Common Causes of Car Accidents & Who's At Fault

Man Holding His Neck Following a Car Accident

Car accidents are an unfortunate and all-too-common occurrence on our roads. They can result in injuries, property damage, and even loss of life. Understanding the leading causes of car accidents and determining who is at fault in these incidents is crucial for promoting road safety and ensuring that justice is served. In this blog, we will explore the most common causes of car accidents and shed light on the question of liability.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving tops the list as one of the most prevalent causes of car accidents. This includes activities like texting, talking on the phone, eating, adjusting the radio, or engaging in any activity that diverts a driver's attention away from the road. The responsibility for these accidents typically falls on the distracted driver.


Speeding remains a significant factor in car accidents. Drivers who exceed posted speed limits or drive too fast for road conditions can lose control of their vehicles, reduce reaction times, and increase the severity of accidents. In these cases, the speeding driver is often held responsible.

Impaired Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a leading cause of car accidents. Impaired drivers have reduced coordination, impaired judgment, and slower reaction times. If an accident occurs due to impaired driving, the intoxicated driver is usually considered at fault.

Reckless or Aggressive Driving

Aggressive behaviors like tailgating, weaving between lanes, and road rage can escalate into accidents. Drivers who engage in such behaviors are typically found at fault if an accident results.

Running Red Lights and Stop Signs

Disobeying traffic signals and stop signs can lead to dangerous T-bone or side-impact collisions. Drivers who fail to yield the right-of-way or run red lights are usually deemed at fault in these accidents.

Weather Conditions

Adverse weather conditions, such as rain, snow, ice, or fog, can reduce visibility and make roads slippery. Drivers who fail to adjust their driving to accommodate these conditions and cause accidents are generally considered at fault.


Fatigued driving is a significant contributor to accidents, particularly on long journeys. Drivers who fall asleep at the wheel or lose concentration due to exhaustion can cause severe accidents. In such cases, the fatigued driver is held responsible.

Mechanical Failures

Sometimes, car accidents occur due to mechanical failures like brake malfunctions or tire blowouts. In these cases, the driver may not be at fault, and the responsibility may fall on the vehicle manufacturer or maintenance provider.

Determining Fault

The process of determining fault in a car accident can be complex and may involve several factors, including eyewitness accounts, police reports, traffic laws, and expert analysis. Insurance companies, law enforcement, and the courts play a vital role in assigning liability. 

Some states follow a comparative negligence system, where fault is assigned to all parties involved in the accident based on their degree of responsibility. Each party's compensation is then adjusted accordingly. In other jurisdictions, a no-fault insurance system is in place, where each driver's insurance company pays for their client's injuries and damages, regardless of fault. However, there are limitations to this system, and fault may still be determined in specific cases.

Contact Hyland, Padilla & Fowler, PLLC Today

Again, determining the common causes of car accidents is an essential part of figuring out who is at fault, and in turn, who can receive compensation. At Hyland, Padilla & Fowler, PLLC, we specialize in personal injury cases, including car accident cases. If you or a loved one has been injured in such an accident, our experienced attorneys are here to provide you with the legal guidance and support you need. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us fight for the compensation you deserve.

 Hyland, Padilla & Fowler, PLLC is available by phone at (919) 891-8361 or you can just send us a message online.

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