Personal Injury Attorney In California

The Most Common Causes of Auto Accidents

Posted on February 5, 2024

Top view of a truck accident

Patrol’s latest finalized data), there were 3,904 fatalities and 277,160 injuries due to a total of 197,146 fatal and injury traffic crashes in the state.

There are many different factors that can contribute to an auto accident, but some are more common than others. Here are the most common causes of auto accidents in Southern California:

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road. This can include activities like using a cell phone, eating, drinking, talking to passengers, and even adjusting the radio. Many people do not realize that distracted driving encompasses many more activities or behaviors than using a smartphone.

Eating, drinking, adjusting the car’s temperature controls, and changing the radio station are all common distractions that can take a driver’s focus away from the task at hand: operating their vehicle safely. Some of these distracting behaviors are more difficult to prove than others, but all can be used to determine liability in an accident.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 3,142 people killed and an estimated additional 324,652 people injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2020, accounting for 8% of the total fatal crashes across the United States in that year.


Speeding is one of the most common causes of auto accidents. It is also one of the most preventable. Drivers who speed are more likely to lose control of their vehicle, have less time to react to hazards, and be more likely to cause serious injuries or fatalities in an accident.

According to the NHTSA, 26% of fatal crashes, 12% of injury crashes, and 9% of property-damage-only crashes in 2019 were speeding-related.

Drunk Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is one of the most dangerous – and sadly, one of the most common – causes of car accidents in Southern California.

Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs your judgment, reaction time, and motor skills, making it extremely dangerous to get behind the wheel.

If you’re going to be drinking, make sure to have a designated driver, use a rideshare, or call a cab – it’s not worth risking your life or the lives of others. If you have been involved in an accident that was caused by a drunk driver, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the driver.

Fatigued Driving

Fatigue is a common cause of accidents, especially among truck drivers on the road for long periods.

But even if you’re not driving a truck, being tired can make it difficult to concentrate and make good decisions while behind the wheel. In fact, some studies have shown that fatigued driving can be more dangerous than drunk driving.

If you’re feeling tired, pull over and take a break. It’s better to arrive late than not at all.

Weather Conditions

Bad weather can make it difficult to see and be seen, and it can also make roads slippery. These conditions can lead to accidents, so driving carefully when the weather is bad is important. Even though the weather in Southern California is consistently pleasant, there are plenty of times when the weather conditions will increase your risk of a serious accident due to visibility issues, traction problems, and other complications.

If you can, avoid driving in bad weather altogether. But if you must drive, make sure to go slow and turn on your lights so that other drivers can see you.

Road rage

Road rage is becoming more and more common, and it can lead to serious – even fatal – accidents.

If someone cuts you off in traffic, don’t take it personally, and don’t retaliate. It’s not worth getting into an accident or getting into a fight with someone over something so minor. When someone exhibits road rage, the best thing to do is try to defuse the situation and get away from the person as quickly as possible.

If you are in an accident with someone who is in this heightened state, remain in your vehicle and call 911 as soon as possible. Inform the dispatcher of the road rage incident and wait for law enforcement to arrive.

Construction Zones

Construction zones are another common cause of accidents in Southern California.

With all of the construction going on, it’s not surprising that there are a lot of accidents in construction zones. These accidents are often caused by drivers who are speeding, not paying attention, or who don’t know how to navigate the construction zone.

To avoid being involved in an accident in a construction zone, make sure to slow down and be aware of your surroundings. Obey all traffic signs and signals, and don’t try to take shortcuts through the construction zone.

Mechanical Issues

Sometimes, accidents are caused by problems with the car. If you have been in an accident that was caused by a mechanical issue, you may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer of the car.

Common mechanical issues that can lead to accidents include:

  • Tire defects
  • Brake defects
  • Steering defects
  • Accelerator defects

If you have been in an accident that was caused by a mechanical issue, it’s important to get the car checked out as soon as possible. You should also contact an experienced car accident attorney to discuss your legal options. To be sure that your vehicle is in proper operating condition, keep track of recalls through the NHTSA.

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