Causes of Car Accidents
Auto Crashes Are Typically Caused by Negligent Actions
The slightest failures, errors, and oversights can instantly cause horrific wrecks. When the dust settles, it’s important to identify the causes of crashes, so victims can start discovering their legal options for recovering.
At Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, we are dedicated to helping victims recover and get justice. Strategic, tireless, and fierce, our experienced car accident lawyers are skilled at investigating crashes, identifying their causes, and providing exceptional representation in and outside the courtroom.
No matter who is liable or how complex a case may be, we have what it takes to achieve successful resolutions and the maximum available recoveries when it matters most. That’s why we’re the car accident attorneys you can trust and rely on when it’s time to hold negligent parties accountable and win fair, full compensation.
Whenever you need answers about your legal options after a crash, simply contact a car accident lawyer at Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers. We are here, ready to help, 24/7
Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers has recovered millions in all types of car accident claims. Let us make your claim and recovery our next victory.
Click on a link below to jump directly to any section and get more answers about car accident causes, cases, and lawyers.
Most car accidents are caused by negligence (source:NHTSA). That negligence can arise in diverse ways, but most of the time it involves:
- Motorist negligence
- Vehicle equipment problems
- Environmental factors
Here is a closer look at how each of these factors contributes to car crashes and how negligence can be at play when they do.
Motorist Negligence & Car Accidents
More than 9 in 10 car accidents are caused by negligent drivers (source:NHTSA). This can include motorists in passenger vehicles, as well as commercial vehicles. Sometimes, several drivers may be negligent and end up causing a single wreck.
When motorists’ misbehaviors cause crashes, they tend to involve errors related to:
- Perception and recognition: More than 40% of wrecks happen because motorists fail to see key signals in their driving environment. This can involve completely overlooking these signals, as well as misperceptions and misunderstandings of these important cues.
- Decisions: Risky decisions behind the wheel cause about 30% of car crashes. These choices can include anything from drunk driving or using a cellphone to speeding, tailgating, or blasting through a red light.
- Performance: About 11% of car accidents happen when motorists make risky maneuvers or when they mishandle a vehicle. This can involve oversteering or failing to adjust speeds in adverse conditions.
- Non-performance: About 7% of auto accidents are caused by motorists failing to perform a necessary action. In most cases, it’s due to driver fatigue or a driver sleeping behind the wheel.
Vehicle Equipment Problems & Auto Wrecks
About 2% of all car accidents are caused by vehicle equipment problems (source:NHTSA). Often, these issues arise when:
- Parts or components are inherently defective: Design flaws, manufacturing errors, and poor-quality materials can result in damage and equipment failure.
- Improper installation causes malfunctions: Assembly errors or failures to properly replace vehicle systems can also result in equipment failure.
- Vehicles aren’t properly maintained: Overlooking essential maintenance is another way vehicle equipment can end up failing on the roads.
Generally, the equipment that tends to fail most often on vehicles includes:
- Tires: More than 1 in every 3 of equipment-related car accidents is caused by tire failures.
- Brakes: More than 1 in 5 auto accidents result from equipment problems involving a brake system failure.
- Steering, suspension, transmission, or engine systems: About 3% of equipment-related car crashes are caused by one of these systems failing.
Environmental Factors & Car Accidents
About 2% of all car accidents are caused by environmental factors, meaning the roads and/or the weather conditions (source:NHTSA). With environmental factors:
- Poor road conditions can arise from the weather, dangerous roadway design, or failures to maintain the roads. In some cases, poor road conditions are the result of poorly set up highway work zones, missing traffic signs, or debris in the roads.
- Weather is uncontrollable, but motorists can still adjust their actions accordingly. In fact, several crashes are caused by drivers failing to reduce their speeds in adverse weather.
To get a better understanding of car accident causes — and just how many crashes are caused by preventable negligence — check out some of the latest data on auto wrecks in the U.S. (sources:NHTSA andIIHS):
- Speeding was a leading cause of increased traffic deaths in 2020.
- Drunk driving causes more than 1 out of every 3 deadly car accidents. While that represents a 7% decline from 1990, it’s still far too many deaths, especially considering drunk driving is illegal and 100% avoidable.
- Inattentive drivers cause about 80% of all car accidents. In many cases, these motorists are distracted by their cellphones.
- Slick roads and glare are the top two environmental factors contributing to wrecks.
As shocking as some of these facts may be, they fail to depict the real trauma victims can suffer in car crashes. When it’s time to recover from that trauma, it’s time to contact Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers. We can help you figure out what caused your car crash, so you can figure out how to get on the road to recovery.
Investigations and evidence can uncover the causes of a car accident. In many cases, that means:
- Taking prompt action immediately after a crash is best: This means calling police, taking pictures and videos of the scene, and gathering witness information when possible.
- It may be necessary to revisit the accident scene: Debris from the crash, damaged roadway features, and even tire tread marks on the blacktop may help explain what caused the crash.
- Requesting a copy of the police report can be helpful: Police reports for crashes are typically available within 10 to 21 days after a wreck. These reports can contain all sorts of information and potential evidence, including key details you may not otherwise be privy to, like breathalyzer test results, what others said after the crash, new witnesses, and more.
Depending on how a car accident happened — and how many other parties are involved — investigations and evidence for a crash can be quite complex. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to carry out a thorough investigation to identify all causes of a wreck and gather all possible evidence to support a claim.
The causes of a car accident will dictate the liable parties and how to go about suing them for the harm they’ve caused. With car accident causes and liability, it’s important to know that:
- Liable parties may not be limited to those at the scene of a crash: The companies that make defective vehicle equipment or that put unsafe commercial drivers on the roads can be liable for their oversights, for example.
- Multiple parties can share liability: These parties could include multiple drivers, motor carriers, vehicle equipment manufacturers, road maintenance contractors, and/or others.
- Victims who share some fault may still be able to recover:Louisiana law allows victims to recover compensation even if they are partially liable, but the recoveries in these cases are typically reduced.
No, it’s not a good idea to trust an insurance company to properly identify the causes — nor is it wise to assume that insurers will properly assign fault. The reason is that insurance companies don’t necessarily conduct neutral investigations. Nor are they interested in justice.
Instead, insurers are intent on protecting their interests and their profits. And they are known for using tricky tactics to try to pay out the least amount possible.
If you’re filing a car accident claim, that puts you in direct opposition to the insurance company’s interests. And it could mean that insurance companies:
- Give you the runaround
- Draw out the investigation process to intensify your financial stress
- Conduct biased investigations and/or misinterpret the evidence to work in their favor
- Try to get you to say or do things that they can use to reduce or reject your claim
Consequently, you should not automatically rely on the insurance company’s fault assessment, especially if you’re being wrongfully blamed for a wreck. It’s in your best interests to, instead, retain a lawyer who can help you determine fault.
The sooner you retain a car accident attorney after a wreck, the better. A lawyer can immediately advise you and start investigating the crash while there is as much evidence available as possible. Plus, an attorney can determine liability and start helping you with key aspects of a claim, like:
- Gathering the evidence necessary to establish fault and damages
- Initiating your claim before the statute of limitations passes
- Handling all insurance company interactions and negotiations
- Calculating damages and representing you in settlement talks
- Preparing you and your case for trial, if necessary
At Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, our car accident lawyers go above and beyond to achieve the best possible resolutions. With vast experience, skills, and knowledge, we can help you put your claim on track for success.
A 5-Star Car Accident Lawyer Is Ready to Help You 24/7
After a car crash, don’t wait to get answers or advocacy. Time and insurance companies can be working against you, but you can rely on a 5-star car accident lawyer at Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers for exceptional representation when you need it most. We are skilled at winning all types of car wreck cases, and we can help you recover.
Backed by 20 years’ experience and a winning record, our car accident attorneys are proud to offer fierce advocacy while making negligent parties pay for the harm they’ve caused. Discover the difference our team can make in your car accident case and recovery by contacting us today.