common causes of car accidents

It might surprise you to learn that the majority of car accidents in Missouri occur in the daylight in clear weather. If slick roads, a dark stretch of highway, or rainy conditions don’t cause most accidents, what does? There are several common causes of car accidents in Missouri, affecting thousands of residents and visitors each year. Listed below are the most common causes of car accidents throughout the state and what you can do if you’re involved in one. 


Speeding is the #1 cause of car accidents in Missouri. Drivers who exceed the speed limit or drive too fast for conditions cause far more accidents across the state than any other factor. When people drive too fast, it increases the likelihood of an accident for several reasons. First of all, going too fast means that drivers have less time to react. Whether it’s a car suddenly stopping ahead or a patch of ice, driving too fast means that the person operating the vehicle has to make a split-second decision, often resulting in an accident. Secondly, speed increases the severity of the accident, which leads to more serious crashes and more injuries for those involved. It takes much longer to stop at high speeds. Even 10 miles per hour over the limit – from 50 MPH to 60 MPH – increases the stopping distance by over 40%. 


The second most common cause of Missouri car accidents is drug and alcohol impairment. Almost one in three car accidents in the United States involves drugs or alcohol. Driving impaired has several contributing factors to causing crashes: slow reaction time, decreased cognitive function, altered perception, confusion, and drowsiness. Even prescription drugs can impact the ability to operate a vehicle. The result of drug or alcohol use is often fatal with over 300 deaths in Missouri in one year alone. 

Improper Lane Change

Improper lane change or usage is high on the list of car accident causes. Almost 15,000 car crashes in Missouri during 2020 were the result of improper lane changes, including over 5,000 injuries and 11,000 instances of property damage. Instances of improperly changing or using a lane include unsafely passing on a two-lane highway, failing to return to the far right lane on a multi-lane highway, driving on the wrong side of the road, and swerving in and out of the lane. 

Distracted Driving

Cell phones, radios, that sandwich you’ve been waiting all day for: all are distractions that often result in car accidents. More drivers are driving distracted than ever before, and many don’t realize the importance of ignoring distractions until it’s far too late. All it takes is a moment of taking one’s eyes off the road to end up in a collision. Missouri has taken action against distracted driving with new legislation including Siddens Bening Hands Free Law that prohibits the use of cell phones or other handheld devices on Missouri roadways. The new law hopes to correct the number of distracted drivers. 


You may have heard that driving tired is nearly the same as driving drunk, and research has shown that to be true. However, many drivers underestimate the impact of driving while well-rested versus driving when fatigued. Over 91,000 accidents reported nationwide list a tired or sleeping driver, and around 20% of the nation’s fatal crashes are believed to be caused by fatigued drivers. 

Traffic Violations

Even the most minor traffic violations can lead to serious accidents and injuries. Violations like failure to yield, running stop signals and signs, and more result in thousands of car accidents in Missouri. Whether it’s impatience, running late, or any other reason, many Missouri crashes occur within the city due to a simple traffic violation. 

Do You Need a Lawyer after a Car Accident in Missouri?

Car accidents can be life-changing. From medical bills to missed work and dealing with insurance, the toll of being involved in an accident is overwhelming. Hiring an attorney who can help you through as you recover can be a great asset. At Dreyer & Tinney, we advocate for those involved in Missouri accidents, working diligently to recover damages. Our experienced lawyers know the intricacies of Missouri traffic law and how to fight with insurance to help you receive compensation, even if the accident was partially your fault. If you were injured or otherwise harmed in a collision in Missouri, contact Dreyer & Tinney for your free consultation.