causes of car crashes
Car Accidents

Top 10 Causes of Car Crashes

Most Texans own their own cars. And if they do not, they have almost definitely been passengers in friends’ or family members’ cars or rideshare vehicles. Car travel is a necessity for most Texans. Hopefully, your car travel goes smoothly, bringing only mild hassles of traffic jams or flat tires.

If you are unfortunately involved in a car accident, a personal injury attorney from Flood Trial Lawyers can help you through its aftermath and work to secure compensation for your losses.

Car Accidents in Texas

The Texas Department of Transportation published sobering statistics for its most recent year of car crash data collection. TxDOT reports:

  • 18,880 individuals suffered serious injuries in 15,229 motor vehicle crashes
  • 4,481 people died in motor vehicle crashes
  • A person was killed in a crash every hour and 57 minutes
  • A person was injured in a crash every two minutes and nine seconds
  • A reportable crash occurred every 57 minutes

The Top 10 Causes of Car Accidents

If you are wondering why these crashes occur, crash contributing factors and various other sources help reveal the top 10 causes. Whatever the specific cause, car accidents produce damage, and victims are entitled to collect compensation for the damages they suffer. Should you sustain injuries and losses in a Texas car crash, reach out for help from a Texas car accident lawyer with Flood Trial Lawyers.


Speed limits exist for good reason. Cars are much harder to control at high rates of speed. Further, it is difficult to come to a stop, especially an abrupt stop, if you are traveling fast. For about 160,000 crashes, unsafe speeds or failure to control speed were contributors.

Distraction and Inattention

Despite having laws in place governing cell phone use while driving, a significant number of crashes in Texas, about 88,000, involved driver distraction or inattention. But cell phones are not the only cause of driver distraction.

Eating, drinking, shaving, applying makeup, changing the radio station, engaging in animated discussions, observing the scenery, daydreaming, and a host of other distractions contribute to driver inattention. It is all too easy for drivers to lose control of a vehicle, fail to observe activated brake lights, or drift into oncoming or parallel lanes when not paying attention.


For safe travel, cars need to work properly. Defective steering or braking systems cause extremely dangerous conditions for car operators and others on the road, as can worn tires. Even seemingly minor defects, such as broken tail lights or turn signals, can cause major car accidents.

Malfunctioning traffic signals, poorly marked roads, and obstructed traffic signs create hazards as well. The proper functioning of these areas typically falls under the purview of a government office.

Failure to Follow Traffic Laws

While it is easy to see how obvious disregard for traffic laws, such as running red lights, causes auto accidents, “failure to yield” ranks highest for roadway dangers in this category.

Sometimes, drivers may not understand the rules for yielding. Other times, they are simply careless. They think they have enough time to make that left turn but completely miscalculate the oncoming driver’s speed or roll through a stop sign without taking care to observe the presence of cars around them.

Driving Under the Influence

It is illegal in Texas and every other state to drive under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs – even prescribed medications. Texans 21 years or older driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher can be charged with DUI. For commercial drivers, the limit is .04%, and for drivers under 21, it is illegal to drive with any detectable trace of alcohol in your system.

Even though the “legal limit” is .08%, you can still be charged with DUI if your BAC is lower but you show other signs of impairment.

Driver Fatigue

Tired drivers can be as dangerous as impaired drivers, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Fatigued drivers have lowered reaction times, less awareness of hazards, and a greater inability to stay attentive to the task at hand: driving.

When drivers go without sleep for more than 20 hours, they are as impaired as drivers with an over-the-limit BAC. Fatigued drivers are three times more likely to experience car crashes than rested drivers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates 100,000 fatigue-involved car accidents per year, causing 800 deaths and 50,000 injuries, but this estimate is believed to be low because of underreporting. The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates 328,000 drowsy-driving accidents per year, producing 109,000 injuries and 6,400 deaths.

Following too Closely

Safe drivers leave a three-second following distance between their vehicle and the one in front of them. Unfortunately, many drivers do not follow this practice and “tailgate.” Following too closely, or tailgating, is the cause of many rear-end collisions.

Unsafe Lane Changes

On a multi-lane road, drivers must be aware of drivers in other lanes. Before making a lane change, they must ensure there is no vehicle in their “blind spot” and that they have room to enter the new lane safely.


Bad weather is no one’s fault, but it is every driver’s responsibility to adjust their driving when weather conditions demand. Precipitation can greatly reduce visibility and make roads slick for travel, prompting a higher likelihood of crashes or skid-outs.

High winds can bring debris onto roads, creating obstacles or roadblocks, and drivers have to adjust – even pull over if necessary — until the danger passes.

Road Conditions

Potholes, loose gravel, and other road obstructions can cause single-car crashes or multi-vehicle pile-ups. Consumer Affairs ranks Texas 15th out of the 50 states on its “worst roads” list. As with traffic signals, maintaining safe road conditions is typically a government responsibility.

Filing an injury claim against a government entity comes with its own set of rules and regulations, making it extremely important to have a Texas car accident attorney manage the legalities.

Texas Car Accident Help Is Available Now

If you have sustained losses in a car crash caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you have already suffered too much. It is time to get you compensated for your financial, physical, and emotional losses. Recovery is tough, but we make recovering your losses easier by offering knowledgeable, compassionate, and bold legal representation for car crash victims. Contact us today so we can get to work for you.