Hundreds of car accidents occur each day in the United States, and more than 100 people die every day as a result of being involved in a vehicle collision. It’s a sad statistic because, often, these accidents are totally preventable.
If you’re interested in knowing what is the number 1 cause of car accidents, you may have been involved in one yourself and are researching how to gain compensation for your injuries and losses. You’ve come to the right place because Morgan & Morgan’s personal injury attorneys have a stellar reputation for winning verdicts and negotiating favorable settlements for our clients.
While road accidents occur for a variety of reasons, sometimes in combination with others, the consequences are frequently the same. People get hurt, and property is damaged. Here is the answer to what is the number 1 cause of car accidents in the United States.
Distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents.
About eight people die every day in crashes that involve distracted driving. Furthermore, it leads to about 920,000 total accidents per year, including fatalities. The definition of distracted driving is uncomplicated. If a driver engages in any activity that takes their eyes off the road, it is considered distracted driving. It can be literally anything, and it’s extremely common but can lead to harsh consequences.
Texting and driving is a huge culprit of distracted driving, and it’s led to laws being enacted in some states, with many following suit as the ramifications become more apparent each year. However, texting and driving is an obvious example. If you’re texting and driving, you’re literally not paying attention to the road, rather your cell phone. Other examples of distracted driving are eating, fiddling with GPS, checking up on child passengers, applying makeup, rummaging around in a briefcase, or even daydreaming and forgetting to maintain focus.
While the statistics don’t lie, an astonishing number of Americans agree that using a mobile device while driving is dangerous yet admit to engaging in this exact type of activity while behind the wheel. This includes video chatting, checking work emails, and responding to texts.
Distracted driving statistics 2012-2018
If a driver isn’t giving their full attention to the road ahead, traffic signs and signals, and the cars surrounding them, they are driving distracted. This sort of behavior leads to accidents and driving violations, among other repercussions like increased insurance rates.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are three types of distracted driving:
Manual distraction: When a driver takes their hands off the wheel to perform some activity like changing the radio channel, taking a sip of coffee, or handing a toy to a child in the back.
Visual distraction: When a driver takes their eyes off the road to look at a text, look at an accident on the other side of the highway, or gaze at the scenery, for example.
Cognitive distraction: When a driver loses focus of the road because they are thinking of something else like work issues or what they’re going to make for dinner that night.
While most of us are guilty of these kinds of distractions while driving, that doesn’t change the fact that a serious accident can happen in just a second. Think about it. How many times have you had a close call traveling at 65 mph on the interstate? Imagine traveling at that speed, and someone swerves into your lane. Still, during that critical instant, you were petting your dog instead of maintaining focus on the road.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), 31% of drivers are distracted by their pets in the car. Furthermore, a driver is eight times more likely to get into a crash while reaching for an object and three times more likely to crash when eating or drinking while driving. 58% of crashes that involve teenagers are caused by distracted driving.