Common Causes of Car Crashes

In Tennessee as in other states across the U.S., some behaviors stand out as the most common causes of car crashes--crashes that often lead to serious injuries and even death.

Driving while Impaired by Alcohol or Other Drugs

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in recent years nearly 30% of motor vehicle fatalities have occurred in crashes involving drivers impaired by alcohol. 18% of the driver fatalities involved drugs other than alcohol, and the percentage of traffic accidents in which drugs were involved has risen over the past 5 years. Impaired driving is a serious problem that affects everybody in a community--not only those involved in accidents, not only those who drive, but all of us who may be injured or risk having a loved one injured or killed by impaired driving. And, according to the CDC, young people are the ones most endangered by impaired driving.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that speeding is one of the most common causes of traffic accidents, contributing to more than 30% of car crashes each year. The annual economic costs imposed on all of us by speeding-related accidents are estimated to be $40.4 billion. Moreover, according to the NHTSA, alcohol impairment and speeding are often co-contributors to car crashes. However, many people who are not impaired by alcohol or drugs still speed or leave insufficient space between their car and the vehicle in front of them. By doing so, they leave themselves insufficient space and time to react to unexpected maneuvers or road conditions, and cause accidents that could otherwise have been prevented.

Distracted Driving

The CDC reports that more than 16 people are killed each day and more than 1,300 are injured each day in traffic accidents that involve distracted drivers. The CDC describes three types of distractions--some that take the driver's eyes off the road (as when people are texting while driving), others that get the driver to take hands of the wheel (such as reaching for something in the car), and general mental distractions (i.e. drivers who are not paying attention to their driving). Because distracted driving is taking an increasing toll on our roadways, it is featured prominently as one of the "Key Issues" discussed on the home page of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website.

If you were injured in a Tennessee car crash, or if someone you love lost his or her life in such an accident, please contact the Tennessee-based Hartsoe Law Firm as soon as possible. During a free consultation, we will evaluate your case and discuss how we can work with you to maximize the financial compensations that you should receive for the harm you suffered.

To schedule a free consultation, please call 865-804-1011, email, or fill out and submit our online "Contact Us" form.

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