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WHat are the most common causes of car accidents?
Dr. Robbyn KeatingNov 17, 2021 11:46:18 AM6 min read

Common Causes of Car Accidents

People are involved in car accidents hundreds of thousands of times every year in the United States.

Car accidents have become so common that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have started treating motor vehicle safety as one of its primary concerns.

Car accidents are a leading cause of death in the United States, and they fill hospital emergency rooms.

Whether your accident is minor or severe, it can completely turn your life upside down.

Here are five steps to take after a car accident

Your accident can result in a loss of wages, physical injuries, pain and suffering, or permanent disability.

Preventing a disastrous car accident starts with understanding what causes them.

There are many factors involved in motor vehicle accidents.

In the article below, we will go over five of the leading causes of car accidents.

Table of Contents


Car Accident Statistics

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration(NHTSA), there are more than 6.5 million crashes reported annually.

These accidents result in more than 2.7 million injuries and over 36,000 deaths.

The CDC has reported that the financial cost of those crashes exceeds $75 billion annually.

And that's without taking into account the physical and emotional suffering that motor vehicle accidents cause victims and their families.

Pinning down what causes all of these accidents may seem like an impossible task.

However, the CDC, NHTSA, and other organizations have spent a significant amount of time piecing together traffic accident information to paint a clear picture of what causes many of these accidents.

The following factors play significant roles in accidents on U.S. roads.


Accident help

Distracted Driving

Even before cell phones, distracted driving has been a leading cause of car crashes. Cell phones and other technologies have just made it worse.

It's not uncommon to drive by someone texting or scrolling through social media or even filming for social media on their cell phone.

The danger of distracted driving is that the more you do it without incident, the more rooted the habit becomes.

Drivers feel like they've mastered the art of multi-tasking behind the wheel and can call, text, read, and take pictures at will while they're driving.

Eventually, though, these habits are bound to catch up to you.

If you have to do something while driving, pull over to the side of the road in a safe place.

Otherwise, please wait until you get to your destination to do it.


Drunk Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious crime.

Safe driving requires the drivers to be able to concentrate, make split-second judgments, and react to unexpected situations.

You can't do any of those things if you're under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Even a small amount of alcohol can impair your ability to drive.

Drunk driving puts yourself and everyone else you're sharing the road with in danger, so don't do it.

Alcohol-impaired drivers caused nearly 30% of all accident fatalities in 2016.


Driver Fatigue

Americans suffer from chronic sleep deprivation, whether they want to admit it or not.

About one-third of adults routinely get less than the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep needed to wake up alert and refreshed.

Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as driving drunk.

According to the CDC, a driver who has been awake for 18 hours straight has the same visual, motor, and cognitive impairments as a driver with a 0.05 blood alcohol level.

Even if you don't fall asleep at the wheel, you will still suffer from slower reaction times and confused decision-making that can lead to fatal car accidents.

To avoid these types of accidents, try to get adequate sleep, avoid driving at the end of a long day when it's possible, and schedule long road trips to begin soon after waking up to avoid drowsiness during the long drive.


Man injured in an auto accident


Speeding is a form of reckless driving and aggressive driving that we'll talk about in a minute.

Speeding isn't just associated with over-excited teen drivers that have just received their driver's license.

All age groups, not just teen drivers, put the pedal to the metal and break the speed limit for various reasons.

Maybe they're running late for work, or they are running late picking up their kids from school.

No matter the reason, the result is often a car accident that can cause serious injuries, like whiplash or concussions, or even death.

Having a seemingly good reason to speed doesn't make it any safer to do.

Driving faster than the sped limit is reckless driving, and the faster your car is moving, the less control you have over it if you run into something unexpected on the road.

Obey the speed limits to avoid tickets and because it's in the best interest of you and other motorists' safety.


Aggressive Driving

Getting behind the wheel experiencing emotions like anger, resentment, and frustration can cause accidents.

Aggressive driving leads to about 5 million car accidents each year.

More than 50% of fatal accidents are caused by aggressive driving.

Speeding is the most common form of aggressive driving.

Additional aggressive driving behavior includes lane blocking, failing to signal, failure to yield the right of way, tailgating, and disregarding traffic laws.

All of these behaviors can easily cause a crash.

The best way to combat aggressive behavior is by calming down.

Take a deep breath and relax when faced with a stressful driving environment or when you’re in a mood that makes you impatient and irritable.

Getting angry behind the wheel won't accomplish anything meaningful and will likely end in disaster.

What Should You Do After A Car Accident?

If you've been in a car accident caused by someone else, you should speak to an auto accident attorney.

Auto accident lawyers help protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.

If you've been injured in an accident, the most important thing you can do is seek immediate medical attention.

Even if you don't feel injured, you should still see a medical professional who can give you a clean bill of health.

A chiropractor is a great doctor to visit after road accidents.

Your chiropractor will adjust your spine if needed and can recommend soft tissue therapies to help aid in relief from any pain or discomfort you may be having. 

Your chiropractor can also give nutritional counseling and prescribe exercises that will help to aid in the healing process and help you to regain a full range of motion.

Early care and treatment after an accident is important for quick rehabilitation. 

The sooner your injuries are diagnosed and a treatment plan is put into motion, the sooner you can make a complete recovery.

Even a seemingly minor accident can cause injuries that show up days or even weeks after the fact.

That's why it's important to see a chiropractor as soon as possible.


Woman seeking chiropractic treatment after a car wreck

Visit A Car Accident Chiropractor

All of the common causes of car accidents can cause injuries that can be treated by chiropractors.

At Arrowhead Clinic in Georgia, a chiropractor will perform an in-depth physical exam after your car accident to determine if you sustained injuries to your neck or spine.

Once your injuries are diagnosed, they will perform chiropractic adjustments to help realign your spine, putting your body in the best position to heal itself and recover as quickly as possible.

The expert chiropractors at Arrowhead Clinic can help relieve your pain by providing exercises and nutritional advice to aid with your healing process.

They can also refer you to a personal injury attorney if the negligence of another driver caused your accident.

If you have just been involved in an auto accident, or you're suffering from symptoms from a previous car accident, call Arrowhead Clinic at 800-961-PAIN, or click the button below to schedule a free consultation to get the pain relief you need.

Free car accident consultation



Dr. Robbyn Keating

Dr. Keating joined the team at Arrowhead Clinic in 2016 to continue furthering her career as a chiropractic physician. She provides manual and hands-on chiropractic spinal manipulations along with therapy techniques to help restore function and mobility in the body. She specializes in treating a variety of accident injuries along with chronic neck and back pain. Dr. Keating moved to St. Louis, Missouri, from Alberta, Canada, in 2005 to earn her Bachelors of Science degree at Lindenwood University while on an ice hockey scholarship. While in college, she excelled in ice hockey and track and field events. Upon graduation from Lindenwood University, Dr. Keating furthered her education by pursuing her Doctorate of Chiropractic at Logan College of Chiropractic. She completed her doctorate studies in 2014 and then secured a highly sought-after position at a multidisciplinary wellness facility in the St. Louis metro area. It was there she trained under a well-respected chiropractor, who helped her hone her skills and techniques in a high-volume clinic. Since moving to Georgia in 2015, in addition to running the McDonough office for Arrowhead Clinic, Dr. Keating continues her long-standing passion for playing rugby with the Atlanta Harlequins Women's Rugby team. She participates in several local ice hockey leagues and is now working on mastering her cast in fly fishing. One of Dr. Keating’s accident patients stated, “Best clinic ever. Kendall, Hannah, Chloe, and Dr. Keating are the best. They have been so helpful during my accident, I have never been through anything like this, and they are making the process so easy and understandable. Recommend this place to anyone!” Dr. Keating offers potential patients same-day, free consultations. She is available Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.