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Characteristics of Drivers More Likely to Get in Car Accidents

October 10, 2019

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Causes of Car Accidents

Some car accidents occur to defects in the road or the vehicles involved in the accident. However, many more accidents are caused by driver error. There are certain factors that may make a driver more susceptible to error and negligence behind the wheel which in turn creates a higher risk for an accident. In addition to these factors, the driver’s driving style, emotions, and mental state may also play a role in increasing the risk of an accident.


Young drivers are responsible for more car accidents than any other age group. For example, the IIHS reports that the fatal crash per mile driven for 16 to 19 year olds is approximately three times the rate for drivers aged 20 and older. The risk for accidents is highest for drivers aged 16 or 17. Young drivers, due to their inexperience behind the wheel, are often more prone to dangerous behaviors such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and speeding. And due to young drivers’ inexperience, they are more likely to make mistakes while driving that lead to accidents.

After young drivers, the elderly — those 65 and older — are the second-most likely age demographic to be involved in car accidents. Elderly drivers are more likely to suffer from various physical and cognitive issues that lead to accidents, such as poor vision or hearing, slowed reaction time, memory problems, and confusion. 

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence is one of the most common causes of fatal car accidents. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can slow a driver’s reaction time, impair his or her vision, reduce his or her concentration and hand-eye coordination, and otherwise lead to lapses in judgment.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the most common and also most easily preventable causes of driver error that leads to accidents. Drivers can be distracted by talking or texting on or otherwise using a cell phone, using their vehicle’s radio or infotainment system, eating or drinking, grooming themselves in their vehicle’s mirrors, or talking to other occupants of the vehicle. If a driver becomes distracted and takes their eyes off the road for only five seconds, at a speed of 55 miles per hour they will have traveled the length of an American football field. Driving requires a driver’s full attention at all times, since drivers may only have a second or two to respond to an emergency and prevent an accident.


Speeding causes a significant portion of all fatal car crashes in the U.S.; according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2007 thirty-one percent of all fatal crashes were caused by speeding. Speeding-caused car accidents claim the lives of over 10,000 people each year. Unfortunately, most drivers who speed realize that, rather than getting where they are going more quickly, speeding causes more problems that can in fact lengthen a journey.


Finally, many car accidents are caused when drivers become fatigued or tired behind the wheel. Fatigued driving can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence. Being fatigued means that you pay less attention to the road, have slowed reaction times to emergencies, and have impaired decision making. The Centers for Disease Control reports that one in 25 drivers age 18 and older report having fallen asleep while driving within the last 30 days. 

Contact a Morristown Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case in New Jersey

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a car accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Hoyt & Hoyt, PC represent clients injured because of car accidents in Parsippany, Mount Olive, Rockaway, Roxbury, and throughout New Jersey. Call (973) 292-2299 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 67 E. Park Pl., 5th Floor, Morristown, NH 07960, as well as offices in New Brunswick.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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