8 Common Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents

by | Aug 11, 2023

Motor vehicle accidents can result in serious and debilitating physical and mental injuries. 

Injuries include broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), internal injuries, mental and psychological anguish, and physical pain and suffering. 

The reasons for such accidents run the gambit of causes ranging from driver inattention, fatigue, driver impairment, disobeying traffic signs and lights, mechanical failures, and defective vehicle design or construction, to name the most common.

Garrison Law Firm concentrates much of its practice on representing folks with injuries caused by motor vehicle collisions. Here are many of the top causes of car wrecks.

1. Speeding

Speeding has been a contributing factor to a lot of auto accidents. There were 39,508 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2021, in which 42,939 deaths occurred. 

The accidents resulted in 12.9 deaths per 100,000 people and 1.37 deaths per 100 million miles traveled.  About one-third of these accidents had speeding as a contributing factor.

2. Distracted Driving

Drivers can prevent most injuries and death if they simply focus on the road all the time. 

Defensive driving saves lives. Distracted driving comes from cell phone use, instrumentation distractions such as navigation and radio, passengers’ conversations, eating while driving, and daydreaming.

Distracted driving causes failure to yield the right-of-way to vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians.  It results in missing changes in speed limits, a changing stop light, and road hazards and causes unsafe lane changes.

3. Cellphone Use While Driving

Texting while driving is the most dangerous use of a cell phone in the car because it can distract the driver from watching traffic for several seconds at a time.  

Indiana has enacted cellphone use laws that ban texting and talking on a call unless it is hands-free. That is a legislative “nice try,” but enforcing such laws is nearly impossible.  

4. Driving Under the Influence

Driving while intoxicated impairs brain functions like thinking, perception, and muscle coordination. 

Depending on the level of impairment, an impaired driver may well not comprehend how intoxicated they are when deciding to get behind the wheel. 

One of the reasons the alcohol-prohibited level of blood alcohol content (BAC) is low at .08 BAC is that some people at the level of impairment do not understand that they are under the influence. 

Previously, Indiana had a limit of .1 BAC, which for most people was a reasonable level.  However, research determined that at .08 BAC, many people exhibit unsafe impairments. 

Certainly, intoxicated driving causes a lot of fatal accidents in Indiana.

5. Fatigue

Fatigue causes more accidents than any other cause. This is particularly prevalent in the over-the-road transport business.  

Long-haul drivers are often on a tight schedule, they frequently drive at night, which can cause fatigue, which means sleepiness.

It is not just sleepiness; fatigue also leads to inattention and slower reaction time.

6. Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving seems self-explanatory but may be best defined by examples.  

We have all seen cars that speed up to get through a red light just as in changes. Sometimes the light is red before they reach the front of the intersection. 

We have all been passed on the interstate by someone doing well over 100 MPH. How about weaving through heavy traffic? We’ve certainly seen that too.

We have seen drivers pass over a double yellow line. 

We have all had someone tailgate us, which distracts us.

The worst form of aggressive driving is “road rage.”  Road rage can kill in two different ways, collision and murder.

Aggressive driving is responsible for killing more people than drunk drivers. Gross violations of the rules of the road can justify a claim for punitive damages. 

The bad news is the punitive damages are not covered by insurance.

7. Mechanical Defects

The cause of some accidents can be caused by failing to maintain or service the vehicle properly.  

Such cases can be hard, but not impossible, to prove. You would have to show that the owner/driver of the vehicle knew or should have known the vehicle was not road worthy. 

Such defects could be the cause of negligent mechanical repair.

8. Negligent Entrustment

A vehicle owner can be liable for the injuries caused by someone he/she loaned their vehicle to when the owner should have known that the person was unlicensed, an under-age driver, or not otherwise competent to drive a vehicle.

How Garrison Law Firm Can Help

If you have been injured in an accident, our lawyers and staff can investigate your accident to determine if any of these factors on the part of the other driver contributed to your accident.  

Sometimes accident reconstruction is required to get an expert’s opinion on how the accident occurred. Other expert opinion testimony may be required to convince the insurance company that its insured was at fault and that it must legally pay the claim.

No law firm has “seen it all,” but we are getting close. 

  • We have seen head-on collisions where a sports car doing well over 100 mph hit a semi-truck head-on stopping the truck’s forward motion immediately.  
  • We have seen a semi-truck driver fall asleep in the wee hours of the morning and hit a tow truck from behind that was hooking up a vehicle off the side of the interstate.  
  • We have seen pedestrians hit along the road, hit while pumping gas at a gas station, hit while legally crossing a street or in a crosswalk. 
  • We have seen a drunk driver going the wrong way on a one-way street hit a young motorcyclist head-on.  
  • We had a case where a dump truck operator was exceeding the speed limit on a narrow rural road near a construction site, and then he hit head-on a slow-moving flatbed truck causing the dump truck’s load of stone to bury the other driver in his truck. 

We could go on and on.

From settlement negotiations with insurance companies to bringing your case before a jury, Garrison Law Firm is dedicated to fighting for you and getting you the best result. 

Insurance adjusters and lawyers well respect Garrison Law Firm as lawyers who are well-prepared, well-researched, and very capable of compelling arguments. 

Contact us today for a free evaluation at 317-842-8283.