Most Common Causes of Car Accidents

Decades ago, people traveled by foot, horse and buggy, or train. These ancient methods of transport had one thing in common: They were slow! Automobiles changed the game fast. A person walking non-stop from Hartford to Greenwich, Connecticut, could arrive in 28 hours or so of travel time, but the average car can travel those 87 miles in about 1.5 hours.

Car travel may be fast and convenient but is not without risk. At Gould Injury Law, our legal team has seen the results of devastating motor vehicle collisions. We know the factors behind car accidents that damage property, injure people, and cause death.

Why Untrustworthy Cars Are Hazardous

A well-designed and maintained car is a fast, reliable way to get from point A to point B. Yet, operating some cars is like making a high-stakes gamble.

If your car stalls, it can become a hazard for others on the road. If you lose control, you could crash into an obstacle. A faulty auto part could cause a fire or a dangerous leak.

Common mechanical failures that contribute to car accidents are:

  • Tire blowouts: If a tire does not have enough air, is worn, or has a defect, it can burst suddenly. The flying rubber can damage the vehicle, and the driver could lose control.
  • Bald tires: Bald tires have little or no tread. If you drive on bald tires in the rain, you could slide on the water (hydroplane) and cause a collision.
  • Engine or transmission trouble: When the metal parts of an engine rub against each other, like when there is not enough oil, the engine can overheat and start a fire. Engine or transmission failure could also cause your car to stop in the middle of a busy road or take away your ability to go in reverse.
  • Faulty brakes: The most obvious functions of brakes are slowing and stopping a vehicle. However, anti-brake systems must also cooperate to keep wheels from locking if the driver slams on the brakes.
  • Steering and suspension problems: Steering and control issues can be deadly, especially if fast speeds are involved.
  • Blown-out or malfunctioning lights: Besides helping drivers see their surroundings, lights also allow other drivers to see them and indicate turns, braking, and lane changes. Hazard lights indicate a need for caution around the vehicle.

Mechanical Issues sometimes relate to defective auto parts. In other cases, mechanics, technicians, or car owners make mistakes during repairs or maintenance tasks. What happened in your case?

Getting to the bottom of an accident takes investigation. Request a free review by leaving a brief message with your contact information. We will be in touch fast to let you know if you have the basis for a claim.

How Weather Conditions Pose Challenges

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the following weather conditions significantly affect driving conditions:

  • Air temperature
  • Pavement temperature
  • Humidity
  • Wind speed
  • Snow, rain, sleet, ice, or hail
  • Fog
  • Water level

Weather impacts many factors for the driver and his or her car. For instance, poor weather for driving could result in:

  • Low visibility: Difficulty seeing or being seen; a reduced distance that one can see
  • Poor traction: Tires do not have a good grip on the road, affecting the vehicle’s ability to stop or control its speed
  • Poor stability: Insufficient or limited ability to resist external forces (e.g. wind, water) resulting in a higher chance of tipping over
  • Loss of maneuverability: Less control over steering
  • Overheating: High temperatures combined with defective equipment or insufficient levels of coolant or oil can overheat a vehicle

Inclement weather can also ruin roads and impact the flow of traffic. Weather is a factor in over 1.2 million car crashes every year.

Construction Areas Can Be Confusing

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) studies highway construction. The organization describes work zones as a “complex array of signs, barrels, and lane changes.” Flashing lights, noisy machinery, and busy workers could add more confusion.

From 1982 to 2019, almost 30,000 people died in work zone crashes. Our competent attorneys can determine whether these unfortunate collisions were preventable. If so, accident victims can pursue compensation for their losses.

Why Safe Roads Are Essential

Roads need regular maintenance to remain safe for travelers. Unsafe roads, which may have the following conditions, increase the likelihood of traffic accidents.


Many roads are made with a layer of asphalt or concrete over dirt, sand, or rock. In time, the top layer cracks, and chips become loose. The holes become larger and larger, eventually making a pothole.

Hitting potholes can lead to punctured tires and bent wheel rims. Even if they don’t go flat immediately, damaged tires can later blow out or go flat. Potholes can also damage a car’s suspension, alignment, or undercarriage.

Inadequate signage

Road signs can alert you to danger. However, if they are missing, drivers could have a false sense of security. Some signs confuse drivers, leading to poor decisions and accidents.

Uncleared streets

Every town has local arrangements to clear roads of debris, road kill, and snow. Failure to remove obstacles can contribute to severe car accidents.

Unexpected road changes

When a road changes suddenly, drivers might not have time to react appropriately. For instance, accidents could occur where a shoulder drops off or the type of surface paving changes without warning.

Insufficient markings

Lane markings help drivers understand where to go. When lines fade, drivers can end up where they shouldn’t be.

Missing barriers or guardrails

Barriers and guardrails divide traffic traveling in opposite directions and keep cars in their proper lane. If they are missing, vehicles face the danger of head-on accidents or even driving over a cliff.

Substandard design

Civil engineers and urban planners put time and effort into designing roads, highways, and turnabouts. Yet, road designs can promote disaster if safety is not a top priority.

Some hazardous designs include blind or sharp curves, steep drop-offs, and improperly graded roads. Even the best driver can get in a car crash on an unsafe road.

If dangerous road conditions played a role in your accident, our law firm can take fast action to secure the compensation you are due. Call 888-WIN-FAST today to schedule your free consultation.

How Negligent Drivers Cause Accidents?

Mechanical issues, road and weather conditions, and other factors can give rise to car accidents. Yet, one survey of thousands of car accidents revealed that there is a particular “critical reason” that leads to 94 percent of crashes – the driver.

To illustrate, suppose rain begins falling one night. A motorist drives too fast for the conditions. The car hydroplanes and spins out of control, finally slamming into another vehicle.

While the rain made the roads slippery, the ultimate reason behind the crash was the speeding motorist. At Gould Injury Law, our experienced lawyers find that negligent driver behaviors like those described below are the critical reason for many accidents.


Connecticut law defines speeding as “traveling unreasonably fast” by exceeding the maximum posted limit of up to 55 miles per hour on local roads. Those exceeding 55 mph or driving commercial vehicles might receive higher penalties. If someone goes faster than 85 mph, he or she could face reckless driving charges and incarceration.

Despite the risk of fines, imprisonment, and collisions, some drivers insist on ignoring the law. An analysis of traffic on Norwalk I-95 in May 2022 showed up to 5.48 percent of users driving faster than 85 mph. The speed limit is 55 mph.

Distracted driving

In Connecticut, the law prohibits using hand-held electronic devices while the motor vehicle is in operation. However, any driver 18 years of age or above can use hands-free accessories.

Cell phones are common distractions, but any non-driving activity could result in a motorist:

  • Taking eyes off the road
  • Taking hands off the steering wheel
  • Turning attention away from driving

Inattention can turn disastrous fast. Between 2012 and 2017, almost 20,000 people died in distracted driving crashes.

Driving impaired

When you operate a vehicle, you give your consent to undergo blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tests. For motorists who have not reached the age of 21, legal intoxication is 0.02 or above. Older drivers are legally intoxicated at a BAC of 0.08 or higher.

Both drugs and alcohol can impact motor skills, concentration, and common sense. Even over-the-counter medication can make drivers drowsy. Some substances that impair the central nervous system, decrease reasoning skills, and slow down reactions are:

  • Sedatives
  • Anti-anxiety drugs
  • Stimulants
  • Antihistamines
  • Tranquilizers

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is criminal in Connecticut. Known for strict enforcement, the state imposes mandatory sentencing under its “zero tolerance” laws.

Following too closely

Connecticut drivers must ensure their vehicles are a reasonable length apart to abide by the law. The distance should allow room for stopping without a collision. On the highway, cars should leave space for other vehicles to “enter and occupy such space without danger.”

Tailgating can end in a serious crash. If someone rear-ends you, you need to know whether you are eligible for personal injury compensation. Find out for free by clicking the chat icon on our screen to chat with a live representative.

Not checking for traffic before pulling out or crossing lanes

Failing to check for traffic before pulling out or crossing lanes is one of the top 6 human driver errors. Unfortunately, it is far too easy to make a mistake.

For instance, suppose you stop at a red light. When the light turns green for you, that means that the light turns yellow and then red for the other direction of the intersection. If you go without hesitation, you could be hit by a car running the light.

Before entering an intersection, drivers should scan to the left and right for traffic and pedestrians. If someone is on the crosswalk, the driver must yield to that person until he or she finishes crossing.

Motorists can also use mirrors to check for traffic behind them when changing lanes. All drivers should remain alert to signals like brake lights or blinkers that indicate the intentions of other vehicles.

Obtaining Compensation for Preventable Accidents

Many of the most common causes of car accidents share a characteristic: They are preventable. This is unfair, but you have rights that are protected by law.

You could be compensated for the negligence others showed. Unfortunately, this takes time and effort. While you wait for funds that might never come, your financial stability and peace of mind begin to suffer. If an insurer approves a payout, it might be much less than you expected.

The compassionate attorneys at Gould Injury Law know that it is hard to get fair compensation for a car crash. But that’s why we urge you to consult with us for free to determine your legal options. You can regain your peace of mind.

In Connecticut, accident victims can seek the following damages for accident losses:

  • Medical bills: The cost of treatment for your injuries, including emergency, hospital, and outpatient services; the future costs of accident-related injuries, such as surgeries or prosthetic devices
  • Property damage: Repair or replacement expenses for damaged property (e.g. vehicles, buildings, fences)
  • Lost income: Money recovered for temporary absences from work during recovery or lost earning potential due to disability
  • Funeral and burial costs: Financial relief for surviving family members of a person who died in a preventable accident
  • Emotional distress: Non-physical, psychological injuries related to an accident (e.g. post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, loss of self-confidence)

At our law firm, we apply knowledge of insurance and state laws to get compensation fast. We aggressively pursue maximum compensation because you deserve justice.

Contact Us for Common and Uncommon Accident Cases

If you have been in a car accident, you may wonder: Was it due to factors beyond your control? Did a negligent driver cause the crash?

Come to Gould Injury Law to find the answers. Our fast-working legal team can review your case and give you fast answers to your questions.

We are known as “The Fast Firm” because we pride ourselves on pursuing claims fast, aggressively seeking maximum awards for our clients. Reach out for a free case review by calling (888) WIN-FAST or visiting us at our New Haven, Hartford, or Waterbury offices.

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