An estimated 40,990 people died in vehicle collisions in 2023 in the United States. This marks a decrease of 3.6% from the year prior. Car accidents remain a leading cause of preventable deaths in this country. Anyone who wants to be safe while on the road should learn the answer to a simple question. What is the number one cause of car accidents in California?

A Sacramento car accident lawyer can help if you or a loved one has been hurt on the road in California. You may have legal grounds for holding the at-fault car or truck driver accountable. Victims of negligent driving may be entitled to monetary compensation under our state’s personal injury laws.

What is the number one cause of car accidents in California?

Common Causes of Car Accidents

The number one cause of car accidents in California and across the country is distracted driving. Around 3,000 Americans die every year due to distracted driving, and around 400,000 people are injured every year due to people not paying attention while driving.

There are three main types of distracted driving:

  • Visual: When drivers take their eyes off the road
  • Manual: When the driver takes their hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive: When the driver’s mind wanders away from focusing on the road

The consequences of distracted driving can be severe for pedestrians and bicyclists. One in five deaths tied to distracted driving involves people who were talking or bicycling nearby. Drivers ages 15 to 20 are more likely to engage in behavior like texting and watching their phone while driving than adults 21 and up. Nearly 40% of high school students reported texting or emailing someone while driving in a given month.

Even a momentary distraction can be enough to cause a serious or potentially fatal wreck. One way you can reduce the chances of becoming distracted on the road is to put your phone away and leave it on silent.

Speed limits aren’t suggestions, although people often treat them like they are. Excessive speed causes several dangers. Driving too fast reduces the time drivers have to slow or stop if traffic patterns change or if an obstruction in the road appears. Speeding also increases the severity of a crash. Rear-ending someone at 30 miles per hour is a very different type of collision than rear-ending someone at 60 miles per hour.

The most effective way to avoid this dangerous driving behavior is to strictly follow speed limits and adjust driving habits in poor weather situations.

Drugs, alcohol, and even prescription drugs can impair someone’s ability to drive safely. Driving under the influence is illegal. An intoxicated driver is less able to react to changing situations on the road. Impaired drivers are also more likely to engage in risky driving maneuvers. This can put them and surrounding drivers at risk. Someone who is found to be driving under the influence can face criminal charges and potentially be sued for civil damages.

Can Reckless Drivers Be Held Accountable for Damage and Harm They Caused?

California requires all drivers to carry automobile insurance. California is a fault state when it comes to how car accident claims are handled. This means that the driver who caused the accident is responsible for paying for any damage they caused. Your car accident lawyer can help you navigate the insurance system, so you receive a fair settlement.

Car insurance often does not cover the costs associated with an accident. This is especially true when there is serious bodily injury or death involved. In those cases, you can work with an attorney to file a personal injury lawsuit that seeks monetary compensation.


Q: What Is the Number One Cause of Accidents in the United States?

A: The number one cause of car accidents in the United States is distracted driving. When someone takes their eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or minds off the task of driving, they increase the risk that they will hit another vehicle, a stationary object, or a bystander. Texting, messaging, and emailing are all common causes of this dangerous driving habit.

Q: Where Do Most Car Accidents Happen in California?

A: Most car accidents happen when a driver is not fully focused on driving and observing the road. Distracted driving is the leading cause of car accidents, but speeding and driving under the influence are also common causes of car accidents in California. Staying off the phone, obeying the speed limit, and staying sober can greatly help you avoid car accidents in California.

Q: What Time of Day Are Most Accidents?

A: The majority of car crashes occur between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Fatal crashes are more likely to occur in the evening between 8 p.m. and midnight. Factors that can influence the likelihood of a car accident include visibility, weather, traffic congestion, and road conditions. Fatigue is a significant factor when it comes to car crashes, which is why many fatal collisions occur between 8 p.m. and midnight.

Q: What Type of Road Do Most Fatal Accidents Occur On?

A: Accidents, and especially serious accidents, are more likely to occur on fast-moving roads and highways than slower back roads. One reason for this is speed. The faster a car moves, the more damage it can cause and the harder it is to anticipate changing driving conditions. Highways and fast-moving roads are also more likely to have congestion and more vehicles. More vehicles mean a greater chance that someone is distracted or speeding.

Schedule Your California Car Accident Consultation Today

The number one cause of car wrecks in this country and in California is distracted driving. Even when you take steps to be safe while on the road, other drivers may not. It is an unfortunate truth that many accidents are completely preventable. If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident, you can hold the negligent driver accountable by taking legal action.

Your attorney can negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf with the insurance provider or through the civil courts. With the right legal representation, you can receive compensation for your injuries. The Ward Firm has helped many clients receive financial compensation following a car accident. To schedule your consultation, contact our office today.