By PIeRCE | SKRABANEK
PUBLISHED ON:
August 31, 2022
UPDATED ON:
December 20, 2022

The Top 5 Causes of Car Accidents

What Are the Top 5 Causes of Car Accidents?

The cause of a car accident can greatly impact the compensation available for your injuries during a lawsuit. An experienced attorney knows what evidence is important to preserve, and how to argue for the maximum damages you deserve.

Whether you’re dealing with the cost of medical care and a long recovery, or you’re laying a loved one to rest after an accident, the consequences of a car accident can be life-altering. The compensation awarded in a lawsuit can help you access critical care, replace lost wages, and provide financial stability for a grieving family. An experienced attorney can help you secure these funds as soon as possible by identifying the cause of your accident and who is responsible.

Car accidents collectively cost Americans over $400 billion every year according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Individual and family losses due to disabling injuries or fatalities can be personally devastating without the necessary financial support. A successul settlement or verdict can help you regain control of your life as soon as possible.

If you’re in need of representation, contact the offices of Pierce Skrabanek right away, either online to schedule a free consultation, or by phone at (832) 690-7000. Located in Houston, Texas, our lawyers have handled nationwide cases and have proven success in litigating car, truck, and motorcycle accidents.

For more information on how the top five causes of car accidents could affect your legal case, read on.

What Are the Top Causes of Car Accidents?

The top five most common causes of car accidents include:

1. Distracted Driving

A person is considered distracted while driving if they are:

  • Visually distracted by occurrences inside or outside of the vehicle, anything from messy dashboards to rubbernecking in traffic
  • Physically distracted by using in-vehicle electronic devices, eating food, applying makeup or reaching towards the glove compartment or backseat
  • Mentally distracted by holding conversations with passengers, taking a phone call, singing along to the radio, or simply thinking of their evening instead of focusing on the road

A split-second distraction, no matter how innocent it seems, could cause devastating consequences while operating a motor vehicle. For families forever changed by such moments of negligence, justice must be served.

For Distracted Driving Injury Lawsuits

Your lawyer may be able to prove distracted driving after the fact by showing the timestamp of calls or texts made by the driver. Pictures taken of the other driver’s vehicle may also provide an argument that they were distracted by contents like half-eaten food or loose clutter in the driver’s area. By documenting the presence of distractions, your attorney may also prove their liability for your injuries.

2. Drowsy Driving

Drowsy driving occurs when a driver is too tired or possibly drugged/medicated to safely operate their vehicle. The leading causes of drowsy driving are:

  • Work-related fatigue due to extended shifts, night shifts, or long-haul trucking
  • Medications or drugs that cause lethargy or slow down a person’s reaction times
  • Sleep disorders that cause chronic tiredness such as insomnia or narcolepsy

Nodding off or falling asleep behind the wheel could have fatal consequences to other drivers and families on the road.

For Drowsy Driving Injury Lawsuits

If your lawyer can pinpoint the cause of drowsiness in your case, it could lead to the swift, substantial settlement you need. Examples could include legally summoning their medical records (via subpoena) to show their medications and side-effect warnings, as well as their employment logs to show hours worked. Your attorney could hire expert witnesses to testify about the risks of driving with a known sleep disorder.

3. Tailgating

Tailgating is the act of following too closely behind another vehicle while driving. It is particularly hazardous in situations like:

  • Interstate driving at high speeds where drivers need appropriate distance for changing lanes or reacting to sudden changes in the flow of traffic
  • Night driving when visibility is low
  • Inclement weather conditions such as rain, sleet, hail, or fog that both lower visibility and compromise the traction tires have on road surfaces

Pierce Skrabanek is located in Houston, where Texas law (Section 545.062 of the Transportation Code) states that a driver must “maintain an assured clear distance between the two vehicles” so that they can safely stop without colliding with the other vehicle or veering into traffic, nearby objects, or pedestrians. Reach out to our offices online or at (832) 690-7000 to discuss your legal options.

For Tailgating Injury Lawsuits

Tailgating is a known dangerous behavior, and is often against the law. However, regardless of whether the other driver is cited, arrested, prosecuted, or convicted, you still have the right to file a personal injury suit. Crash evidence like skid marks, impact marks, or onboard technology may prove that they were tailgating at the time of your accident.

4. Speeding

Every state in the U.S. has speeding laws in effect, including:

  • Statutory speed limits that are on the books regarding specific types of roads like highways or residential streets
  • Regulatory speed limits that are posted on roadsides to remind you of the statutory limits, or inform you of a change in speed 
  • “Special conditions” speed limits like school zones, work zones, or special limits applicable during rainy or icy conditions

Speed limits can also change in situations where the road requires extra caution, such as around blind curves or on steep inclines. 

For Speeding Injury Lawsuits

Accidents caused by illegal or unsafe speeds can be proven after the fact by evidence from traffic cameras, witness statements, or crash patterns that expert testimony can show requires specific speeds to occur. By preparing this evidence, your lawyer increases your chances of a swift settlement, saving the time and expense of a full trial.

5. Intoxication

Intoxicated driving happens when drivers take the wheel under the influence of:

  • Alcoholic beverages like beer, wine, or liquor
  • Drugs, stimulants or depressants
  • Medications, prescription or over-the-counter

Intoxication while driving can lead to irrational choices, unpredictable reactions, and other dangerous and deadly behavior.

For Intoxicated Driving Injury Lawsuits

Regardless of whether the other driver is charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), you still have the right to sue for your injuries. Any evidence of their intoxication levels before and after the crash can help prove the cause of the accident and who is responsible for the resulting injuries and harm.


When considering a personal injury lawsuit, it’s key to remember that identifying and organizing evidence for a case is your attorney’s job — not yours. After a car accident, your priorities are your health and the well-being of your family. Let your lawyer handle the paperwork.

What Are 3 Factors That Cause Accidents?

The top three factors underlying most preventable car accidents include:

  • A compromised mental state either due to tiredness, mind-altering substances, or distraction
  • Ignoring safety precautions like using a phone while driving or refusing to reduce speed during dangerous weather
  • Personal choices such as elderly drivers with visual impairments driving at night, or younger drivers who tend to be more inexperienced and impulsive

Each of these factors could be considered negligence in a personal injury case. Whatever the reason, if someone else caused the accident that led to your injuries, they should be responsible for the cost it takes to rebuild your life.

What Is the Most Common Cause of Car Accidents, and How Can a Lawyer Help You Recover?

The number one leading cause of car accidents is what we listed as #1: distracted driving. Because distractions are so common, many drivers don’t connect the extreme danger of brain or spinal injuries with something as simple as changing the radio while driving. With technology becoming ever-present in our lives and vehicles, the dangers of distracted driving are on the rise every year.

The lawyers at Pierce Skrabanek have represented clients who have been injured in car accidents, on the job, and in medical malpractice cases. We have achieved multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements to help individuals and their families rebuild after catastrophic injuries.

You can speak with us directly by calling (832) 690-7000, or by filling out our online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation. The damages secured by an injury lawsuit could help cover past and ongoing medical costs, lost wages and future earnings, as well as compensate for physical pain, emotional suffering, or wrongful death. Our attorneys will help determine the cause of your accident and who should be held liable for the damages, all while you heal in peace.

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