Common Causes of Car Accidents in North Carolina (2024)

Common Causes of Car Accidents in North Carolina (2024)

Apr 16, 2024 | Car Accidents

The most common causes of car accidents in North Carolina and throughout the country have to do with driver error. Driver error refers to the mistakes, misjudgments, and oversights that drivers make behind the wheel. It’s important to know what driver error might look like, as well as ways to avoid it. If another driver’s errors caused your car accident, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against them.

What Is Driver Error?

Driver error is a leading cause of traffic accidents and collisions worldwide. These momentary lapses of judgment can cause life-altering accidents that have serious consequences. Below is a list of common examples of driver errors:

  • Distracted Driving: Distracted driving is anything that keeps the driver’s attention away from the primary act of driving. This can be texting, talking on the phone, eating, or adjusting the radio.
  • Speeding: Driving at reckless speeds can cause serious accidents, as it lessens a driver’s reaction time.
  • Driving Under the Influence: Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or fatigue seriously impairs judgment and reaction times.
  • Failure to Obey Traffic Laws: Not adhering to traffic laws such as red lights, illegal turns, proper signaling, yielding the right of way, and more can create seriously dangerous conditions for other drivers.
  • Inexperience: A driver who has lacked proper training can create dangerous road conditions, as they may make poor judgment calls or may be unfamiliar with certain types of roads.

Regardless of the type of driver error, it is a serious road safety concern for all drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists to be aware of when on the road.

How to Combat Driver Error

Making an effort to combat driver error is a step toward safer roads and fewer accidents. By practicing safe and responsible driving, you can make a difference.

A main contributor to driver error is distracted driving, and the primary way to combat this problem is by staying focused while operating a vehicle. Keep your eyes on the road at all times and avoid distractions such as texting, eating, grooming, and all unnecessary actions. If you need to respond to a text, safely pull over to a designated location to do so.

By following the relevant traffic laws, many accidents can be avoided. Follow posted speed limits, traffic signals, and road signs. Ensure that you are using proper signaling when changing lanes or making quick stops or turns. Indicate your intentions properly. This gives other drivers time to react to your actions.

Maintain a safe distance while following other vehicles. By giving them space, you give yourself time to react, whether you need to brake quickly or switch lanes. A good rule of thumb is the “three-second rule,” which means you are following at a pace that is three seconds behind the car in front of you.

Avoid Driving While Drowsy or Intoxicated

Never drive under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medications that impair your ability to drive safely. If you plan to drink, ensure you have a safe way to get home through public transit, ride shares, or a designated driver. Do not get behind the wheel in an altered state. Driving under the influence could lead to both civil and criminal penalties.

Do not drive when you are tired or drowsy. It is better to find a place to take a nap and rest than “power through” to get to your destination. Overly tired drivers present similarly to drivers operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

There are countless ways that you can improve your driving and ensure a safe passage from point A to point B. Consider the above tips essential safety requirements to reduce the risk of driver error on the road.


Q: What Is the Number One Cause of Multiple-Vehicle Crashes in North Carolina?

A: The number one cause of multiple-vehicle crashes in North Carolina is driver error. Driver error refers to mistakes or lapses in judgment that are made by individuals operating motor vehicles. These errors can lead to a wide range of accidents, injuries, property damage, and more. When a driver’s action or inaction leads them to deviate from safe and responsible driving, they compromise not only their own safety but also that of every other individual on the road.

Q: Is North Carolina a Fault or No-Fault State?

A: North Carolina is a fault state for car accidents. This means that injured individuals can pursue legal means from the at-fault party to receive compensation for their losses. However, the state also follows pure contributory negligence rules. This states that if you were even 1% responsible for the accident, you are unable to make a legal claim against the other driver. If you have questions or concerns, speak with a local car accident attorney to learn more.

Q: What Are the Most Common Causes of Road Accidents?

A: The most common cause of road accidents is driver error. Specifically, one of the most common types of driver error is distracted driving. Drivers could be distracted by texting, otherwise using their phones, talking, or eating. Even a momentary distraction could result in a crash. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep your attention on the road at all times when driving.

Q: How Is Fault Determined in a Car Accident in North Carolina?

A: Fault is determined in a car accident in North Carolina based on the principles of negligence. Negligence is often the main factor in determining whether a defendant’s actions led to the accident, making them liable. Negligence happens when a driver fails to exercise reasonable care, and this results in others’ harm. Negligence can look like speeding, distracted driving, running red lights, and more.

Contact a Trusted North Carolina Car Accident Attorney Today

If you have been in a car accident in Caldwell, Burke, Catawba Counties or the surrounding areas, the attorney at Law Office of Lyndon R. Helton, PLLC, is ready to help you. We understand that accidents can have life-altering effects, and we want to offer you compassionate support. Reach out today to set up a consultation and learn how we can find a solution to your car accident case.