The Most Common Causes of Auto Accidents

By Roger Johnson

Speeding, distracted driving, and running stop signs and red lights cause many motor vehicle collisions. This article will cover those and some of the other things that frequently lead to crashes. Awareness of these factors can help you avoid car accidents. 

Sometimes, no matter how cautious you were, the negligence of someone else can result in a collision. If that happens, a Maryland personal injury attorney can help you go after compensation from the at-fault party. Here are some of the most common causes of auto accidents:


Speeding can cause crashes because the speeding driver does not have enough time to react to hazards like a slow-down in traffic. Also, speeding can make the driver lose control of the vehicle and collide with other vehicles or pedestrians.

You do not necessarily have to exceed the posted speed limit to get ticketed for speeding. Any time that a person drives too fast for the conditions, they are speeding. If traffic is congested or there are adverse weather or road conditions, it could be illegal to drive at the speed limit.

Distracted Driving

There are many possible sources of distractions for today’s drivers. GPS systems, on-board infotainment built into the vehicle, and separate electronic devices like cell phones and tablets can divert the driver’s attention from the road. Then there are the distractions that are not related to technology, like eating, drinking, arguing with one’s passenger, and simple daydreaming that can distract the driver and cause a collision.

Running Stop Signs and Red Lights

It is particularly dangerous to run stop signs or red lights because the violating driver’s vehicle can strike another vehicle broadside, also known as T-boning. The driver or passenger gets hit from the side of the car, where they do not have as much protection as they would with a front or rear impact to the bumpers of the vehicle.

Also, the driver of the vehicle that is in the intersection legally can get caught unawares because they do not expect another vehicle to enter the intersection illegally. Thus, that driver has less opportunity to avoid the accident.

Drowsy Driving

When a person drives while fatigued, their reaction time and driving performance can be similar to that of a drunk driver. You will want to be on the lookout for drowsy drivers particularly very late at night or early in the morning, although a sleep-deprived person could be on the road at any time of the day.

Impaired Driving

Drunk and drugged driving cause a significant number of avoidable accidents every year. Many fatal crashes involve at least one impaired driver.

Reckless Driving and Road Rage

Some people do not think of the safety of others when on the road. They tailgate, drive aggressively, make sudden and frequent lane changes, and act out in road rage. These actions are responsible for many collisions.

Adverse Weather and Road Conditions

When the roads are slick, icy, snowy, or have standing water, drivers are at a higher risk of collisions. During inclement weather, like a blizzard, thunderstorm, hurricane, or tornado, it is best to wait until later to get on the road. Getting into an accident can delay you from reaching your destination more than waiting until the dangerous conditions pass. If you got injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you will want to talk to a Maryland personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact our office today for a free consultation.

About the Author
Mr. Roger C. Johnson graduated from the University of Michigan and the National Law Center of the George Washington University, receiving his Juris Doctor degree in 1977. With over 40 years of experience under his belt, he has obtained million-dollar verdicts and settlements for clients in automobile accidents, including pedestrian injuries, medical malpractice cases, construction accident cases, and slip and fall cases, along with many other types of injury claims.