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Top Reasons Why Collisions Happen on the Road

Top Reasons Why Collisions Happen on the Road

by Tim

Every year, road collisions cause numerous fatalities globally. Recognizing the main causes behind these incidents is vital for promoting safer driving. This article explores key factors such as distracted driving and improper lane changes, offering actionable tips to help drivers prevent accidents and prioritize road safety.

Each year, thousands of collisions occur on roads worldwide, leading to severe injuries and fatalities. Identifying the top causes of these incidents can help drivers adopt safer practices. Understanding the most common cause of a collision is crucial for anyone looking to improve road safety.

The most common cause of a collision is often related to human error, such as distracted driving or speeding. A driver’s chance of getting into an accident can be greatly decreased by acknowledging and addressing these issues. Let’s delve deeper into some of the leading causes and what can be done to prevent them.

Distracted Driving

One of the main factors contributing to traffic accidents is distracted driving. Activities such as texting, adjusting the radio, eating, or even engaging in lively conversations can distract drivers from the road. The rise of smartphones has exacerbated this issue, with many drivers tempted to text or browse while driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2019. To mitigate this risk, drivers should always keep their attention on the road, utilize hands-free devices when necessary, and avoid any activity that could divert their focus.


Driving at high speeds is another critical factor in road collisions. Speeding reduces a driver’s reaction time, making it harder to avoid sudden obstacles or changes in traffic conditions. In a collision, higher speeds also increase the impact force, which can lead to more catastrophic injuries and property damage.

The Governors Highway Safety Association reports that speeding aided to 26% of all traffic fatalities in 2019. To be safe, drivers must always obey speed limits and adjust their speed in reaction to traffic, weather, and road conditions.

Driving Under the Influence

Drunk driving and drugged-out driving continue to be the main causes of traffic crashes. Impaired drivers exhibit poor judgment, reduced reaction times, and impaired motor skills, all of which increase the likelihood of a collision. The dangers of drunk driving are well-documented, yet many people still take the risk.

It’s crucial for drivers to avoid alcohol and drugs if they plan to drive and to find alternative transportation if they’ve consumed any substances that could impair their abilities.

Weather Conditions

Driving can be dangerous in inclement weather, such as rain, snow, ice, and fog. These conditions reduce visibility and create slippery road surfaces, which can lead to accidents. For example, hydroplaning is the loss of traction caused by water on a car’s tires, which causes it to lose control.

To reduce risks in poor weather, drivers should slow down, use headlights in foggy or rainy conditions, and ensure their vehicle’s tires and brakes are in good condition.

Running Red Lights

Running stop signs is a dangerous behavior that frequently results in catastrophic collisions at intersections. This reckless action endangers not only the offending driver but also other motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists. Traffic signals are in place to manage the flow of vehicles and ensure everyone’s safety.

Drivers must always obey traffic signals and stop completely at stop signs to prevent these dangerous situations.


Tailgating, or the practice of following a car excessively closely, is another aggressive driving technique that raises the possibility of rear-end collisions. When a driver tailgates, they reduce their reaction time in the event the vehicle in front stops suddenly.

Safe driving practices dictate maintaining a safe following distance, usually at least three seconds behind the vehicle ahead, to allow for adequate stopping time.


Driving, when exhausted, has the potential to be equally as risky as driving while intoxicated. A driver’s capacity to stay alert, make snap judgments, and respond quickly to road hazards is all hampered by fatigue. Even a brief period of time spent dozing off while operating a vehicle might have disastrous consequences.

Drivers should ensure they are well-rested before embarking on a journey, take regular breaks during long trips, and avoid driving during hours when they would typically be asleep.

Improper Lane Changes

Inadequate lane changes, such as failing to examine blind spots, failing to signal, or cutting into traffic without allowing enough space, can result in collisions with other vehicles. Safe lane-changing practices include using turn signals to indicate intentions, checking mirrors and blind spots, and ensuring there is enough space to merge safely.

Following these guidelines helps maintain traffic flow and prevents accidents caused by sudden or unexpected lane changes.

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