What Are the Most Common Causes of Fatal Car Accidents?

Car Accidents | June 7, 2021

The harm inflicted on victims who are involved in car accidents can easily be fatal. Every year, thousands of people lose their lives in deadly car accidents in the U.S. Kentucky alone reported 730 deaths in fatal car accidents in 2018. Almost all fatal car crashes are preventable. Understanding the most common causes of fatal collisions may give you the power to avoid or prevent one in your community.

Driving Under the Influence

In 2018, 124 of the 730 traffic accident deaths reported in Kentucky involved alcohol. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is an extremely reckless driver behavior. Unfortunately, it is something that hundreds of drivers in Louisville and throughout Kentucky do each year – despite knowing that it is against the law and dangerous.

Many drivers overestimate their abilities to safely operate motor vehicles while drunk or don’t realize how intoxicated they are, while others exhibit a wanton disregard for the safety of others by knowingly driving impaired. Drunk driving accidents are often fatal, as intoxicated drivers tend to engage in reckless driving behaviors such as speeding or driving the wrong way on a one-way street. This can lead to deadly head-on, T-bone and high-speed collisions.


In today’s busy world, many drivers exceed the speed limit to try to make it to their destinations faster. Many don’t realize just how dangerous driving too fast for conditions can be. Speeding is an unsafe practice that compromises the driver’s ability to control a vehicle. It can lead to high-speed car accidents that are catastrophic for those involved. Collisions at high speeds are more likely to cause fatalities than low-speed car accidents due to the increase in velocity at which the two vehicles collide.

Driving While Distracted

Distracted driving means operating a motor vehicle while simultaneously doing something else, such as sending a text message or changing the station on the radio. Multitasking behind the wheel is extremely dangerous, as a driver needs his or her full attention to safely control a car. In 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 3,142 lives lost in distracted driving accidents. These accidents are often fatal, as a distracted driver may not hit the brakes at all before colliding with a driver, bicyclist or pedestrian.

Driver Error

General driver errors, such as breaking traffic regulations, failing to keep in the proper lane, following too closely or failing to yield the right-of-way can cause harmful and fatal vehicle collisions. Every driver has a legal responsibility to adhere to traffic laws and general best practices while operating a motor vehicle. This is the driver’s duty of care to others – to reasonably prevent car accidents. Carelessly or intentionally failing to prevent a deadly crash that a reasonable and prudent driver would have prevented will place liability with the driver.

Driver Recklessness

Being careless or negligent means that a driver unintentionally broke a rule and caused a car accident. Being reckless, on the other hand, means that the driver knew his or her actions posed a foreseeable risk of serious bodily injury to others but went through with it anyway. Examples of reckless driving include excessive speeding, speeding in a school zone, racing, red-light running, aggressive driving, tailgating and driving the wrong way.

Do You Need Help From a Louisville Car Accident Attorney?

If you recently experienced the tragedy of losing a loved one in a fatal car accident in Louisville, consult with a car accident attorney for legal assistance. Kentucky is a choice no-fault state, meaning you will only have the right to file a lawsuit against another driver for serious injury or death. Bringing a lawsuit for a loved one’s passing could give your family financial compensation for losses such as funeral and burial costs, loss of consortium, mental anguish, outstanding medical expenses, and more.

A car accident lawyer who also handles wrongful death claims can help your family demand justice through an insurance settlement or a fault-based lawsuit. Contact an attorney from HJV Car Accident Personal Injury Lawyers today to receive more information about a fatal car accident case.

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