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What Are the Causes of Car Accidents?

What Are the Causes of Car Accidents?

Every year, nearly 40,000 people are killed in car crashes around the country. Hundreds of thousands more are injured. The sad fact is that the majority of these accidents could have been avoided if everyone involved had been following all applicable safety regulations and generally driving responsibly. Most accidents happen because someone was behaving negligently. Below, we discuss the most common causes of car crashes nationwide. If you were injured in a car accident in Philadelphia, call a dedicated Chestnut Hill car accident attorney.

Intoxicated Driving

Driving while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics remains one of the leading causes of serious and fatal car crashes across the country. Alcohol, marijuana and other drugs slow reaction time, dull critical thinking, blur vision, and otherwise make driving extremely irresponsible and dangerous.

Distracted Driving

Over the last couple of decades, distracted driving has risen through the ranks as the most common factor in car crashes. While anything that takes a person’s attention off of driving, hands off the wheel or eyes off the road can contribute to an accident, texting while driving, in particular, has emerged as one of the leading causes of car crashes.

Drowsy Driving

Driving without a healthy amount of sleep can be just as dangerous, if not more, than driving drunk. In fact, experts state that being awake for 18 hours straight has the same effects on cognition, reaction time, and other capacities as having a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.05. Being awake for 24 full hours has the same effect as having a BAC of 0.10, over the legal limit of 0.08 in most jurisdictions, including Pennsylvania.


Speed limits are posted for a reason. The faster you are driving, the longer it will take you to stop, the less control you will have when swerving, and the more likely it is that any given crash will be serious or fatal. Driving over the speed limit is connected to more car accidents than nearly every other form of negligence.

Unsafe Driving Maneuvers

In addition to speeding, many accidents are caused by other reckless driving behaviors. Drivers who change lanes quickly and without signaling, drivers who try to pass on the shoulder or in between lanes, drivers who dart between cars to get around traffic slowdowns, and drivers who drive well above the speed limit are likely to cause a catastrophic wreck.

Ignoring Traffic Control Devices

When a driver blows through a stop sign or a red light, they are very likely to collide with a driver coming from another direction. There is no excuse for blatantly ignoring traffic signals or signs.

Auto Manufacturing Defects

Not all accidents are caused by negligent drivers. Sometimes, accidents occur because a car part malfunctions. Brakes may fail, steering wheels may lock, airbags may inappropriately deploy (or fail to deploy), and engines may unexpectedly shut off or catch fire. When such defective car parts cause a crash, the auto manufacturer could be held liable.


If you or someone you care about has been injured in a car crash in Pennsylvania, you need the help of a dedicated and effective personal injury attorney to get the damages you deserve. Benedum Law founding attorney Christine Benedum has dedicated her career to fighting for accident victims and knows how to get her clients the compensation they deserve from those at fault. Contact a compassionate Philadelphia car accident victim attorney at Benedum Law in Chestnut Hill for a free consultation on your case at 215-529-7848 (215-LAWSUIT).

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