fair amount of St. Louis car accidents happen due to strange circumstances, the vast majority happen because of a specific set of common causes.

the most common causes of car accidents

Understanding those causes can do two things for you. First, you can avoid those behaviors yourself, which will significantly decrease your risk of getting into an accident. Second, you can recognize when another driver is driving dangerously, and choose to keep your distance from them. With education and behavioral shifts, you can drastically increase your chances of safety.


Cars driving over the speed limit get into accidents at a much higher rate than cars moving at appropriate speeds. This is because a speeding vehicle is hard to steer and slow down. If a speeding driver needs to stop quickly or make an evasive maneuver, they are much more likely to get into an accident than a driver that is going to speed limit.


Drinking alcohol or being on drugs significantly affects driving in a variety of ways. Drivers will often experience slower reaction times, poor judgment, aggression, and a tendency to become distracted. All of these factors combine to make intoxicated driving one of the top causes of accidents.


Though most people are guilty of some sort of multitasking while on the road, it is incredibly unsafe and should be avoided. They eat, do makeup, take phone calls, text, and a variety of other distracting activities. The result is taking their eyes off the road and hands off of the wheel. This kind of distracted driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving and is a significant cause of crashes.


The only common factor that is not behavioral is the weather. In the rain or snow, drivers will often lose control of their vehicles and the results will be dire. The best way to avoid this is taking all necessary safety precautions and avoiding the road entirely when conditions are especially dangerous.

Running Red Lights

Running red lights leads to a significant number of accidents every year. Overly aggressive or distracted drivers can do it, but either way, the consequences are dire. Given that these accidents come at high speeds and are often in a T-Bone alignment, the fatality rate of red light incidents is very high.


Drivers that are fatigued are a liability to themselves and the drivers around them. Much like drunk drivers, their reaction time and ability to stay focused suffer greatly. It may not get as much publicity as some other factors on this list, but fatigued driving is actually one of the most deadly.

Speak With an Attorney

Next time you’re out on the road, keep on eye on yourself and other drivers. If you are driving in a way that puts you at risk, then it is time to start removing that habit. On the other hand, if another driver is driving dangerously, then do your best to get away from them and towards safer drivers. If you end up in an accident for whatever reason, you can always contact our St. Louis car accident attorneys to discuss your options. Call us 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE case evaluation.

Updated: September 13, 2021