Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Georgia

In 2021, Georgia saw 2,617 fatal crashes, during which 1,797 people died, according to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. This number decreased slightly in 2022 to 1,786 deaths. In the Atlanta regional area, an average of 600 people die and 3,000 people are seriously injured in traffic accidents every year.

The Larrison Law Firm Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys explain the key causes of most car accidents.

Failure To Signal

During their lifetime, most people will experience a motor vehicle accident. Driver error causes most car accidents every year, with failure to signal being the most common cause of accidents.

If drivers don’t signal when they plan to turn, change lanes, or enter or leave a roadway, the motorists around them may not have adequate time to stop or adjust their speed to prevent an accident. Signal-related incidents tend to involve multiple vehicles, increasing the number of potential injuries and deaths.

Distracted Driving

In 2022, Georgia convicted 50,963 individuals of distracted driving, which is another common cause of car accidents.

Distracted driving comes in four forms: visual, manual, cognitive, and auditory distractions–taking your eyes, hands, mind, or ears off the road. Distractions take your focus and attention away from the task at hand, which is driving.

Teen drivers are especially vulnerable to distracted driving, with texting while driving being one of the most fatal distractions.

Drunk Driving

In 2021, Georgia experienced 444 crashes involving alcohol, killing 391 people. If a driver’s blood alcohol concentration reaches 0.08 or above or 0.02 and above for individuals over and under 21 respectively, federal law considers them drunk. However, impairment could involve prescription medications as well as illegal and legal drugs. In 2022, 18% of all motor vehicle accident fatalities involved impairment.

Driving impaired can cause the following:

  • Slow reaction time
  • Impaired judgment
  • Negative impacts on concentration and focus
  • Distracted driving

Drinking and driving accidents have a high death rate and can cause serious injuries, such as disfigurement, traumatic brain injury, and paralysis. Motorists who drive impaired often experience license suspensions or revocations, impounded vehicles, substance abuse programs, monitoring, imprisonment, or driving restrictions monitored by ignition interlock devices.


Another factor on the top of the list of what causes most car accidents is speeding. In 2021, Georgia experienced 369 fatalities in accidents involving speeding. Unfortunately, excessive speed can exacerbate a car accident due to the greater force. In addition, it is easier for speeding drivers to lose control of their vehicles, needing a greater distance to stop their cars.

Speeding also reduces the effectiveness of safety or protective equipment in the vehicle, such as seat belts and airbags. Speeding not only includes exceeding the posted speed limit but also involves driving too fast on dangerous roads (e.g., during bad weather, at night, or in areas with poor roads or road construction).

Aggressive Driving

Aggressive drivers provoke other motorists by honking their horns, driving slowly, flashing headlights, or participating in other behaviors that make other drivers feel afraid, angry, or tense. Most aggressive drivers also break the law in some way, including the following:

  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Cutting drivers off
  • Running stop lights and signs
  • Weaving in and out of traffic, including passing on the right

Aggressive driving may cause the driver to lose control or can also lead to road rage among other drivers. Motorists who drive aggressively also don’t perceive dangers as quickly, requiring extended stopping distances. Their accidents tend to be more severe.

Weather Conditions

Most drivers understand that poor weather can cause car accidents. Icy, wet roads make them slippery, impacting driver control and stopping distance. The glaring sun can make it difficult for drivers to see other motorists as well as hazards on the road. Even high winds can impact drivers’ control over their vehicles, pushing them into adjacent lanes or off the road.

During periods of bad weather, motorists should avoid roadways when possible. If they need to be out in the weather, they should drive slower and eliminate as many distractions as possible.


Another of the most common causes of car accidents is fatigue. Even driving drowsy impairs your judgment, concentration, coordination, and reaction speed, much like driving under the influence. Unfortunately, fatigued driving is not as easy to evaluate. These motorists tend to do the following:

  • Drive off the road
  • Weave amongst lanes
  • Hit or barely miss obstacles on the road
  • Tailgate
  • Hit rumble strips

Drivers who continuously yawn, daydream, blink frequently, let their heads droop, or feel restless, aggressive, or irritated should get off the road and get some rest. Those who drive for long periods should take regular breaks.

Turning up the radio, taking a 20-minute nap, drinking caffeine, and opening the window can also help.

Vehicle Defects

Vehicle defects also make the list of causes of car accidents. Some defects that can cause accidents include:

  • Unexpected airbag deployment
  • Tire blowouts
  • Faulty or old brakes
  • Steering wheel, steering column, and suspension defects
  • Electrical issues that cause your vehicle to stop running

These defects can cause motorists to lose control of their vehicles. Vehicle owners should stay up to date on their vehicle maintenance, checking their vehicle’s recall list regularly, researching for possible vehicle defects, and addressing these issues immediately.

Road Conditions

Road conditions, such as potholes, damaged guardrails, missing signage, shoulders that drop off quickly or are steep, damaged traffic signals, clogged drainage, construction, uneven or improper pavement, cracks, and faded lane lines, can all cause accidents. Local and federal government agencies have the responsibility to maintain roads and keep them safe. They monitor and implement road signage, debris, and damage.

Unfortunately, although drivers can travel different routes, they cannot always avoid poor road conditions. When traveling on such roads, drivers should slow down and increase their awareness.

Who’s At Fault for an Improper Lane Change Accident

Another item on the list of what causes most car accidents is improper lane changes. Accidents occur frequently on roads with multiple lanes for several reasons. Drivers initiate these accidents in the following ways:

  • Not signaling
  • Weaving between lanes and across multiple lanes at one time
  • Not checking their mirrors and blind spots
  • Waiting until the last second to change lanes
  • Changing lanes unintentionally or drifting into other lanes

In most cases, the accident investigators consider the motorist who changes lanes to be at fault. However, auto insurance companies evaluate the accident and damage to determine who caused the accident.

Talk To a Knowledgeable Car Accident Lawyer About Your Claim

To learn more about what causes most car accidents and get a free consultation on your car accident case, contact The Larrison Law Firm Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys today.

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