Highway crashes are a major concern. They can cause serious personal injuries, financial hardship, and death.  Understanding the common causes of these accidents is important so we can create effective ways to increase road safety. Let’s explore some of the main causes of highway crashes, drawing on data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s website on highway safety.

Distracted Driving

One of the leading causes of highway crashes is distracted driving. Smartphones and other electronic devices can cause drivers to focus on texting, browsing social media, or other distractions instead of the road. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, in 2019, distracted driving caused about 3,142 deaths. As a result, states have created stricter laws and launched public awareness campaigns to promote responsible device use.

Impaired Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is another major cause of highway crashes. It impairs judgment, coordination, and reaction time, making it extremely dangerous to drive a car. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation say impaired driving accounted for 28% of all traffic-related deaths in 2019. Community efforts to combat the issue include stricter law enforcement, public education campaigns, and promoting alternative transportation options.


Excessive speed is another common factor in highway crashes. Speeding reduces time available to react to unforeseen events and increases the severity of collisions. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, in 2019, speeding was a contributing factor in 9,478 road deaths. Reducing highway speeding requires a combination of enforcement, engineering measures (like speed limit modifications), and education to promote safe driving habits.

Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving includes tailgating, excessive lane changes, and running red lights. These choices significantly contribute to highway crashes. It creates an environment of unpredictability and increases the likelihood of collisions. Raising awareness about the dangers of aggressive driving and promoting courteous driving habits can help reduce the number of aggressive drivers on the road.


Highway crashes are a big problem. And these are the types of things our truck wreck and car accident attorneys see in many of their highway crash cases. It is important for us to understanding the most common causes of these accidents so we can put effective strategies in place to increase road safety. By addressing issues like distracted driving, impaired driving, speeding, and aggressive driving, we can make progress toward reducing highway crashes and making our roads safer for everyone.

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