4 Common Causes of Car Accident Fatalities

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Thousands of people die from car accidents in the country every year. In 2019, it was estimated that over 36,000 people died as a result of a road accident costing over $242 billion per year in associated costs according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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The sad part is that, in most cases, these deaths could’ve been easily avoided if the driver was more responsible or ready for the risks. Knowing why fatal accidents happen is the first step in preventing them. Here are some of the most common causes for car accident fatalities in the United States.

Distracted Driving

You might be surprised to learn that distracted driving is the number one cause of car crashes in the United States. It’s estimated that anywhere between 25% and 50% of accidents are caused by distracted drivers. Distractions can be anything from using a smartphone to arguing with someone in the vehicle.

Which drivers are most likely to be in a deadly crash? In this case, drivers between the age of 15 to 20 are the most susceptible. This is mainly because young drivers are more inclined to use their smartphones or other devices while driving.


Speeding continues to be one of the leading causes of car accidents in the country. According to the NHSTA, 9,378 people were killed due to speeding in 2019 alone. Speeding has always been an issue, and even if 2020 was a down year for driving, it has been estimated the number of drivers going over 80 miles increased through much of the year according to data analytics firm Arity.

Driving Under the Influence

DUIs are also a recurring issue on the roads and are one of the main causes of fatal car accidents. Impaired driving was responsible for almost a third of all fatal car accidents in 2018. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous as it affects reaction times, judgment, and alertness. People who drive under the influence don’t only put themselves at risk, but passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians.

Poor Maneuvering

Some factors have to do with the driver’s habits. One of the most common causes for fatal accidents is improperly merging into lanes. According to the NHTSA, bad lane changes are responsible for about 18% of all accidents on our roads. Many still don’t follow the proper procedure of signaling and checking blind spots before switching lanes. Not properly yielding the right of way is another very common cause for collisions during lane changes.

However, while in some cases the driver is at fault, there are also cases where bad lane changes are caused by something else, like someone sleeping at the wheel or suffering a heart attack.

These are some of the biggest causes of fatal accidents in the United States. Make sure that you notice if you are guilty of any of these and what you can do today to become a safer driver not only for yourself but the whole community.

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