Did you know, there are an average of 4,500 serious or fatal auto accidents in Tennessee every year? As an auto accident injury lawyer in Knoxville we see many injured parties that have been involved in these accidents and we hear a variety of stories regarding the overall cause of the accident. Here are some of the most common causes of auto accidents.


Unfortunately, one thing we have come to understand in our time as an auto accident injury lawyer in Knoxville is that many drivers seem to think of speed limits as suggestions rather than rules and as a result there are many auto accidents caused by driving too fast. Speed limits are determined by a number of factors, including things like sharp corners or steep hills. If you are exceeding the speed limit you may lose control when navigating such obstacles.

Driving Under the Influence

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 12% of drivers involved in fatal auto accidents have a blood alcohol content above the legal limit. Alcohol and drugs can seriously impair your driving abilities and reaction times.

Dangerous Lane Changing

Statistics show that 8.5% of auto accidents are caused by drivers swerving into another lane, or off the road completely. There are a variety of reasons why a driver may swerve including distractions like text messaging, drowsiness, or even a medical event.

Failure to Yield

How well do you understand who has the right of way when driving? Around 7% of fatal auto accidents are because someone failed to yield the right of way. It is wise to drive defensively and yield even if you have the right of way when you see that another driver is being aggressive in their maneuvers.

Distracted Driving

Everyone should know by now the dangers of driving while using your mobile phone. Tennessee even has a ‘hands free law’ which makes using a phone while driving a moving violation. However, phones are not the only cause for distracted driving. Eating, drinking, personal grooming, fiddling with the radio, and even unruly passengers can all cause a distraction and take your focus away from the road ahead. Tennessee has the highest rate of distracted driving deaths in the entire country - over 5 times the national average.


A big part of being able to drive is the ability to react to changing situations.You need to be prepared for unexpected situations and know how to react to them. For example, you may need to brake suddenly or swerve to avoid a collision. However, it is also possible to over-correct in these situations, especially if you were not paying enough attention to begin with. If you swerve too sharply to avoid a collision ahead of you, but have not looked to see what is going on beside you it could result in another accident.

Failure to Obey Traffic Signs/Signals

It is important for all drivers to pay attention to road signs and traffic signals. Failure to comply with these can result in auto accidents because other drivers may not be expecting the action you are taking. For example, if you don’t stop at a stop sign or stop light, crossing traffic will not expect you to cross their path. As an auto accident injury lawyer in Knoxville we see many cases where someone has been hit by a driver who has ignored traffic signals.

Reckless or Careless Driving

If you are purposely disregarding the rules of the road then you are also disregarding the safety of yourself, your passengers, and other road users. Approximately 3% of auto accident fatalities are attributed to reckless driving. Accidentally breaking these rules because you are not paying attention may be termed careless driving rather than reckless, but it is no less dangerous.

Bad Weather

Driving in inclement weather such as heavy rain and snow can make driving conditions treacherous. Fog and glaring sunlight can also affect visibility. Bad weather is a common cause of auto accidents and it is important that you change your driving habits to adapt to these conditions in order to keep safe. Slow down and make sure you keep your distance from the car in front.

Drowsy Driving

Are you one of the many responsible drivers who are adamant that they won’t ever drive drunk? That is something you should be very proud of; however, do you have the same rule about driving while tired? Drowsy driving is every bit as dangerous as drunk driving. Not only are you at risk of falling asleep, but your reaction times are also impaired just like if you were drunk. Never get behind the wheel of a car if you are feeling sleepy.

These are 10 of the most common reasons why auto accidents happen. It is important that you try to avoid them. However, most of us will experience 3 or 4 auto accidents in our lifetime from minor bumps to larger collisions. If you find yourself or a loved one injured in a car accident you will need to seek out an auto accident injury lawyer in Knoxville to help you navigate through the process of filing a lawsuit.



Butler, Vines and Babb is a leading law firm in Knoxville, TN, with extensive litigation experience in Medical Malpractice LawBirth Injury LawTrucking Accident LawPersonal Injury Law, and Business Law. Contact us today at www.bvblaw.com or call 865-637-3531.

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