Like with all other incidents or events, there's got to be a reason why automobile accidents occur. Sometimes, there are even contributory factors behind the primary reason. Here are some of major causes of automobile accidents that are brought about by the people behind the wheel.

Driver Distraction

According to a research conducted by the American Automobile Association, "between 25 to 50 percent of vehicular crashes in the US" were caused by a distracted driver. The most common of these distractions is rubbernecking, or when the driver slows down the car to gaze at another accident. Almost 16 percent of distraction-related accidents are attributed to it. Other distractions to driving include:

  • Changing the CD or radio frequency

  • Eating

  • Looking at a scenery

  • Passenger-related distractions

  • Reading newspaper, maps, etc.

  • Using cell phone or other gadgets

Driver Fatigue

Truck drivers usually fall victims to driver fatigue due to the long hours of drive that they have to endure. About 100,000 accidents every year happened because of tired drivers according to US National Traffic Safety Administration. Fatigue is associated with sleepiness that's why most of these accidents happened because of the driver falling asleep behind the wheel. Heavy eyelids and frequent yawning of the driver, drifting and varying speed of the vehicle, are some of the signs of a fatigued driver.

Driving Under the Influence

NHTSA reported that around 16,500 people were killed in alcohol-related accidents in 2004 while there were 14,000 deaths in 2006. Being under the influence of drugs is also dangerous when driving. Alcohol and drugs are substances that alter the senses of a person, thus disrupting the driving ability of the person.


Not only is over-speeding against the law (once it goes over the speed limit), it also reduces the likelihood of avoiding a crash. Naturally, it increases the risk and even makes the crash more devastating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said that when the car's speed increases to 60 mph, the force it would release during the crash would be more than the double of what it would at 40 mph.

Aggressive or Reckless Driving

Aggressive or reckless drivers are those who "operate a motor vehicle in a selfish, bold or pushy manner, without regard for the rights or safety of the other users of the streets." Road rage, on the other hand, is far worse than aggressive driving because it involves extreme violence that may lead to even worse crimes.