Causes of Car Accidents in Delaware

Even the most cautious drivers can become seriously injured or killed in a car accident.  The U.S. Census Bureau reported 11 million car accidents and over 35,000 fatalities across the country in just one year.

What makes these numbers even more startling is the fact that many car accidents can be avoided.

The Delaware car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow are committed to helping car accident victims claim the justice and compensation they deserve. Injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident can be severe and may require long recovery periods or result in permanent disability.

Determining the cause of a car accident allows victims to hold all responsible parties liable for their injuries and damages.

Driver Error

People make mistakes all the time. But when they result in a car accident, the consequences can be catastrophic. The list of possible driver errors leading to a car accident are infinite, but there are several common errors that drivers make that result in serious and sometimes fatal accidents.

The leading cause of driver error is distracted driving. While the decision to text or use a cell phone while driving is a personal choice, this decision can lead to driver error.

The potential for a collision with another vehicle or object is magnified when a driver chooses to engage in cell phone use, texting, and other forms of distraction. For example, a driver that is texting in a car traveling at 50 miles an hour is equivalent to driving down the length of a football field blindfolded.

Impaired driving, which includes drowsy, drunk, and drugged drivers, are the second leading cause of car accidents. Driving without proper rest and relaxation can have the same effect as driving drunk. The legalization of marijuana and the opioid epidemic in the United States has led to an increase in drugged driving accidents.

Impaired drivers have slowed reaction times, lack of focus, vision problems, and are more likely to fall asleep behind the wheel. Any one of these side effects can lead to driver error that can result in serious and deadly car accidents.

Other frequent driver errors include failure to stop for traffic signs and signals, making illegal turns, and failure to yield to pedestrians and bicyclists.

Driver errors are also common on familiar routes and roadways. Traveling the same way to work or school everyday can lead to a sense of familiarity that leaves a driver unprepared for unexpected situations.


Drivers that fail to obey local and highway speed limits put all drivers and passengers in danger of a serious car accident. Speed limits are imposed according to road design, pedestrian and residential traffic, school zones, and highway road conditions. Drivers that fail to obey these speed limits cause some of the most catastrophic and fatal car accidents.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost half of all car accidents in the United States are caused by speeding. Over 100,000 speeding accidents were reported between the years 2006 and 2015. Almost 10,000 people died in the year 2015 in car accidents directly related to speeding.

Road Conditions and Weather-Related Car Accidents

Pot holes, construction zones, lane shifts, broken traffic lights, and poor lighting can make road conditions hazardous. Drivers should proceed with caution, especially at night or in inclement weather, when traveling on unfamiliar roads. Reduced speed and focus on the road ahead can help avoid a collision.

Weather conditions can change dramatically and unexpectedly, which often results in car accidents. Icy roads, snow covered highways, and high winds can cause cars to lose control and collide with other vehicles. Drivers should prepare to pull off the road when possible to wait until the weather subsides and road conditions improve before continuing to their destination.

Checking the weather in the areas that you will be traveling to, before you depart, can also help avoid a serious car accident.

Defective Auto Parts and Poorly Maintained Vehicles

Vehicles in poor repair, those with worn tires, broken windshields, weak brakes, or broken tail lights can all lead to a car accident. Motor vehicles with defective auto parts can also cause car accidents when drivers lose control and veer off the road or into another vehicle.

Car owners have a responsibility to keep their vehicles in good working order through regular inspection and maintenance. Car manufacturers and dealerships are legally obligated to sell motor vehicles that are safe and free from unnecessary hazards.

Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Help Injured Car Accident Victims Claim Compensation

If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a car accident, call the experienced team of Delaware car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow at (302) 427-9500, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are located in Wilmington, Milford, and Bear, and serve clients in Elsmere, Seaford, and throughout Delaware.

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