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Reasons Why Driver Actions Cause Car Accidents

Published on Apr 23, 2024 at 3:11 pm in car accident.


Driving. For most of us, it’s a daily activity, but as commonplace as it may seem, getting behind the wheel also comes with inherent risks.

Every year, tens of millions of car accidents occur around the world, and almost 3,700 people are killed every day in crashes involving cars, buses, motorcycles, bicycles, trucks, or pedestrians, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition to these, the resulting injuries, fatalities, significant financial costs, and potential risks to drivers and passengers become glaring.

While many factors contribute to these accidents, one of the primary causes is the actions of drivers themselves. Understanding the reasons behind these actions can help us anticipate and lessen the risk to ourselves, our families, and others we share the roads with and promote safer driving for everyone.

At McMath Woods P.A., we deal with the aftermath of many, many car accidents.

In this blog post, we’ll look at reasons why driver actions cause car accidents in hopes of discouraging you from engaging in similar behaviors and to give you insight into when to steer clear of other problem drivers.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has become a modern epidemic, emerging as a leading cause of car accidents in recent years and often fueled by the widespread use of smartphones and other electronic devices.

According to 2021 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, US cell phone use or texting while driving was a factor in 8% of distracted driving injury crashes, 8% of non-fatal crashes, and 12% of distracted driving-related deaths in 2022.

When drivers divert their attention away from the road to text, make calls, or interact with apps, their ability to react to changing traffic conditions diminishes significantly. Even a momentary lapse in attention can have catastrophic results, like resulting in a serious crash that leaves a car accident victim with disabling injuries, on the road.

As well as electronic distractions, other common sources of distraction include:

  • Daydreaming
  • Rubbernecking (focusing on objects or people outside of a vehicle)
  • Stereo, thermostat, GPS, and other devices
  • Adjusting the mirrors or seat Position
  • Passengers, pets, and other moving objects
  • Eating, drinking, or smoking

To combat the issue of distracted driving, legislative measures such as banning the use of handheld devices while driving and implementing harsher penalties for offenders have been introduced in many jurisdictions. However, addressing this problem effectively requires a multi-faceted approach that includes education, technological solutions, and cultural shifts toward safer driving habits.


In just four months (01/01/2022 to 3/31/2022), Arkansas law enforcement issued 16,219 speeding violations according to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA), which caused this factor to make it into first place among the top 10 driving violations. Clearly, excessive speed is a major contributing factor in a significant portion of car accidents.

When drivers exceed the posted speed limits or drive too fast for road conditions, they reduce their ability to control their vehicles and their traction time to hazards. High speeds also increase the severity of accidents and reduce the effectiveness of safety features like seat belts and airbags.

To address the issue of speeding, law enforcement agencies often use a combination of speed cameras, radar guns, and increased patrols to deter drivers from exceeding the speed limit.

Impaired Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs remains a significant problem on roads, not just in Arkansas but worldwide.

Impaired drivers experience reduced reaction times, impaired judgment, and decreased coordination, making them more likely to cause accidents. Despite widespread awareness of the dangers of impaired driving, strict laws prohibiting it, and per the DFA, serious consequences for offending drivers in our state, many individuals continue to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs, putting themselves and others at risk.

In addition to strict enforcement of driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) laws, technological advancements such as ignition interlock devices, which prevent impaired individuals from starting their vehicles, can reduce drugged and drunk driving and help save lives.


Most of us have probably experienced what it’s like to get a little sleepy while behind the wheel, but it’s important to remember that fatigued driving poses a significant risk on the roads, even if it often goes unrecognized or ignored by both drivers and authorities.

Sleep-deprived drivers also experience impaired cognitive function, much like under the influence of alcohol, making them more prone to accidents. Long hours behind the wheel, irregular sleep schedules, and untreated sleep disorders are all common contributors to driver fatigue.

Public awareness campaigns highlighting the importance of getting enough sleep before embarking on long drives, as well as knowing when to pull over, can also help reduce fatigued driving accidents.

While car accidents remain a persistent threat on our roads, many of them are preventable through concerted efforts to address the underlying causes of drivers’ actions.

By tackling issues such as distracted driving, speeding, impaired driving, aggressive driving, fatigue, and inexperience head-on, we can create safer roadways for everyone. Through a combination of legislation (like House Bill 1486 – “Ashton and Abbey’s Law”), Arkansas law enforcement, community education, and technological innovation, we can reduce the incidence of car accidents and save countless lives in the process.

As responsible members of the community, it’s on all of us to prioritize safety behind the wheel and make a commitment to drive with care and consideration, both for ourselves and others.

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