Causes of Car Accidents in Virginia

Richmond car accident lawyers

Car accidents happen for many reasons. Someone’s carelessness or recklessness is usually the primary cause of a crash.

If you have been hurt in a car accident in Virginia, it is important to determine the cause so you can pursue legal action against whoever was at fault. If you can show that another driver’s actions led to the accident, you may be entitled to money for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other losses.

At Geoff McDonald & Associates, our attorneys are ready to investigate your accident to determine what really happened. To prepare a car accident case, we often interview witnesses, obtain telephone records or toxicology reports, work with accident reconstruction experts and consult with medical professionals – and much more.

Just call Geoff or contact us online now if you were hurt in a car accident in Richmond or anywhere in Virginia. We offer free claim reviews and advice about your legal options.

7 Top Causes of Car Accidents

  1. Speeding – According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speed is the leading factor in accidents in the U.S. Nearly 55 percent of crashes caused by speeding drivers involved a motorist who was breaking the speed limit. Drivers in the remainder of the speed-related collisions were going too fast for conditions.
  2. Distracted driving Talking on the phone, texting and even daydreaming are top reasons for accidents. According to, as many as 10 percent of all accidents in the U.S. that cause injuries result from driver distraction. Texting is especially risky. A driver who is texting is 23 times as likely to crash.
  3. Driving while impaired According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 30 people die on a typical day in accidents caused by drunk drivers. One study revealed that 12 percent of drivers who were stopped on a Friday or a Saturday night had been drinking, and 6 percent of the drivers tested positive for marijuana use.
  4. Tailgating and aggressive driving – NHTSA found that more than half of the drivers in a survey admitted to driving aggressively. Many aggressive drivers are on Virginia’s roads. They put others at risk by following too closely, cutting off other cars or engaging in other high-risk behaviors.
  5. Failure to yield – Drivers fail to obey traffic control rules at intersections, or otherwise fail to yield right-of-way. Drivers who run a red light or a stop sign often cause T-bone or side-impact collisions. These types of accidents are among the deadliest because there is limited protection.
  6. Vehicle defects – More than 22 million vehicles were recalled in one recent year alone because of problems with air bags, suspension systems or other vehicle parts. An auto defect can cause an accident. The car manufacturer and/or the manufacturer of the defective parts and others may be held legally liable for a collision if the defect was the cause. If defective car parts, such as a faulty air bag, make accident injuries worse, the car manufacturer may also be sued.
  7. Drowsy driving – According to the CDC, an estimated 4.2 percent of drivers had fallen asleep in the 30 days prior to completing a survey on fatigued driving. A fatigued driver may experience the same level of cognitive impairment as a drunk driver. It is common for fatigued drivers to cross into oncoming traffic, triggering head-on collisions. Fatigued drivers often fail to brake or take other evasive actions before a crash. This makes the injuries much worse in many cases.

These are just some of the many causes of car accidents. At Geoff McDonald & Associates, our lawyers know how to build a strong case to prove the cause of a car accident.

Our attorneys have two decades of experience helping car accident victims in Richmond and across Virginia. Let us put our experience to work for you.

Just call Geoff now or contact us online for a free claim review and advice about your legal rights.


  • CDC – Injury and Violence Prevention and Control
  • – What Is Distracted Driving?
  • NHTSA – An Analysis of Speeding-Related Crashes: Definitions and the Effects of Road Environments
  • NHTSA – Aggressive Driving
  • New York Times – Safety Agency Says 22 Million Vehicles Recalled in 2013
  • CDC – Drowsy Driving — 19 States and the District of Columbia, 2009–2010