What Causes Most Car Accidents?

Massachusetts car accidents happen unfortunately each and every day with alarming frequency.  It is therefore imperative for Massachusetts motorists to use caution and prudence when operating a motor vehicle.  I think it is important for people to know some of the common, and less obvious, causes of most car accidents.

To that end I provide the following courtesy of the The Washington Post:

  • While cell phones have recently sprung up as a common cause of car accidents, a study, the largest to date on crashes involving distracted drivers, found that rubbernecking causes far more accidents than cell phone use.
  • The largest number of accidents was caused by drivers looking at other accidents, traffic or roadside incidents. Comparatively, cell phone use ranked as the sixth highest cause. The study included data on more than 2,700 accidents involving distracted drivers between June and November 2002.
  • Moreover, some 98 percent of the accidents reported involved a single distracted driver.
  • According to the study, rubbernecking accounted for 16 percent of accidents reported. This was followed by driver fatigue, which was responsible for 12 percent, looking at scenery or landmarks (10 percent), passenger or child distractions (nine percent), adjusting the radio, tape or CD player (seven percent), and cell phone use (five percent).
  • Distractions from inside the vehicle accounted for 62 percent of the distractions reported while distractions from outside the vehicle accounted for 35 percent, and three percent of the distractions were undetermined.
  • Of the crashes that occurred in rural areas, nearly two-thirds of the crashes reported, common causes included driver fatigue, insects entering or striking the vehicle, or animals and unrestrained pet distractions.
  • In urban areas, automobile accidents caused by distracted drivers were often due to drivers looking at other crashes, traffic or vehicles, or cell phone use.