What Are The Leading Causes of Car Accident Fatalities?

It’s a sad fact that in spite of all of the improved safety implemented in consumer vehicles today, the United States still saw almost 37,000 annual car accident deaths in the year 2018.

Additionally, Missouri saw a 15% increase in traffic fatalities in 2020 despite the fact that traffic had been reduced almost 40 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s almost 37,000 people who got into their cars and went about their business on the road and never came home. While that may seem reasonable nationwide, it is actually quite tragic when you discover that the greater percentage of these crashes were preventable.

Over time, we have come to learn which behaviors most often cause car accident deaths. It’s an understatement to say that the common denominator is that so many people do multiple things at one time rather than focusing on driving. This is often called “inattentive driving.”

In the end, it pays to understand what to watch out for on the road so you can avoid traffic accidents. Of course, if you ever do get hurt, or if a family member is killed or injured in a crash, and you need a car accident lawyer in St. Louis, MO, The Cagle Law Firm will be here to fight for your right to fair compensation.

So, what are the leading causes of car accident fatalities?

Distracted Driving

When you drive, no matter the speed, you have your life and those of other vehicle occupants in your hands. You must always pay attention to the road and your surroundings.

Distracted driving is a common cause of car accident deaths. Generally, we think of “distracted driving” as driving while using a tablet or cell phone, either to text, surf the web, or do anything else on the mobile device.

Meanwhile, inattentive driving is any other multi-tasking or behavior that takes the driver’s attention off of the driving task at hand. Inattentive driving is a much larger category than distracted driving. It includes all other examples of activities people perform while driving that could take their attention off the road.

Inattentive driving could involve managing your auto entertainment system, trying to get something off the car floor, eating, or fixing your hair in the mirror.

Taking any of these actions while driving can lead to car accident fatalities, both for distracted drivers themselves and anyone who happens to be near them. Taking your eyes off the road for only a few moments can have disastrous consequences, so it is essential to pay attention at all times when behind the wheel.


It’s no surprise that speeding has made this list of the leading causes of car accident fatalities.

Speed limits exist for a reason: to keep people safe.

Drivers who speed naturally have less time to react to anything that goes wrong on the road. Cars that suddenly turn out onto the street, pedestrians that appear out of nowhere, road work up ahead–it’s difficult to avoid these things and stay safe when you’re exceeding the safe speed limits. If you are traveling at a reasonable speed, then other vehicles and pedestrians do not actually seem to “appear out of nowhere” as often.

Drivers who speed and suddenly come upon unexpected road conditions will tend to lose control of their vehicles. They can wind up hurting or killing themselves or others.

The way to avoid these kinds of fatalities is simple: slow down.

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is another seemingly all-encompassing cause of car accident deaths. Once again, this kind of driving can mean so many things.

We’ve probably all seen aggressive driving on the roads. These drivers tend to speed, change lanes erratically to weave in and out of traffic, and generally disregard safety and good judgment.

Just like speeding and distracted driving, being careless in these ways while in a vehicle affords the driver much less reaction time to any upcoming hazard. Whether it’s another vehicle, a road median, or a pedestrian, any of these conditions can cause a reckless driver to spin out of control and cause grievous injuries or death.

Driving while Intoxicated

Lastly, driving while under the influence of a controlled substance–be it alcohol or drugs–can lead to all sorts of accidents.

An intoxicated driver has a slowed reaction time and impaired judgment. For that reason, drunk drivers can engage in any of the dangerous driving behaviors listed above and end up hurting or killing themselves or others.

People who intend to have alcoholic drinks should plan ahead, so they never have to drive while intoxicated.

Our Personal Injury Lawyers in St. Louis Can Help

If you have been hurt in a car accident or a reckless driver killed someone you love, call The Cagle Law Firm.

A personal injury lawyer from our firm will be in touch to consult with you on what happened and how we can help. You may be entitled to compensation for what you have suffered due to the negligence of someone else.

Call us today, and let us start helping you. Call toll-free at (1-800) 685-3302 or locally at (314) 276-1681.

Contact Us Today

The Cagle Law Firm serves accident and injury clients throughout St. Louis and the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, including the eastern Missouri and southern Illinois communities. If you or a loved one needs legal assistance with your personal injury case, call The Cagle Law Firm at (314) 276-1681 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Recent Posts




Schedule your FREE CONSULTATION today by contacting us at (314) 276-1681 or by sending us an email through the online contact form.

Contact Us Today

Request Your Free Consultation

Fields marked with an * are required

I Have Read The Disclaimer*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Copyright © 2024 The Cagle Law Firm. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer | Site Map | Privacy Policy

Digital Marketing By rize-logo